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Clyde 0 v 0 Brechin City

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Saturday, 13th March 2004
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,035
Clyde
v
Brechin City

Hide Match Report

by Alan Henderson

LINE-UP

Halliwell

McCluskey Kernaghan McLaughlin Mensing


Marshall Ross Keogh Fotheringham


Harty Smith

SUBS: Hagen (McCluskey 55), Morrison, McConalogue (Fotheringham 79), Gilhaney (Smith 55), Fraser.

BRECHIN: Hay, Miller, Deas, Johnson, McCulloch, Dowie, King, Winter, Hampshire, Duffy, Mitchell. SUBS: Clark, Budinaukas, McLeish, Smith, Boylan.

REPORT

On reflection we'd have taken a point and Palmerston and three at Broadwood quite happily but instead it was reversed as Clyde stumbled badly against an organised and determined Brechin City. From the moment Marshall missed at open goal it looked like being one of those games where in fact Brechin might run up the park and snatch a winner just like Alloa used to do. Clyde struggled in midfield and the Brechin centre backs coped easily with Clyde's increasingly desperate aerial attack. A bad day at the office but at least another point was secured.

Clyde decided to stick with Fotheringham in left midfield while Keogh and Ross formed the central midfield. Harty as you would expect was bright from the start and his run opened up the best chance of the game after ten minutes. He broke down the left and into the box. Cutting the keeper out he squared to Marshall with an open goal in front of him. From eight yards Marshall could only smack the ball onto the bar. Harty and Fotheringham both had shots well parried by the keeper but the momentum stalled and Brechin began to look comfortable. Clyde decided to change formation and went to 3-4-3 with Keogh up front and McCluskey trying to press in midfield. Halliwell pulled off a couple of fine saves from consecutive Brechin free kicks as Clyde began to lose the midfield tussle.

Clyde retained the 3-4-3 formation for the second half but couldn't find a way through a very rigid Brechin offside trap. Fifteen minutes into the seconf half Smith got pulled and Gilhaney entered the game. He had his usual impact and his first run nearly earned a goal but his shot skewed across the goal and away. McCluskey was the next to be replaced as Hagen moved onto the left and the creative role was handed to Fotheringham in central midfield. By this time Brechin were solidly in two banks of four and Clyde couldn't find a way through. Too many hopeless punts and crosses were easily mopped up. Even McConalogue earned his first appearance in ages as Clyde ended up firing high balls to a wee front line of Gilhaney, Harty and McConalogue.

For whatever reason Clyde simply didn't have the flair, energy or desire to overcome a stuffy Brechin side. Ross and Keogh were poor in central midfield and overall the service to the forwards wasn't anywhere near good enough. Had Clyde scored the early goal it would have been a different match but in the end it was two precious points dropped.

STAR RATINGS *****

Halliwell **** Some fine stops in a confident display.
McCluskey ** Game enough but not really a midfielder or full back.
Mensing *** Bit more solid than of late but passing still isn't consistent enough.
Kernaghan **** Usual dominant display at the back.
McLaughlin **** Great desire if also the occasional mishap.
Ross ** Struggled today and doesn't look happy.
Fotheringham *** Started well with neat touches but faded.
Marshall *** Saw lots of the ball but couldn't create much today.
Smith *** Graft and guts but not a sniff at goal.
Keogh ** Not sharp enough when in midfield and looked laboured when up front.
Harty **** Sharp but had very little service.

Gilhaney *** Must be due a start soon.
Hagen ** No real imapct on the left.
McConalogue * No time to make a splash.

REACTION

BILLY REID - "When you're top of the league and playing bottom of the league you're always looking for the three points but Brechin are fighting for their lives and played well today.

"It's disappointing but we're trying to turn it into a positive because we are now 7 points clear at the top of the league.

"Brechin started well but then in the second half they sat in and went for a point; and they got it. We had a couple of clear cut chances and if you don't take them you don't deserve to win it's as simple as that.

"It was just one of those games where whatever we tried didn't work for us. We tried going 3 up front and it just didn't happen.

"It's hard to comment on whether or not the stadium talk is affecting the players. We can only keep playing and trying to rack up as many points as we can. If we win the league and are allowed up then so be it."

PICTURES

TOP: Mark McLaughlin has a shot at goal.
MIDDLE: Jack Ross challenges for the ball in the air.
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Pictures courtesy of Mark Craig and