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Clyde 0 v 0 St. Mirren

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Tuesday, 8th March 2005
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Attendance: 1,002
Clyde
v
St. Mirren

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by Alan Henderson
Need you be surprised at the result of another Clyde and St Mirren encounter? To be fair this encounter contained more incident and was more open than the last three matches combined. When St Mirren crashed the ball off the underside of the bar in the dying minutes you just knew it wasn't going to happen. Neither side possessed the coolness or the luck to triumph.

If the elasticity of Clyde's small squad wasn't stretched then it was at least as near to breaking point as you would like to go. With Sheridan suspended it was a blow to see that Gibson and Jones were also absent. That left Clyde with the unusual sight of Mensing partnering Harty up front. Balmer was forced to assume a right-back role and Malone was playing an unfamiliar central midfield role. With others carrying knocks it was obvious this was going to be a tough night for Clyde.

As expected Saints looked sharper from the start and it was obvious they wanted to exploit Balmer's lack of pace. Although Mensing was making an admirable job of winning aerial battles the midfield support wasn't there. Thankfully Halliwell was as dominant as ever and although Saints had many good chances they either fluffed them or Halliwell was up to the task.

At the other end Hinchcliffe was kept on his toes pulling off fine stops from Gilhaney and then Mensing's powerful strike. Despite reaching half time with no score once again it seemed that considering the number of chances and good saves there must be goals in this game.

Clyde made an immediate change for the second period with struggling Bryson being replaced by the equally young 'Taz' Bradley. For a spell Clyde seemed to settle and gain a hold on the game but the sheer physical presence and speed of Saints was always going to be a problem.

Clyde thought they'd cracked it when Wilson met a corner but saw his header tipped onto the bar. Manager Reid then took the awkward decision to retire Clyde's main (only?) goal-threat, Ian Harty, from the game. Arbuckle and Mensing then made an unusual front pairing for a while.

As the half progressed Clyde began to tire and although still game they were often being exposed on the break. It was only due to some last-gasp pressure and poor finishing that Saints didn't prosper.

Gardiner replaced Burns to try and give Clyde some impetus but as the minutes ticked on it looked like the inevitable was looming. So when Saints crashed the ball off the inside of the crossbar the fate of the game was sealed.

How two teams can battle out four consecutive 0-0 draws in inconceivable. Saints may rue their finishing but the spirit and tenacity of a depleted and tired Clyde team could only be admired. Clyde are safe with fifty points and a full quarter of the season still to play. Who wouldn't have taken that at the start of the season?

Thank goodness these teams didn't meet in the cups this season!

Clyde Star Ratings (*****)
Halliwell ***** Definitely not in the mood to concede a goal.
Mensing **** A promising debut at centre forward.
Bollan **** Got his head to most things.
Balmer *** Stout defending but awful distribution.
Potter ***** Appetite and desire for all to see.
Burns *** Talented but tired.
Bryson ** Struggling with injury and fatigue.
Wilson *** Troubled first period but held firm in the second.
Harty *** Fought well but gave away lots of valuable possession too.
Malone *** Not at ease in the centre but battled away to stem the tide.
Gilhaney *** Some exiting runs but faded in the second half.

Bradley *** Some good surges forward but looked outmuscled at times.
Arbuckle *** Games at centre forward may see some reward in goals.
Gardiner ** Hard to make an impression as Clyde faded towards the end.