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Queen of the South 4 v 1 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Palmerston Park
Date: Saturday, 27th September 2003
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,953
Queen of the South
v
Clyde

Hide Match Report

by Graham Forrest

LINE-UP

Halliwell


Potter Kernaghan McLaughlin Mensing


Ross Millen Fraser McGroarty


Harty McConalogue

SUBS: Hagen (Kernaghan 45), Morrison, Gilhaney (Harty 52), Smith (Fraser 68), Marshall.

REPORT

On the evidence displayed during this match, Alan Kernaghan and Billy Reid have a lot of work to do if Clyde are to be serious contenders in this season's First Division title race.

Clyde started in an unfamiliar 4-4-2 formation and almost immediately looked uncomfortable with the situation. It was no surprise when the home side took the lead on 12 minutes, although the goal was fairly softly conceded ultimately. Queen's Sean O'Connor was causing the Clyde defence all sorts of problems and as he waltzed through on goal, Simon Mensing was forced to bring him down on the edge of the box, with the Englishman lucky not to receive a yellow card. The resultant low free-kick went past a loose looking wall and into the opposite corner of the net past Halliwell. The keeper then had to stop a long range effort from David Bagan hitting the roof of the net as Clyde struggled to get into the match. Millen and Ross had efforts that never really threatened Queen's goal before O'Connor made it 2-0. The big striker was given a simple tap-in at the back post after a low cross agonisingly went past the defence and keeper just a couple of yards from the goal-line. At this stage it looked like a lost cause, but a wonder strike by Stephen McConalogue just minutes later gave the Bully Wee and chance to get back into the game. He took a McGroarty pass in the middle of the park, came forward with the ball and lashed a high shot over Colin Scott and into the roof of the net. The half-time whistle sounded soon after, leaving the large travelling support wondering how their team still had a chance of taking something from the match.

Kernaghan made way for Hagen during the interval and the team returned to its more familiar 3-5-2 setup, with McGroarty moving into the middle of the park. There was an immediate improvement, and for 20 minutes or so Clyde looked like they could even win the match. Numerous corners and free-kicks came, but either the delivery was not good enough or no-one could get near the ball in the box. One of the better deliveries by McGroarty nearly creped in at the back post (ala Makaay v Celtic) but Scott did well to tip it round the post. Mark McLaughlin also had a header cleared off the line. Ian Harty did well to play John Fraser into the box, and the midfielder's low cross was met by the diving McConalogue, but his header was deflected just over. Disaster then struck, as Millen attempted a backwards header to Halliwell from close to the centre circle which never looked like making it. Alex Burke pounced on the ball, and put it into the net at the second attempt after Halliwell got a hand to his first. Millen tried to redeem himself with a low drive, but before Clyde could get back into a rhythm Queen's finished the match off with a fourth goal. Fraser played the ball back to Halliwell who took a dreadful touch on the ball and allowed Burke to go round him and blast into the corner from an acute angle. The game petered out for Clyde thereafter, with substitute Andy Smith the only player who looked like he could do anything in the last third.

It was match that featured bad luck and good luck for The Bully Wee, but overall a huge disappointment. The Doonhamers were definitely a very good side on the day, but it didn't disguise the numerous problems that will have to be addressed quickly if Clyde are to keep in touch with the leaders.

STAR RATINGS (*****)

Halliwell * Bad mistake for goal four and possibly at fault for 1 and 2?
Potter ** Looked off the pace for large parts of the game.
Kernaghan ** Probably his worst game in a Clyde shirt.
McLaughlin ** Looked unusually uneasy.
Mensing ** Contributed little to help shore up the defence.
Fraser ** Over-powered in the middle of the park.
Millen * Same as Fraser but with crazy backpass costing a goal.
Ross ** Not much chance for the Captain on the right.
McGroarty *** Looked like the only player capable of creating anything.
Harty ** Little to work with again but no product either.
McConalogue *** Working on scraps also and a great goal.

Hagen ** Not yet back to his form following injury.
Gilhaney ** Trying to chase a lost cause.
Smith ** Looked lively in his brief appearance.

REACTION

ALAN KERNAGHAN - "That was shocking. The first half was dreadful, and then for 10 or 15 minutes in the second half we had them pinned back, winning about 7 or 8 corners and creating numerous chances... but not taking any of them. Then, we go and shoot ourselves properly in the foot. We can't do much about individual mistakes; the other end is more disappointing. We weren't doing enough to get onto balls in the box.

"I came off because I was rubbish and we needed to change it.

"It's probably the worst since I took over. We were second to tackles, second to headers, just poor all round. I thought it could have been more than 4-1. They did well, but that's as bad as we can get.

"Our form is a worry but if you look at the other results today it shows what the league is going to be like. We need to get our house in order and quickly - 3 losses in 4 games is the worst run I've had and I don't intend for that to carry on."

JON CONNOLLY - "That's a big result for us today. I regard Clyde as a very good side who are always very difficult to play against. All the so-called pundits said at the start of the season that they'd be promotion candidates and we'd be relegation fodder, so hopefully they've changed their minds now. We're not kidding ourselves that a part-time team can win this league but there's a lot of belief in our dressing room."