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Clyde 2 v 3 St. Johnstone

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Saturday, 14th January 2006
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,313
Referee: B Winter
St. Johnstone


Clyde   St. Johnstone
(55) Masterton Sheerin (40) pen.
(61) Brighton Scotland (42)
  James (51)

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Clyde   St. Johnstone
Cherrie Cuthbert
McGregor Henry
Malone Anderson Yellow Card
(81) Harris Stanic (74)
McKeown Rutkiewicz
Masterton James
Bryson Mensing Yellow Card
(54) Hunter Sheerin
(54) Williams Stevenson (87)
Brighton Coyle (66)
Yellow Card McGowan Scotland Yellow Card
(54) Miller Dyer (74)
Jarvie Paston
(81) Bradley Janczyk (87)
(54) Arbuckle Dobbie
McKenna Jackson (66)

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by Graham Murray

Clyde entertained St Johnstone, in front of a slightly swelled home crowd, hoping to see the same kind of enthusiastic football that had beaten Celtic 6 days previously. Clyde were hampered by suspensions to O‘Donnell and Higgins.

On a somewhat bumpy pitch, Clyde started brightly enough, but were failing to take advantage when in promising areas, and on other occasions were too prone to hitting the high ball up towards giant St Johnstone defender Kevin James.

St Johnstone began to impose themselves in the game, and had the first real chance of the match when a deep cross was met at the back post by the impressive Stevenson, but his volley was sliced and the chance was lost when he should have done better. Saints kept up the pressure and midfielder Henry was narrowly wide with a header 2 minutes later.

Clyde were trying hard enough, but just didn’t seem to have the same sparkle as they had shown on the previous outing at Broadwood, and the game descended into a dull affair with most balls being punted from one end to the other.

Saints probably realised that this wasn’t the same Clyde team who had beat Celtic and started to exert more attacking pressure midway through the 1st half. Neil McGregor had to make a superb last-ditch tackle on Scotland, and from the resultant corner, James headed the ball goalwards, only to be thwarted by Cherrie.

3 minutes later Scotland was away again after a deft touch from Coyle, but Cherrie comfortably held his near post effort.

Soon after, Saints came closest to opening the scoring, when Anderson’s delicate chip over the defence found Sherrin on his favoured left foot. His volleyed drive beat Cherrie all ends up, but luckily for Clyde the ball rebounded off the post and away from danger.

The warning signs were there, but were not heeded. After a debatable free kick was awarded after a wrestling and elbowing match between Scotland and Masterton, the ball was found its way into the danger area. McGowan made a superb diving challenge, but Stevenson was right there in support. Neil McGregor then tried to repeat his heroics of earlier in the game, but lunged in needlessly and gave away the penalty.

Although Cherrie guessed correctly, Sheerin’s drive was high and well enough placed to beat the Clyde goalie.

Only three minutes later Clyde found themselves further behind. Robert Harris misjudged a clearance from St Johnstone and Coyle produced a perfectly waited pass to release Scotland. The Trinidad and Tobago striker, then easily cut inside McKeown, strode forward and finished well.

A very disappointing end to a poor half.

After some presumably harsh words at Half time, Clyde began the Second half looking to get back into the game. 5 minutes into the half those hopes look to have vanished. After Scotland had very fortuitously been awarded a corner, when the ball had clearly touched him last, Sheerin floated a pretty basic ball into the box, but despite having men on both posts, James rose with ease and from only 4 yards out made no mistake.

Graham Roberts immediately changed personnel and brought on Miller and Arbuckle for Hunter and Williams.The substitution worked, as Miller received the ball straight away, raced towards the box, then slipped the ball to Masterton, whose shot was diverted into the net by the alert Brighton for his first permitted goal at Broadwood.

Moments later, the young striker burst forward again, but when the ball broke to Arbuckle inside the box, he tamely shot high and weakly into the goalkeeper’s arms.

The same two combined on 61 minutes, when Arbuckle skied a shot up into the air, luckily in the direction of Brighton who executed a tremendous overhead scissor kick to bring Clyde back into the game.

The big striker was now revelling in the game, and showed one piece of skill that Ronaldinho would have been proud of, when he almost stood on the ball, stopped it’s motion and made a fool of Anderson who ended up on his back in embarrassment.

Clyde had the grit between their teeth, and were pushing forward, but that ultimately meant space at the back, space that Scotland should have exploited. After he had superbly raced clear, he took the ball round Cherrie easily, dallied a little then sent a shot towards the far corner, only to see McGowan head clear. Should have been game over.

Clyde had won several corners – a source for so many goals this season, but without O’Donnell’s expert delivery and Higgins ability at near post flicks, most of them were squandered, although McGregor should have done better with a header, as should Malone have, although his header was more difficult.

Clyde had a glorious chance to square the game on 75 minutes when a deep Bryson cross was ideal for a far post volley from Miller. Having completely missed the ball, he recovered well to gain possession and set up Brighton, only 5 yards out, but he somehow contrived to blast wide when it was infinitely more easier to score. This was to prove Clyde’s last real chance of note, and in fact St Johnstone could and should have made the game safe when a cross was sent across goal for what seemed an easy tap in for substitute Jackson. But with Cherrie flapping at thin air, he managed to miss the ball completely.

Clyde were brought right back down with an almighty bump and have now lost 3 of their last 4 league games. Suspensions and injuries were evident, but the 20 or so minutes of football Clyde played showed they had nothing to fear from their opponents. Shame this play was only displayed when the game was too far-gone.

Cherrie *** - Looked suspect at third goal, and was almost caught out with basic cross.
McGregor *** - Needless lunge at Penalty, undone good defensive work earlier. Passing currently a problem.
Malone *** - Full of energy, but didn’t get enough quality in crosses.
Harris ** - At fault for second goal, and rash with some challenges. Time on his side.
McKeown *** - Crucially lost footing at second goal, and found Scotland a tricky opponent.
Masterton ** - Tends to start games well, but needs to maintain form for sustained periods.
Bryson - *** Another energetic display, full of endeavour, a little unlucky some of his play didn’t quite come off.
Hunter ** - Full of effort, but did little of note, before 53rd minute substitution.
Williams ** - Hooked in 53 minutes also, but hardly received a decent ball all game.
Brighton **** - After anonymous 1st half, exploded into life and almost got point single handedly.
McGowan *** – Like Malone, plenty of effort, but guilty of poor delivery when needed.

Miller *** - Made a definite impact on game, and drove team forward.
Arbuckle ** - Pace frightens defenders but posed little threat.
Bradley ** - Only had 9 minutes to make an impact.