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Clyde 2 v 1 Heart of Midlothian

Match Type: Friendly
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Tuesday, 24th July 2001
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Heart of Midlothian

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by Alan Henderson

CLYDE: Budinaukas, Murray, Dunn, Smith, Keogh, Ross, Mitchell, Millen, Hinds, McClay, Convery. SUBS: Crawford, A Kane, Bingham, Vella.

Looks like a good result but there was more to it than that. It's probably fair to say tonight's line-up is very close to what the management want to start the season with. Hearts brought a weakened side full of reserves and U-21 players. The only players of note were Steven Boyack, Juanjo and Barry Smith. An indication of how seriously Hearts took the fixture was by playing want-away giant, Kevin James, up front. The fact that Clyde couldn't provide a better scoreline is slightly worrying. Still, you can only play what's put in front of you.

Clyde opened the scoring after only a few minutes. Budinaukas' clearance was allowed to run right through and Convery nipped in front of the keeper. The young keeper tried the most obvious of ankle taps and a penalty was given. David Dunn coolly stroked the ball into the corner. For Hearts, Boyack was showing up well and the threat of Kevin James was always there from a cross. The game was hardly sparkling but Clyde managed to score another. Persistent play from Jack Ross allowed him to lob the ball over in front of goal and Leigh Hinds showed that he can score from close range and with his head. Convery had a couple of glaring misses with only the keeper to beat. His sharpness to get on the end of things is encouraging for the new season though. Hinds also showed us how effective he is in heavy traffic with a good shot that whistled just wide and a cross-shot that found no takers. So Clyde when in at half time against a scratch Hearts probably looking to finish the job.

The second half was quite poor considering this is a very settled Clyde team. Hearts to their credit were shepherding Mitchell very well. The game began to get a bit towsy and this seemed to knock Clyde out of their stride. Hearts pulled one back through Juanjo. Murray pushed James on the edge of the box and Juanjo found the bottom corner with an excellent free kick. This heralded a rash of substitutions from both sides that did little to help the flow of the game. We at least got a sight of Simon Vella. The centre back must be the biggest player on the books. He looked reasonable in what he had to do which included connecting with a Clyde corner and nearly scoring.

It was disappointing that Clyde couldn't find more goals and fluent play against what was a less than wonderful Hearts XI. Again Clyde showed they defend well and have some sharpness up front, but the midfield still lacks overall invention. It's also worth noting that the two home friendlies have seen no sign of Grant or McCusker on the bench. Are they injured along with McLaughlin? Or are they out of favour in a big way?