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Gretna 1 v 2 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Cup
Venue: Raydale Park
Date: Saturday, 25th January 2003
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 973
Gretna
v
Clyde

Hide Match Report

by Alan Henderson

LINE-UP

Halliwell

Potter Kernaghan McLaughlin

Ross Convery
Kane Millen
Cosgrove

Hinds Falconer

SUBS: Doyle, Morrison, Reid, McConalogue (Falconer 78), Bossy.

REPORT

The best that can be said of Clyde's first trip to Gretna was that they emerged with a victory. Given the weather conditions, a very tight and uneven pitch and a side disrupted through injury and suspension the game was to be endured rather than enjoyed. It's not that long ago since Clyde were going to places like these and returning with very red faces. Clyde at least had the method and grit to grind out a result in a game of few chances. The rain held off until after the game too.

Arriving at Gretna the surprise was Hagen wasn't in the team so Convery had to fill in at left wing-back. McLaughlin replaced the suspended Mensing and Kane returned in place of the injured Fraser. The game had hardly started before Clyde gave away their traditional early goal. A Gretna attack saw the ball fed across the Clyde box only for Kernaghan to Convery to run into each other and fall over. The Gretna forward seized his chance and blasted the ball past Halliwell from just inside the box. Clyde then got the measure of the game but couldn't carve open any real chances. Clyde were mainly using the left but were obviously hampered by Convery's inability to deliver the ball with his left foot. McLaughin had to come up from the back to try and get things moving on several occasions. With Clyde dominating the midfield all they had to show were tame shots from Ross and Convery and a header over the bar from Ross also. Pressure was beginning to mount on Gretna and the goal eventually came on 30 minutes. Clyde made ground down the right and fed the ball into Falconer. His turn and powerful shot was well saved by the keeper but only fell to Millen who slotted the ball home from about 10 yards. Those who were expecting a goal avalanche were to be sorely disappointed. In fact Gretna probably came the closest with another shot from the edge of the box that flew just past Halliwell's right post.

Clyde didn't make any changes at half time and the fans hoped that they couldn't turn in as poor a performance as they had in the first half. Alas it was more of the same with Clyde having plenty of the ball in midfield but unable to create much in front of goal. It appeared that given Convery's struggle on the left that Clyde were going to concentrate playing down the right with Jack Ross. Kernaghan saw his header land on the roof of the net as Clyde began to press for the winner. Millen saw his volley fly wide of the post too. Eventually it came through Hinds on 60 minutes. He spun in the box and fired his shot in. As usual for Hinds it hit the post but remarkably this time it went in instead of spinning out to safety. Gretna had to come and chase the game and Clyde started to get in behind the defence at last. Still they were unable to create many chances with Hinds seeing another attempt well stopped by the keeper. At the other end a shot came very close to levelling the game and flew just wide. Falconer was replaced by McConalogue as Clyde endured a nervous last 10 minutes. The referee blew his whistle and Clyde were in the 4th round.

It was a victory but not much else. McLaughlin and Kane lasted the full 90 and will give the team more options. With Hagen's absence the left wing-back role is still a problem. Convery clearly can't play on the left and it's wrong to put him there as it will only dent his confidence. If Hagen remains unfit will McLaughlin step back in there and Mensing play behind him?

STAR RATINGS (*****)

Halliwell (***) Not much to do but a safe pair of hands.
Potter (***) Defended well but passing was awful at times.
McLaughlin (***) Steady return from the big man.
Kernaghan (****) Untroubled as ever at this level of football.
Kane (***) Lasted well but hardly shone.
Ross (***) Poor first half but came onto his game in the second.
Convery (**) Simply not a left-sided player but put in the effort.
Millen (****) Usual shift that kept things ticking over.
Falconer (***) Lots of lay-offs to nobody but had little service either.
Cosgrove (***) Neat touches but needs to back himself more.
Hinds (***) Quiet game and seemed a bit reluctant to pull the trigger today.
McConalogue (**) Little time or chance to shine.

REACTION

Alan Kernaghan - "Playing wise that's probably as poor as we've been this season, but we ground out a great result. The conditions were difficult and the start was worrying, but I'm pleased with the result which is the be all and end all today."

"I've no complaints about the pitch, it was the same for both teams."

"I thought the players that came in did well, Stephen Cosgrove, and also Steve Convery who isn't naturally left sided but, as we know, if you ask him to do a job he'll give it a good crack and he did that."

"We've waited a long time for Mark McLaughlin to come back, and he's still a bit rusty, but it's great for him and everybody else."

"David Hagen rang in on Thursday complaining of a sickness bug, and although he was feeling better today, we didn't feel he'd last the 90 minutes. He's disappointed, and has been playing well, but as I said Stevie came in and did a great job."

"You have to have 2 under-21 outfield players in your team in the Scottish Cup, and although Stephen McConalogue is under-21 but it was an experience for the other 2. Mark Gilhaney was also in the squad and it was a toss-up between the three really."

"Money is money - the longer we keep going in the Cup the more money we bring in which safeguards the club and maybe gives me a bit of money to spend next season. It's important for everybody."


Leigh Hinds - "It was a brilliant result today, to come to a place like this in these conditions is hard. It was physical, which we knew it would be against a lower league side in the Cup. They wanted to prove themselves which is the same as anywhere in the UK. I'm pleased with my goal - I've had a few come off the post and back out recently so I'm glad this one went in!"
Bryn Halliwell - "It was quiet for me today but always nerve-jangling because the Cup brings surprises. We didn't want to be part of a Cup shock so I had to be concentrating. We're pleased to get through - we came here to do a job and get through to the next round and that's exactly what we've done. I don't mind who we get in the next round, we are playing well and not going into games afraid so perhaps we could cause a shock."

"Of course I'd like to stay here. I'm an ambitious person, but at the moment Clyde haven't offered me a new deal. I've just got to try and keep playing well and see what the club say. Obviously if Clyde don't want to keep me here then I'd have to try and find a new club, but I'm not thinking about things like that at the moment I'm just happy to be playing."