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Airdrie United 0 v 1 Clyde

Match Type: League Cup
Venue: New Broomfield
Date: Tuesday, 24th August 2004
Kick Off: 7:30pm
Attendance: 1,595
Airdrie United
v
Clyde

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by Cameron Macdonald

An Aron Wilford goal seventeen minutes from time was enough to give Clyde a CIS Cup victory over near neighbours Airdrie United at New Broomfield (pictured). In a scrappy game, it always looked like it would be the odd goal which secured a place in the draw for the Third Round and so it proved.

United set their stall out early and obviously were aware of little Algerian Kerkar as they decided the way to stop Clyde playing was to stop Karim. And Kerkar certainly suffered from some very early physical challenges as Wilson and Roberts reminded many in the large travelling support that the style of the new Airdrie United is not unlike that of the old Airdrieonians.

The old tactic of "if you can't stop him by fair means then just stop him by foul" was in evidence. And with little more than fifteen minutes gone, a horrendous two-footed lunge by Mark Roberts on Kerkar saw the ex-Falkirk man become the first player to have his name taken.

Kerkar was still making his trademark runs at the Airdrie United defence but with little movement from the strikers in front of him he was having to do it all himself. Unfortunately the end product of these runs was not always effective as he looked to impress the scouts who must surely have been watching from the stands.

The first half came to life just on the twenty-inute mark when John Potter had his ankles kicked from behind by Steven McKeown, as the Clyde defender tried to usher the ball out for a goal kick. The referee quite rightly showed the Airdrie United winger a straight red card for his foolish show of petulance.

Unfortunately the extra man advantage actually seemed to make the job more difficult as the home side developed a siege mentality and resorted to sitting in deep and trying to set Coyle away on the break. But neither keeper had much to do as shots on target were few and far between.

After his goal on Saturday, the Clyde fans were looking to Aron Wilford to come up with the goals but the big striker was not timing his runs into the box correctly as he was caught offside on a few occasions which did not make it any easier for the creative play of Gibson or Kerkar.

The game was in desperate need of a goal but with Clyde finding it difficult to get in behind the Airdrie United defence it was difficult to see where one would come from.

As the half drew to a close Harty and Gibson both had their names taken by the referee, Harty for a rash challenge on Wilson but Gibson can consider himself unlucky to be booked for a challenge on Lovering. Wilford then saw a run into the box halted by an excellent challenge by Wilson.

The second half provided more of the same as the home side sat in even deeper than in the first half, but Clyde, welll in cotrol, were finding it difficult to find any space in forward areas. Gibson and Kerkar saw shots sail off target but on the hour mark a stunning diagonal pass saw Walker in acres of space on the left but the ex-Rangers man just failed to control the ball and it ran out of play.

It was to be Walker's last contribution to the game as he was replaced by Arbuckle shortly afterwards. The home side made a double substitution with Gow and Barkey replacing Docherty and Vareille but it was to be the visitors who at long last took the lead. Kerkar broke into the box but his off-target shot broke to Wilford who was left with the simple task of prodding home into an empty net.

United then tried to break forward but offered very little goal threat as a defence, marshalled by Potter, kept them at bay. Two minutes after the goal, Christie was booked by the referee for a horrific stamp on Harty. It happened right in front of the ref and was worse than the first sending off. Harty had to be given stitches in a face wound after the game.

With eleven minutes left, Harty was replaced by Gilhaney as another booking for the striker would have meant the red card and a suspension the club could well do without. The last threat Clyde offered of increasing the lead came when Kerkar burst down the left, beating half a dozen players, but his shot was tame and easily held by the keeper.

Clyde held on for the win and ensured their place in Thursday's draw and the hope of a money-spinning tie.