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Clyde 2 v 0 Raith Rovers

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Saturday, 16th October 2004
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Clyde
v
Raith Rovers

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by Alan Henderson

Clyde could easily have slipped on their third banana skin this season with lowly Raith Rovers coming to visit, but an entertaining game saw the Bully Wee keep another clean sheet and produce two first half goals to secure a win. The international break had obviously done Clyde some good as both the starting eleven and the bench looked strong and overall, especially in the first half, the team had a lot more zip about them.

Clyde opted for an ambitious 3-4-3 formation to start with and both Conway and Gilhaney were promoted to starting positions. Rovers were obviously fired up by the return of prodigal son, Gordon Dalziel, and it was no surprise they seemed intent on taking the game to Clyde.

In the early stages Clyde's right side of Mensing, Bryson and Gilhaney saw most of the play but neither side could muster a real threat on goal. Conway had a surging run brought to an abrupt halt just out side the box after about ten minutes. He took the resultant free kick but missed at the far post only for the referee to deem the wall had charged early. Unperturbed by this he calmly stepped up again and slotted the ball away at the near post for his first goal in Bully Wee colours.

Rovers tried to hit back but a fine save from Halliwell kept them at bay. Further fine work from Conway left Harty with a great chance but the striker couldn't keep the ball down from only twelve yards out with the goal gaping. Rovers were causing problems down Clyde's left to the extent that Malone fell back to give Clyde four at the back but Clyde still looked sharp as Rovers' defence tried to hold a defensive line high up the pitch.

Rovers almost snatched an equaliser as a deflected cross was nodded just wide of Halliwell's near post. Clyde then gained a decisive lead from another set play. After some nonsense over ten yards, the ball was swung into the Rovers box and it fell to Potter. He could only stab the ball forward but Wilson was lurking at the far post and nodded the ball back over the keeper and into the net for his first Clyde goal.

The second period began with Rovers trying to find a way back into the game but Clyde should have extended their lead as neat interplay between Harty and Bryson saw the youngster fire over the top from only a few yards out.

To their credit, Rovers kept the pressure on as Clyde stepped off the gas and looked worthy of a goal as a few headers were nodded wide of the target. A stramash in the Rovers box saw Gibson's shot diverted wide with very strong claims for a penalty but to no avail. The introduction of Daly caused Clyde problems and the winger was very unlucky to see his scissor-kick rattle off the bar.

Walker replaced Gibson as Clyde tried to steady the ship but Rovers kept trying to make a game of it. However Halliwell and his defence were not in the mood to concede a goal and Clyde played out the rest of the game with comparative ease with Arbuckle and Wilford getting brief spells too.

Clyde could easily have slipped up here but some fine finishing and great defending made the difference. Rovers under Dalziel will start taking points off others teams so to get another win over them is a real bonus. The game next week needs no introduction and Clyde can go there with a degree of confidence.

Clyde Star Ratings (*****)

Halliwell ***** Becoming a model of confidence and consistency.
Mensing **** Back to his powerful best.
Malone *** Solid enough but still waiting to see the lad turn it on.
Wilson ***** Super display once gain.
Potter **** Another performance to cement the captaincy.
Sheridan **** Knows the game inside out.
Bryson **** Skill and enthusiasm in abundance.
Gibson *** Getting there but the passes and runs aren't quite clicking yet.
Conway *** Great goal and some deft touches.
Gilhaney **** Back to his best in a display full of running.
Harty **** Missed his main chance but never stopped chasing hopeless causes.

Walker ** Helped shore up the midfield.
Arbuckle * No time to make an impact.
Wilford * Played up front and at the back but no time to shine.