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Clyde 2 v 0 St. Johnstone

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Saturday, 13th September 2003
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,469
Clyde
v
St. Johnstone

Hide Match Report

by Alan Henderson

LINE-UP

Halliwell

Potter Kernaghan Mensing



Ross Millen Fraser McGroarty



Gilhaney Harty McConalogue

SUBS: McLaughlin (McConalogue 73), Clark, Smith (Harty 88), Marshall, Doyle.

REPORT

In the end Clyde cruised to a comfortable victory over the League favourites after St Johnstone failed to take their chances in the first half. Once St Johnstone fell behind they resorted to route one tactics with everything being aimed at the heads of Paatelainen or Dodds who was being pushed into the box at every opportunity. Clyde held firm and a dogged all round display earned the points.

Hagen didn't make the squad so McGroarty took his place at left wingback. With Smith on the bench this left Clyde with a very diminutive front line of Harty, McConalogue and Gilhaney to struggle against the big Saints defence. At the back Mensing, Potter and Kernaghan were preferred to McLaughlin who remained on the bench leaving Clyde with an ambitious 3-4-3 formation.

Clyde looked nervous at the start and after only 3 minutes Parker nearly scored. A high ball down the middle was missed by Kernaghan and then Mensing allowing Parker a clear run at goal. The forward hit his shot straight at Halliwell from the edge of the box. Barely a minute later Clyde were let off the hook again. Kernaghan lost Paatelainen in the box and the big Finn missed with a header from only 6 yards out. As the game continued Clyde were giving up possession too easily at the edge of the box as all Clyde's diminutive forwards were being crowded out. The game was also being played in a stop-start fashion as petty fouls abounded. After 34 minutes St Johnstone came desperately close to opening the scoring. Clyde conceded a foul about 25 yards from goal and the resultant shot came back off the junction of bar and post with Halliwell beaten. Clyde responded with their best move of the match as Harty was played into the box but shot wildly over from a good angle. Then with the half almost over Clyde conjured a goal from the most unlikely of circumstances. Once again the ball was launched into orbit and looked like meat and drink to the big Saints defence. For whatever reason the big centre-half let it bounce and the keeper hesitated. Harty, to his eternal credit, kept chasing these lost causes and got there just before the keeper to nod it over his reach and into the net. With barely time to restart the match Clyde ran off very happy they had snatched the lead.

No changes were made at half time and for the first few minutes of the second half St Johnstone had the monopoly of possession but couldn't do much with it. They pressed and seemed content to hope that either Parker or Donnelly would feed off the scraps in the box. Following another mediocre attack Clyde ran up the park and scored a second goal. As the attack broke up Clyde raced down their left and then switched the ball to Ross powering down the right. His cut back took a couple of deflections but found the feet of McConalogue who stroked the ball home from about 12 yards out. Saints made changes midway through the half as they chased the game but Clyde in the main were holding firm. Harty was sent clear from half way and powered into the box but his shot was well saved by Cuthbert. Saints had one fierce shot from the edge of the box but Halliwell brought off a fine catch. McLaughlin replaced McConalogue as Clyde reverted to a 4-4-2 to keep the opposition out. High balls were pumped into the Clyde box but very little came of them. Near the end Harty was replaced by Smith as Clyde saw out the game with their 2 goal advantage.

It would have been a different game if St Johnstone had taken their first half chances but once Clyde scored and could rely on their defensive strength their only seemed like one winner. Great determination was shown by every player as the League challenge was back on track.

STAR RATINGS (*****)


Halliwell **** Few saves to make but made them well.
Mensing **** Solid performance against some tricky forwards.
Potter **** Another fine performance at the back.
Kernaghan **** Tough test against another old warhorse, Paatelainen.
Fraser **** Ran and tackled - what more could you ask for.
Ross **** Good powerful display on the right.
McGroarty *** Quiet but effective game.
Millen ***** Super display and fought for every ball - a great example.
Harty **** Thankless task put in a great shift.
Gilhaney **** Always posed a threat on the ground and closed them down all game.
McConalogue *** Tough shift but got a goal for his efforts.

McLaughlin *** Assured defending kept Saints at bay.
Smith * No time to do anything.

REACTION

ALAN KERNAGHAN - "It's a great result and a good performance. We had lots of chances and probably should have taken more in the first half but that will come. Defensively we looked alright, and in general it's an excellent team performance.

"Ian's scored an opportunist goal and in terms of general play there is loads more to come from him so we are looking forward to that. John Fraser and Andy Millen were everywhere today, with Chris and Jack doing well on the wings. We didn't carry any passengers today.

"The high ball to Mixu was the main threat from them, and barring the first couple of minutes I thought we dealt with it well which was important. Had we not done we could have been in a lot of trouble.

"Falkirk had a bad result today but it all leads up to a good game. We're looking forward to it."

IAN HARTY - "Bryn gave me the pass of the season for my goal! I knew I was going to get cemented and I got a right dunt but it was worth it to see the ball go into the net. The keeper seemed to get caught in two minds and thankfully I got there first. It was a really tough match. The goal just before half-time took a bit of the pressure off but it was a hard and physical game to play in.

"We were disappointed with the St.Mirren game, especially after going ahead, and were itching to get back into action all fortnight since. We've managed to get the three points and it sets it up well for Falkirk coming here next week. I'm loving the training and professionalism of full-time football."

STEPHEN MCCONALOGUE - "It's good to win and it takes us right back up there in the table. We'll take a lot of confidence from it. I think the St.Johnstone defenders are the biggest in the world! The three of us up front are very mobile so I think we managed to move them about a lot and cause them problems. I'm pleased to get a goal having gone 4 games without one. As a striker you are judged on goals so it was nice to get one.

I think we are as good as, and maybe better than, anyone in the league. We've got a good blend of youth and experience. When the Gaffer players it does help us a lot... and I hope he reads that!"

JOHN FRASER - "We were brilliant today. Personally, I thought I was better than the last home game when I was hopeless. I've been trying to get more consistency in my game. I enjoyed playing in a midfield 4, as you are up against a man one on one and it's a battle.

Andy Millen is great to play alongside, he has lots of experience and we know how to cover each other during a game. We've got a brilliant team spirit here, everyone enjoys coming to training during the week and it's a great atmosphere to work in.

My contract runs out in December but I'm currently talking to the Manager about an extension and things are looking good."