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Clyde 2 v 0 Queen of the South

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Saturday, 3rd April 2004
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,207
Clyde
v
Queen of the South

Hide Match Report

by Alan Henderson

LINE-UP

Halliwell

Mensing McCluskey Fotheringham McCann


Ross Gibson Marshall


McConalogue Smith Harty

SUBS: Doyle, Morrison, Gilhaney (McConalogue 58), Keogh (Smith 58), Hagen.

QOS: Samson, Paton, Allan, Reid, Aitken, Gibson, Bowey, McColligan, Burke, O'Connor, Jaconelli. SUBS: McMullan, Dodds, Bagan, Payne, Thomson.

REPORT

Clyde did enough to secure three points in another less than spectacular display and increased the gap at the top. With a fierce wind blowing the length of the pitch it was always likely to be a scrappy affair and so it turned out until Clyde grabbed the lead at the start of the second period. After that there only seemed like one winner and a superb solo effort from Jack Ross sealed the points.

Alarm spread when it was revealed that Mark McLaughlin wouldn't be in the team. With Potter and Kernaghan also out it seemed Clyde were struggling for central defenders. In stepped Fotheringham and he proved a lot of us wrong with a strong display at centre-half. Austin McCann was also given his debut at left-back. Clyde began with a positive 4-3-3 with Harty, Smith and McConalogue leading the line. However the pattern of play echoed last week's against St Mirren. Clyde's midfield trio simply couldn't get to grips with a competitive and mobile Queens midfield and this resulted in a dire supply of long balls serving no purpose. The Doonhamers certainly seemed to have more purpose and method but were restricted to long range efforts without anything troubling Halliwell. Andy Smith found himself in a couple of good positions but he couldn't find clean strikes to trouble the keeper. Thankfully Queens were unable to take advantage of such a poor Clyde display as the period came to an end.

Surprisingly Clyde stuck with the same players and formation for the second period and it very quickly paid off. After only a minute the ball was fired down the channel into the path of Harty. He outstripped the defence and headed into the box. Possibly he should have shot earlier but he managed to lift the ball over the advancing keeper and McConalogue was there to stab the ball in from close range. Clyde were suddenly a different team looking far more eager and began to press Queens back. Keogh and Gilhaney replaced Smith and McConalogue to keep up the momentum. Gilhaney soon found himself in front of goal but saw his shot come off the base of the post. The second goal was coming and it was provided by Jack Ross. He collected the ball outside the box and sent a fine shot off the inside of the post and into the net. Queens tried to make a game of it but the ball wouldn't fall their way in the box as Clyde settled for the margin of victory.

The 4-3-3 formation didn't really work but Clyde still claimed the points with relative ease in the end. Importantly McCluskey and Fotheringham took the responsibility at the centre of the defence and gave very little away. Clyde are struggling to find their rhythm but we'll keep taking the points anyway. With games running out the pressure is all on Inverness and St Johnstone.

STAR RATINGS *****

Halliwell *** Not much to do but safe.
Mensing *** Solid on the right but passing was off a little.
McCann *** Sound enough debut but not seen overlapping.
McCluskey ***** Cleared most stuff down the middle and gave nothing away.
Fotheringham **** Odd choice at centre-back but looked safe.
Ross *** Struggled in a short-handed midfield but scored a cracker to seal the game.
McConanlogue ** Scored but didn't really do much else.
Marshall ** Faded in and out like his midfield partners.
Smith ** Can't be faulted for effort but looked cumbersome today.
Gibson ** Found it difficult today until Clyde took the lead.
Harty **** Often Clyde's only threat and ran his heart out again.

Gilhaney ** Showed some flashes but obviously needs more games.
Keogh ** Needs to think about his lay-offs as he causing trouble with them.

REACTION

ALAN KERNAGHAN - "It was a tense first half but I think once we scored we were able to dominate the game a bit more. I thought late on Queen of the South showed a little bit but generally I think we had them covered.

"I said to the boys at half time I was pleased defensively and in midfield but up-front we needed to sharpen up a bit and they did that within the first minute, Ian (Harty) gets through and Stephen (McConalogue) is following up to score an easy goal. There hasn't been much of a change of mood over the past week but the players are all glad that the season will be worth something if we win the league... but it is still a big if and there is a lot of pressure still on everyone. However, I told the players I would much rather have this pressure than being at the bottom of the league.

"I thought Austin McCann looked very comfortable, certainly looked like an SPL player, his distribution was good, he looked comfortable in possession and got into the right areas which I was pleased about as he only met the rest of the team on Thursday.

"I think all the back four played pretty well, Stuart McCluskey and Kevin Fotheringham won a lot of headers, which we didn't do last week, and it gave us a strong platform.

"Sat in the dugout you couldn't really tell it was windy but I thought we coped okay with it when the odd ball dropped or got held up and our first goal was helped by the conditions.

"Every match is as important as any other and we just have to play our way through them and have to be able to deal with the nerves and anticipation that comes with them. We are quite inexperienced in terms of going for an SPL place but I'm glad everything is falling into place.

"The result at Love Street didn't surprise me as St.Mirren showed here last week how well they can do. They perhaps didn't get the plaudits they deserved as everyone wrote about how poor we played instead of how good they were."

JACK ROSS - "I've made no decision on my future which is difficult as I know people have taken what I have said in the past the wrong way. It's not a case of not wanting to stay here it is just the situation the club is in at the moment there hasn't been any offers put forward so there is nothing to turn down.

"I've been here for five years and been captain for three so I have a great deal of affection for the club. It means lot for me to lead the team out on a Saturday and it means a lot for us to be in the position we are in. Clyde has been good for me and if we can get to where we want to be this season then that will be the pinnacle of my career.

"I have to score from long range as I go to pieces any nearer the goal! I actually took a horrendous touch but thankfully that didn't take away from the shot and I think everyone could see how happy I was to score.

"I thought Austin (McCann) did really well. I played directly against him when he was at Airdrie and he was always strong to play against. I thought he and Simon (Mensing) probably got on the ball the most as full-backs since we went to 4 at the back. The manager has encouraged them to do it and possibly with left-back being Austin's natural position it helped Simon do likewise on the other side.

"Losing Mark McLaughlin at any time is a blow because he is such a strong player but that is why players have been brought in for situations like that as we get to this stage of the season. We have players, myself included, who aren't doing a great deal of training at the moment and are just trying to get through to Saturday because we are carrying bumps and bruises.

"We're top and in a nice simple Scottish football world that would be enough but sadly that isn't the case."

AUSTIN McCANN - "That was my first game since playing Rangers at Ibrox in December so it was good to get a game under my belt. I was in the squad every week at Hearts but the boys in the team were doing well so I had no complaints and the manager there was honest enough to say I probably wouldn't be offered a new deal at the end of the season.

"I broke through at Airdrie at 17 and I'm still only 24 but I had to get away from Hearts to get a regular game somewhere. I'm here to the end of the season so I'll be looking to help Clyde into the SPL and maybe win myself a contract but there are six games to go and it is up to me to play to the best of my abilities for those games and leave the decision up to the manager.

"The standard of player is good here and they are doing well. I knew a couple of the boys from playing against them and they are a good bunch so I've settled in well. There are a lot of boys in the same boat as me but the main thing is not to look past the next game and everything else will take care of itself. We're six points clear with six games left so everything is in our own hands."

PICTURES

TOP: Jack Ross unleashes his goal.
MIDDLE: The players celebrate with the captain.
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Pictures courtesy of Frank Tocher and