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Airdrie United 2 v 4 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: New Broomfield Park
Date: Saturday, 19th March 2005
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,641
Airdrie United
v
Clyde

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by Alan Henderson
Obviously many thought this had 0-0 written all over it as Clyde would predictably try to grind out a draw. How wrong they were proved to be as Clyde scored four times away from Broadwood - and when was the last time they did that?

Clyde opted for a 3-5-2 formation that once again saw Mensing pushed into midfield. In the first couple of minutes Gilhaney was given loads of space and on his second run he charged into the box and the referee deemed he was felled by the keeper. Harty made easy work of the penalty.

Airdrie shrugged off the setback and straight away set about making amends. A comical corner saw the ball coming off the bar and then cleared off the line twice as Clyde looked all at sea. The pressure continued and another corner saw Hardie rise unchallenged in the eighth minute and nod into the net for the equaliser.

Halliwell and his defence were looking very uncomfortable as Airdrie sensed more goals. Crosses and corners were causing all sorts of problems but Clyde rode out that sticky patch. Midway through the half, Clyde conceded another soft goal. A simple punt down the middle was flicked on to Coyle and he outpaced Bollan and Balmer to stab the ball beyond Halliwell to make it 2-1 for Airdrie United after twenty-five minutes.

Almost straight away Clyde had a golden chance to equalise but Harty delayed too long when put through on the keeper and the ball was pushed away for a corner. This setback didn't deter Clyde though and within four minutes were back on level terms. Graham Jones met a corner to powerfully head into the net.

The best was yet to come though. Five minutes after Clyde's equaliser, a ball fired to Harty was allowed to bounce once before the striker thumped a looping volley over his shoulder and into the far corner of the net.

While all this going on, Gow seemed intent on taking on Clyde by himself and was very unfortunate on a couple of occasions especially when a shot came back off the post. Five goals before half time was something of a change for the faithful.

At half time it was obvious that this was anybody's game and the next goal would be vital. Airdrie began the second half with a flurry but Clyde were to gain a two-goal advantage eleven minutes into the second period. Gilhaney's run was brought to an abrupt end at the edge of the box and when the resulting free kick was fired into the box the striker was able to get enough on the ball for it to squirm past the keeper and into the net.

So at 4-2 and with thirty minutes to play the game was still wide open. Airdrie had the bulk of the play but Clyde also managed some sweet moves on the break. Sadly the referee began to view every tackle as life-endangering and produced a flurry of yellow cards that will hurt Clyde once again in the later stages of the season.

Clyde saw out the game reasonably comfortably as Airdrie were maybe trying just too hard to pull something back.

Following the goalless spell this was a very welcome change. Both defences were very generous but that's what makes for an exciting game. Harty enjoyed his hat-trick and it was good to see the lads with smiles on their faces. It's just a pity with Falkirk dropping points that Clyde didn't turn any of the recent encounters into wins to put pressure on the Bairns.

Clyde Star Ratings (*****)

Halliwell *** Very wobbly start but regained his composure.
Mensing **** Showing his power and ability in midfield.
Bollan *** Struggling for pace but using his experience well.
Balmer *** Always game but again pace is a problem.
Potter **** Unusually slack at the start but as mean as ever later on.
Sheridan **** Competed and cajoled as we expect him to.
Burns **** Looking far more interested but still too casual at times.
Gilhaney **** Made some telling runs and earned some great positions.
Jones **** The target that Clyde badly need up front.
Malone **** Solid at the back and getting forward too.
Harty **** Getting among the goals again at last.

Arbuckle ** Some good touches in his brief spell.
Bradley ** Hardly on long enough to touch the ball.