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Clyde 0 v 1 Alloa Athletic

Match Type: Challenge Cup
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Tuesday, 28th August 2001
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Attendance: 1,187
Referee: J Underhill
Alloa Athletic


Clyde   Alloa Athletic
  Hutchison (55)

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Clyde   Alloa Athletic
Budinauckas Soutar
Murray Valentine
(66) Dunn Seaton
Smith Knox
Cranmer Watson
Ross Thompson
Mitchell Fisher
Millen Little
(75) Keogh Hutchison Yellow Card
(46) Okikiolu Evans (84) Yellow Card
McPhee Hamilton
(46) McClay Anderson
Halliwell McQueen
Bingham Raeside
(66) Hinds Curran
(75) Convery Irvine (84)

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by Alan Henderson

After the joy of beating the Jags last week this was the pain of failing yet again to punish a defensively competent Alloa. We know the script so well. Alloa defend in depth then take a chance and it's usualy game over as far as Clyde are concerned. You can't fault Alloa for adopting a style that they know works against us and you could even applaude their determination in defence. The damning fact is that over the past few seasons Clyde have learned almost nothing about how to break down and beat Alloa.

New signing McPhee was on from the start as was Okikiolu who replaced McClay in the No.10 shirt. The game began as expected with Clyde taking the play to Alloa in the opening spell. Only slight chances were being created and the game had developed into a midfield struggle by the middle of the half. Alloa were granting no space to make passes and Clyde were starting to play long passes that played into the hands of the Alloa defence. Clyde stepped up the pace towards the break and a neat move between McPhee and Keogh saw the big man shoot just wide. Then just before the break McPhee saw his effort tipped onto the bar. All Alloa had to offer was a back post header by Knoxie that sailed over the bar.

Clyde changed things at half time and again Okikiolu was withdrawn. McClay came on to hopefully introduce a shorter and crisper passing game. Alloa nearly caught Clyde sleeping just after the break and Knox shot just wide as a warning to Clyde to keep it tight at the back. After that it was all Clyde again. A Dunn drive from the edge of the box shaved the post and a Cranmer header was cleared off the line. It looked as though Clyde had to break through, but then right on cue Alloa scored. They broke up the park and a cross was headed back across goal only to fall to Hutchison on the edge of the box to bury his shot. Giving Alloa the lead was like commiting suicide. They simply defended in even more depth and rode their luck. Clyde had countless corners and free kicks but seldom got a head to the ball as the Alloa centre backs excelled themselves. Budinaukas had his one save of the night to make when he parried away another fierce shot after Clyde thrown caution to the wind. Apart from that it was just Clyde laying a crude siege on the Alloa box. There was little space to work in but lack of invention from Clyde played right into the hands of Alloa. Hinds replaced an out-of-touch Keogh and Convery came on for Dunn. Neither had a sniff as Alloa just bottled up the game and played out time. With so many fans expecting a trip to the final this came as a heavy blow.

It's too easy to point the finger at Alloa and Terry Christie and say the don't play the game. We'd all learn a lot more if we studied what they do and how other teams break them down. The inability to take chances has cost us dear yet again. On the positive side Brian McPhee showed some skills that in a more open game should serve us well. Sammy Okikiolu again showed up well with some great tackles and forward runs. He seemed to fade though as the half went on and he's either not match fit or simply can't pace himself. In the end it was game, set and match to master tactician Terry Christie yet again. This isn't Celtic or Rangers - it's Alloa Athletic for God's sake! Will we ever beat them?