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Ayr United 2 v 2 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Somerset Park
Date: Saturday, 1st November 2003
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,653
Ayr United
v
Clyde

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by Alan Henderson

LINE-UP

Morrison

Potter Kernaghan McLaughlin

Marshall Hagen

Millen Fraser
McGroarty


Keogh McConalogue

SUBS: Harty (McGroarty 64), Clark, Gilhaney (McConalogue 80), Gibson, Smith.

REPORT

A case of points dropped as Ayr came back twice to earn a share of the spoils. If McConalogue and Keogh had taken their chances when Clyde had edged in front again then it would have been a different story. Still, playing the way Clyde have been if you'd offered the support 4 points from 6 at Kirkcaldy and Ayr then they'd have bitten your hand off.

Wednesday night's game had taken its toll as Halliwell, Mensing and Ross were all injured. Gibson was also 'ill' but on the bench anyway. So Morrison, Potter and Marshall filled the gaps in the usual 3-5-2 with Keogh and McConalogue leading the line. A slight change was that McGroarty was brought infield with Hagen given the wing-back role.

As with Wednesday night it didn't take Clyde long to open the scoring. McConalogue drove into the box and cut the ball back. A scramble between Keogh and Roy ended with Keogh stabbing the ball over the line. Both teams seemed intent on giving the ball as much air time as possible as play went from end to end with barely one or two touches. Ayr were obviously trying to use the pace of Kean and all of Clyde's back three were fortunate to make vital touches as Kean put the pressure on. At the other end Keogh saw a flashing drive fly wide and a typical curler from McConalogue was well gathered by Roy. Midway through the half Clyde had settled into the usual defending their lead routine while camped in their own box. Ayr's only threat came from a Ferguson shot that Morrison turned around the post. Otherwise most were glad to see the end of a poor 45 minutes.

With no changes by Clyde at half time the same pattern of play was soon established as Ayr pressed Clyde back. This time Clyde failed to clear the ball on their right and the ball was fed into the box for Chaplian to score with a crisp shot. Those Bully Wee fans fearing the worst needn't have worried as Clyde went straight back up the park and scored. After some interplay on the edge of the Ayr box the ball was fed into Keogh at point blank range and he fired the ball between Roy's legs much to the annoyance of the keeper. For a spell after this it looked as though Clyde would go on to secure the game as McConalogue had three good attempts that went wide or were saved and Keogh with the chance of a hat-trick had his shot smothered by the keeper. Clyde replaced McGroarty with Harty and Keogh fell back into midfield to try and steady the game. For a while it seemed to work as Clyde broke up Ayr's attacks with ease but Ayr soon found themselves back on level terms. A deep cross from the right found Kean completely unmarked and he fired a header low into the net. Both teams went for the winner in a frantic finish but Clyde must be rueing a great chance to secure all three points.

Considering the enforced changes maybe a draw wasn't bad but if the finishing had been a bit more clinical, like Ayr's, then it would have been different..

STAR RATINGS (*****)

Morrison *** Safe enough and no chance with the goals.
Potter *** Steady shift again.
McLaughlin *** Keeps the ball well and showing some real appetite.
Kernaghan *** Poor passing but otherwise got everything down the middle.
Fraser ** Effort isn't a problem - passing definitely is.
Marshall *** Doesn't lack confidence but needs to get more involved.
Hagen *** Bit more positive this week.
Millen ** As with Fraser.
Keogh *** Back to form and scoring regularly.
McGroarty *** Looked better in the middle but faded out again.
McConalogue *** Excellent forward play but needed a finish.

Harty ** Should be in the box and not out wide as he often was.
Gilhaney * No chance to show his flair.

REACTION


ALAN KERNAGHAN - "I'm disappointed as we dominated possession and could have scored more goals.

"They've put two balls into the box second half and they've got two goals, which is pretty much the story of our season so far. We have had games in our grasp and let them go. Today it was not so much silly mistakes as poor defending that cost us.

"We started well with the early goal and we looked pretty comfortable in the first half. Even after they scored, we've gone right up the park and scored within a couple of minutes, but then we just couldn