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Clyde 3 v 0 Ayr United

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Saturday, 9th August 2003
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,067
Clyde
v
Ayr United

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by Alan Henderson

LINE-UP

Halliwell

Mensing Kernaghan McLaughlin

Ross Hagen

Millen Fraser
Keogh


McConalogue Harty

SUBS: Reid, Clark, Potter (Kernaghan 67), Smith (Keogh 78), Gilhaney (Harty 55).

REPORT

In the end Clyde recorded another convincing victory over Ayr in sweltering conditions. After a very quiet first half the introduction of Gilhaney once again sparked Clyde into life and once the first goal went in the game was never in doubt. Scoring three and keeping a clean sheet must be great for the confidence but there must be stronger opposition than Ayr out there.

It was of little surprise to see that Morrison was given the nod ahead of young Clark in goal. It may have been disappointing for the lad but an even partially fit Morrison was the better option. The Manager also picked himself to the exclusion of Potter who had to sit on the bench. Otherwise it was the familiar line-up with Harty playing tucked in behind Keogh and McConalogue.

Clyde began stroking the ball about quite smoothly in midfield but neither side offered any threat in front of goal. In fact it took a full 30 minutes for the first real save of the match when Fraser burst into the box but had his shot well smothered by Roy in the Ayr goal. Clyde were doing most of the pressing but Whalen took advantage of a mix-up at the back and found himself one-on-one with Morrison. The Ayr forward never looked confident and pulled his shot well wide from the edge of the box. Following a corner Clyde had an almighty shout for a penalty but the referee never saw the handball. Thankfully the referee blew the whistle and brought a very lame first half to an end.

Clyde decided to stick with the same formation after the interval but it was Ayr who forced Morrison into his first proper save of the match. O'Grady cut in from the left and let fly form the edge of the box but Morrison blocked it and Mclaughlin cleared the danger. After only ten minutes Clyde decided to change it and brought on Gilhaney to try and spice things up. A very disconsolate Harty left the pitch in slow motion. He looks a little lost in his supporting role and hopefully he won't lose heart. Anyway, the introduction of Gilhaney paid dividends as good work from Millen and him allowed Keogh time to switch the ball between feet and fire home from about sixteen yards out. The second goal followed within minutes. This time neat work set Ross free and his low cross was met by McLaughlin who had charged up in support to slam the ball home. Ayr were finished at this point and Keogh grabbed his second and Clyde's third goal when he lobbed the ball over Roy at the edge of the box. The ball took an eternity to come down and nobody seemed sure which side of the net it had struck until it rolled back into play from inside the net. With the game sealed Kernaghan was replaced by Potter and debutant, Smith, replaced Keogh near the end. Both Potter and McLaughin came close to a fourth goal from headers and Ayr tried in vain for a consolation goal. Morrison had a couple of smart stops to keep his clean sheet as Clyde cruised to the final whistle.

Clyde, with another solid victory, are showing the same form they had last season. Sometimes they lack style but they get the job done. It's worth noting that Clyde have only lost one League fixture (at Brockville) since December 7th 2002!

STAR RATINGS *****

Morrison *** Steady game for the reserve keeper.
Mensing *** Business as usual for the lad with the haircut.
McLaughlin **** A delight to see a fit Marko playing and scoring.
Kernaghan *** Hasn't lost it yet.
Fraser **** Another good shift in the middle.
Ross **** Excellent display on the right.
Hagen *** Good first half but faded in the second.
Millen **** Puts lads half his age to shame.
Keogh **** Quiet first half but took his goals well in the second.
Harty ** Not happening for him yet - lots of effort though.
McConalogue **** Very tricky and showing the required appetite.

Gilhaney *** An impact player if ever there was one.
Potter *** Looks ready to fill Kernaghan's boots.
Smith ** Little chance to shine but kept the lads switched on near the end.

REACTION


BILLY REID - "By our standards, the first half was poor and we told the players that at half-time, but we were excellent in the second half. The introduction of Gilhaney gave us that extra bit of direction. The second goal was great; a good passing move and a good finish by Mark McLaughlin."

"Stephen McConalogue did well, especially linking up, but we feel we can still get more out of him. He's a clever player with great ability."

"Alan Kernaghan has aggravated an old war wound and looks doubtful for Tuesday night, but he should be back by Saturday."

"I don't want to say too much at this stage as it's very early, but we're hoping to be at the top of this league and the players have the bit between their teeth. Our supporters probably expect us to win games now more so than others, but we just treat every game the same with the intention of winning it."

ANDY MILLEN - "It was a good win, and it's important to start well at home. The conditions were difficult for both teams, but the paying customers aren't interested in that. The first goal was vital today. We were in control to an extent but we could still have lost a couple of goals, and on another day we might have been punished. We aren't good enough to think that we won't get punished in future, or we wouldn't be playing at this level."

"Myself, Alan Kernaghan and now Andy Smith are over 30 but the rest of the squad are at a good age. These guys have matured and improved as players in the last 3 years - Ross, Mclaughlin, Mensing, Halliwell to name a few. They can only get better and if they want to make it to the top they can, which can only be good for the club."

"We've got two difficult games coming up this week but we have to show that we have what it takes to compete against these teams consistently."

"We'll take dents this season, as every team will, but it's how you come back from them that matters. Hopefully we have the character in the camp to overcome these over a season. Last season is now history, as any good manager, coach or player will tell you. We have to prove ourselves again from scratch this year."