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Clyde 2 v 1 Ayr United

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Saturday, 20th December 2003
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,102
Referee: C Thomson
Clyde
v
Ayr United

Goals

Clyde   Ayr United
(49) McLaughlin Chaplain (78)
(61) Harty  

Hide Line-ups

Clyde   Ayr United
Morrison Roy
Mensing Craig
McLaughlin Dunlop
Kernaghan Smyth
Millen Kinniburgh
Ross Ramsay
Hagen Hardy
(86) Marshall Chaplain
Smith Black (53)
Gibson Ferguson (74)
Harty Kean
Substitutes
(86) Gilhaney Campbell
Halliwell Hillcoat
McConalogue Conway
Doyle McGrady (74)
Greenhill McColl (53)

Hide Match Report

by Alan Henderson

Clyde fans got the present they had all wished for as the Bully Wee went top of the league with an efficient 2-1 victory over Ayr United. In some terrible conditions Clyde got their act together in the second half and goals from McLaughlin and Harty seemed to settle the issue. However as Clyde sat back in their typical style Ayr snatched a goal with ten minutes to go and set up an uncomfortable end to the game.

This game also marked Andy Millen's last game for Clyde and he played at centre-back alongside Kernaghan with Mensing and McLaughlin filling the full-back roles. Otherwise the team was along the usual lines in the now familiar 4-4-2.

Clyde, obviously full of confidence began stroking the ball around straight away and Jack Ross burst into the box and shot just wide. Clyde dominated the opening spell but created little in front of goal. Then midway through the half Ayr began to exert some pressure and Morrison pulled off a smart save low to his right with a shot from the edge of the box. Harty had a sight of goal but could only loop a header onto the roof of the net. Hagen had a drive from outside the box but Roy did well to turn it away. As the half came to an end it was clear that both teams were in need of a cutting edge.

Thankfully it didn't take long for Clyde to make an impression in the second half. With five minutes gone the ball was played to McLaughlin at the edge of the box and he curled a beauty into the top corner. Soon after Mensing worked his way into the box but could only blaze the ball, over when the goal beckoned. We didn't have long to wait for the second goal though. A simple ball forward was knocked down by Smith into the path of Harty. His run took him past a defender and he angled his shot past the keeper and into the box. Clyde then went into their shell and failed to commit men forward. Ayr didn't look like scoring as Clyde's defence held firm but a fine ball down the left and cross caused mayhem on the line. Morrison appeared to have grasped the ball but it was forced over the line by Chaplan to set up the game for the last ten minutes. Ayr put Clyde under severe pressure but again lacked the cutting edge that would have made the difference.

Overall this was an efficient rather than inspired win to take Clyde to the top of the league. Still, who's complaining about that? The defence again looked very solid and Harty showed again that if you give him the ball in the box he will score. Clyde will miss the experience and versatility of Millen but maybe it's time for some of Clyde's young guns to step up and make a claim for a starting place.

STAR RATINGS *****

Morrison **** Fine game in very difficult conditions - Bryn must be worried.
Mensing **** Untroubled all day down the right.
McLaughlin **** Back to the player we all know he can be.
Kernaghan **** Well up to standard once again.
Millen **** Showed all his experience and dig in his final game.
Ross *** Worked hard but overall a bit subdued.
Hagen *** Worked hard but didn't get in many telling crosses.
Marshall *** Some fine runs but needs to show more commitment.
Smith ** Set up the second goal but looked uncomfortable for large periods.
Gibson *** Settling into to his role as Clyde's playmaker.
Harty *** Scored and did a lot of chasing.

Gilhaney * No time to show his skills.

REACTION

ALAN KERNAGHAN - "It was a funny reaction when we came into the dressing room at the end, everyone was quite disappointed with the way we finished the game. We were cruising at 2-0 and then they seemed to have 12 men at one stage. They were putting crosses into the box and eventually one will drop and that's what happened. Before the last 15 minutes we dominated though.

"The first half was frustrating because we had lots of crosses into the box but nothing of any real quality and we also passed up on shooting opportunities too often.

"Marko's goal was a great strike and I think it was either going to take something off somebody's a*** or something special like that to win the game. Since the first day he arrived at Broadwood we've told Ian Harty to work on his left foot and he got his rewards for it today also.

"I've no thoughts of moving on at all - the media keep writing about it but I don't."

MARK McLAUGHLIN - "That's definitely the best goal I've ever scored. I don't score many with my right foot either! The Manager told us at half-time to have a go in and around the box so I just went for it"

JIMMY GIBSON - "It was a great three points but we made it hard for ourselves near the end. I don't know why - it was just one of those games I think.

"I'm enjoying playing in the midfield with Jack, he is good to play with and we have a good understanding. We compliment each other well - if one goes forward the other will cover.

"I don't see why we can't win the league if we keep working hard. Since we changed to 4-4-2 we've been defending far better as a unit, starting from the front."

CAMPBELL MONEY -
"I thought it was strange game in many ways. I don't think there was anything between the teams in the first half but they then scored two quick ones in the second, which puts them in the asendancy. However, I never felt at any time that we were totally out of it. I thought we deserved the goal without a shadow of a doubt and in my opinion we should have equalised.

"I said at the start of the season that I fancied Clyde to win the league and I didn't see anything today to make me change my mind. I think they are a good side with a few players missing at the moment. They are very strong at the back and lively up front."