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Airdrie United 3 v 1 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: New Broomfield
Date: Saturday, 13th November 2004
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Airdrie United
v
Clyde

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by Alan Henderson

Every season throws up a bogey team. On the evidence of Clyde's league fixtures against Airdrie United, the description fits our neighbours from along the A73.

Clyde hadn't engaged second gear before they were two goals adrift and in truth never looked like salvaging anything from the game. Very uncharacteristic slackness cost Clyde dearly and everybody will be looking for a positive response next week when the former bosses and players return to Broadwood in the guise of Hamilton.

Clyde began in a 4-4-2 formation with Aaron Conway getting a chance at centre forward to partner Harty up front. Fans were also pleased to see that Bryson had recovered from his knock at St Mirren last week.

Airdrie United began the sharper team and it looked like Clyde were content to sit in and try to grind out another point. Sadly it all went wrong after fifteen minutes. A break down Clyde's right saw the ball thrown towards the far post. Airdrie had three men in the box and when Bollan failed to make contact the inevitable header back across goal was nodded past Halliwell by Coyle.

How would Clyde respond to being a goal down for the first time in ages? Not very well was the answer. Barely two minutes later another cross was flighted over Potter and Wilson with Bollan nowhere to be seen and another header, from Roberts, found the net. Clyde were all over the place and Airdrie nearly made it three from a corner.

To his credit, Billy Reid quickly made a tactical change and withdrew Bollan for Gilhaney and switched to a 3-5-2 formation. This stemmed the flow but it still took until the dying seconds of the first period for Clyde to trouble the Airdrie keeper with Wilson's header being scrambled around the post.

Clyde came out with a bit more vigour after the break and Gilhaney almost pulled a goal back when he broke past two defenders in the box. It was all for nothing though as he skied his shot over the bar. The ineffective Conway was replaced by Wilford to give Clyde more of a target. To his credit, the out-of-form striker probably had more attempts at goal than the rest of the team put together.

With Clyde having to chase the game a goal on the break for Airdrie always looked likely. When play broke down in midfield, Mensing was left playing everybody onside and Gow raced to the edge of the box and put a very clinical finish past Halliwell.

Walker was introduced into the battle and he pulled a goal back with seven minutes to go. He played a series of one-twos at the edge of the box and then drilled the ball home himself. Despite some late pressure the Bully Wee were unable to reduce the leeway any further.

To put things in perspective, this was Clyde's first away defeat since March. It was also the first time they have conceded three goals since that game in March too. A fine record indeed, but it had to go sometime. Clyde were simply caught cold and there is no plan 'B'. Clyde battled away but the cautions are mounting for Potter, Sheridan and Malone.

Now it's all about the response next week. The fans want to see some pressure applied and some chances created for Harty. Who better to inflict that upon than the former management?

Clyde Star Ratings (****)
Halliwell **** Not at fault for any goals and stopped the scoresheet looking even worse.
Mensing *** Bore the brunt of defensive upheaval us usual.
Bollan * Culpable for the first two goals and hooked straight after for tactical reasons.
Wilson ** Not at his best for once.
Potter *** Steady enough game but the damage was done early doors.
Sheridan *** Involved more in midfield battles than playmaking.
Bryson ** Loads of effort but still learning the game.
Gibson ** Spending more time leaping for headers than spraying the ball around as he can.
Conway * Very quiet game and struggled to hold the ball up.
Malone *** Plenty of enthusiasm but discipline is letting him down.
Harty *** Thankless task of chasing the ball over the top. Needs in the box with chances in front of him.