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St. Mirren 0 v 0 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: St. Mirren Park
Date: Saturday, 6th November 2004
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 3,788
Referee: J Rowbotham
St. Mirren

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St. Mirren   Clyde
Hinchcliffe Halliwell
McGowne Mensing
van Zanten Bollan
Millen Wilson Yellow Card
Broadfoot Potter Yellow Card
Murray Sheridan Yellow Card
(63) O'Neil Bryson (26)
Reilly Gibson
(82) Lappin Gilhaney (55)
Yellow Card McGinty Malone
(57) Gillies Harty
(82) Ellis Wilford (55)
Woods Morrison
(57) Russell Conway
Crilly Arbuckle (66) (26)
(63) Baird Walker (66)

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by Alan Henderson

Another clean sheet for the Bully Wee but it was hardly the entertainment fans of both sides expected. Rain-soaked Love Street made conditions difficult but with Clyde clearly intent on not being defeated the resulting ninety minutes were a disappointment. However, to visit Falkirk, Partick and now St Mirren and not taste defeat is a great achievement in itself.

With Clyde at full strength it was obvious from the diminutive forward line of Harty and Gilhaney that Clyde were going to sit in and try to hit St Mirren on the break. St Mirren had lots of the ball but were simply sending the ball from flank to flank with no end product. Clyde, when they did gain possession, found it difficult to keep the ball for more than two passes.

In a very poor first half neither keeper was tested with a few players on both sides having absolute stinkers. Midway through the half Bryson succumbed to injury and Arbuckle replaced him in a wide right position. Halliwell had a fright when a suicidal Potter back pass made the ball spin into the air but he retrieved the situation easily.

Just before half time Clyde finally strung some passes together on the deck and Gibson had a sight of goal. Sadly just as he was about to pull the trigger a defender cleared the ball for a corner and stalemate ensued at the interval.

Thankfully the second half was more entertaining than the first but clear chances were still at a premium. Saints continued to have the bulk of possession but Clyde began to look more effective on the break. With Clyde badly in need of a target up front the obvious option was taken to replace Gilhaney with Wilford.

Clyde had a clear chance at goal when a Harty break set up Sheridan, but despite a clean strike the keeper saved well as the post. Another attack saw the ball break to Wilford but his reactive shot was well wide of the target.

The game was getting more combative with Wilson and Sheridan following Potter into the book. As the game entered the final minutes Saints seemed to have the greater desire to win the game but Clyde held firm and despite the odd scare in front of Halliwell a point was secured.

In many ways this game clearly depicted Clyde's predicament. Clyde have set out their stall for survival in this league but now find themselves on top of it after a third of the fixtures.

Will they cast off the siege mentality and go to places like Paisley clearly intent on winning the game or just be happy with not being beaten? With a suspension crisis looming for several key players it seems Clyde will keep it tight for the foreseeable future.

Clyde Star Ratings (*****)

Halliwell **** Not much to do but well on top of his game.
Mensing ** Terrible first half but found his feet as the game progressed.
Bollan **** Very steady at the back.
Wilson **** Consistent and combative.
Potter **** Well up to his usual high standard.
Sheridan ***** Clyde's key man in the trench warfare.
Bryson ** Quiet game and injured in first half.
Gibson **** Battled away and got forward when he could.
Gilhaney *** Lots of heart but little ball to work with.
Malone *** No doubting this boy's heart.
Harty **** Loads of effort but sadly not a sniff at goal.

Arbuckle ** Found it hard to break into the game and also retired injured.
Wilford ** May be in a dip but needs to show a lot more to win the fans over.
Walker *** Lot of enegy shown in his short spell.