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Ayr United 1 v 1 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Somerset Park
Date: Saturday, 1st May 2004
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,816
Ayr United
v
Clyde

Goals

Ayr United   Clyde
(72) Campbell Keogh (15)

Hide Line-ups

Ayr United   Clyde
Roy Halliwell
Campbell Mensing
Dunlop McCann (76)
Smyth McCluskey
Lyle McLaughlin
Hardy Ross
Chaplain Keogh (54)
Black Marshall
Brown Smith (65)
Kean Gibson
Doyle Harty
Substitutes
Ferguson Gilhaney (65)
Hillcoat Morrison
Mullen McConalogue (76)
McColl Fotheringham (54)
Burgess Kernaghan

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by Alan Henderson

Clyde fans left this fixture as though they'd suffered a huge blow. In fact Clyde had gained another point on their march towards the championship against a team that was fighting for its life. Yes Clyde should have buried Ayr in the first half and missed some great openings in the second but that's football.

Clyde began with an adventurous front line of Harty, Keogh and Smith. Austin McCann returned to left back following his suspension. Thankfully Clyde didn't show any hint of nerves and hemmed Ayr back in their own half. Corners were causing Ayr all sorts of problems as Clyde pressed for the opening goal. On 15 minutes Keogh was on hand to score the opener. The ball was cut back and Keogh stroked the ball home from a few yards out. Clyde looked good for another goal as McLaughlin spurned a good chance from a corner. Harty was also put clean through but delayed his shot and the chance was gone. In the last 15 mins of the period Ayr came more into the game and Halliwell was pressed into action. An Ayr corner was headed back across goal and missed the net by inches. Just before half time Harty was again put in the clear with only the keeper to beat but put his shot well wide of the target.

Clyde began the second half strongly and a sweet move saw Smith miss with a header from six yards. Keogh didn't last long in the second half and was strangely replaced by Fotheringham. Ayr's best chances were coming from dead ball situations and these were causing panic to the extent that Clyde's players were at each others throats for most of the second half. Eventually something gave when a free kick wasn't cleared and the ball was nodded past Halliwell. Clyde responded and put Smith clean through but his measured shot came off the post. Smith was then replaced by Gilhaney leaving Clyde with a very small front line. Still the chances kept coming and Clyde had a couple of strong penalty shouts when Harty and Gilhaney both looked to have been held in the box. A couple of goal line clearances allied to good goalkeeping kept Clyde at bay. McLaughlin had one great run from his own half but blasted his shot over, In a final push McConalogue replaced McCann but to no avail. Clyde had to settle for a point with the knowledge they should have taken more.

At least Inverness couldn't take advantage so it's all in our hands next week. It's a pity Mensing lost his head and will possibly miss Clyde's biggest game in decades. Anybody for right back?

STAR RATINGS *****

Halliwell *** Bit nervy in the second half but not much to do.
Mensing **** Great game ruined by indiscipline.
McCann *** Solid at the back but not much going forward.
McCluskey ***** Soaked up everything at the back.
McLaughlin **** Great passion despite the odd flaw.
Ross **** Worked very hard and deserved more.
Keogh *** Scored again but still not quite sharp.
Marshall *** Good game but plays so much better when annoyed.
Smith *** Can't be faulted for effort but finishing was poor.
Gibson *** Good first half but faded in the second
Harty *** Not his day again and looked hesitant at times.

Fotheringham ** Found it hard to adjust to the pace of the game.
Gilhaney ** Apart from one incident didn't really show.
McConalogue * Hardly touched the ball.

REACTION

ALAN KERNAGHAN - "We've been fortunate with the result in Inverness. We played ok today and created lots of chances but it didn't seem to be our day in front of goal. At 1-0 you are always susceptible to being stopped dead in your tracks by one goal.

"I was pleased with lots of things in the game; there was lots of effort and we dealt with the conditions well. So I'm disappointed in one way but not in another.

"The players are very frustrated and it's the same for everyone concerned. Nothing has been broken though and it's all teed up for next week.

"I don't think you could say it was a nervous display. We passed the ball around whenever we could, created lots of chances and would have scored more if it wasn't for some fortuitous defending or if we'd been more ruthless in front of goal.

"They went 3 up front at the end and it was 3 v 3 at the back but if you say that we were hanging on then so were they at their end. We still created a few things late on.

"It's very much still in our hands and we have to remember that. It would be quite easy to get carried away with the disappointment today but we have to realise that there's two more games to go. If we win next week we win the Championship and if we don't then there's always next week. It's important not to lose but it's always important not to lose.

"The arguments between our players are part of the frustration of it all. That's what happens. They are all desperate to do well."