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St. Johnstone 0 v 0 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: McDiarmid Park
Date: Saturday, 5th August 2006
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 2,572
Referee: B Winter
St. Johnstone
v
Clyde

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St. Johnstone   Clyde
Halliwell Cherrie
Lawrie McGregor
Yellow Card Stanic Bradley
McManus Higgins
Weir Harris Yellow Card
Yellow Card James McHale Yellow Card
Yellow Card Mensing Bryson
Yellow Card Sheridan O'Donnell
Milne Trialist
Scotland Imrie
Sheerin M McGowan
Substitutes
MacDonald McKenna
Cuthbert Scott
Stevenson Masterton
Jackson MacLennan
Trialist Trialist

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by Graham Murray

Clyde entered into their first league game of the season without the injured McKeown and the suspended Malone. Masterton was only fit enough to make the bench. Clyde lined up with A Trialist at number 9, but that would turn out to be the familiar face of Gary Arbuckle.

On an unusually fine day in Perth, it was the visitors who got the game under way.

Almost from the kick off, Clyde took the initiative. The midfield and McHale in particular were using the ball to good effect and brought the wingbacks into play. After 2 minutes, Arbuckle met a good low cross by McGowan in the area, but he was well marshalled by Saints McManus and the ball looped up harmlessly into the arms of Halliwell.

Soon after some positive running by Imrie saw the ball eventually fall kindly to McGowan and his powerful drive was deflected wide for a corner.Although chances were few, the first 10 minutes was played almost entirely in the St Johnstone half.

The more experienced midfield of St Johnstone were finding it difficult to cope with the energy and speed of the Clyde midfield, which resulted in several free kicks to Clyde and disruption of play. From one of these set pieces, O'Donnell decided to try his luck from 30 yards, but although the shot was well struck it was always going wide.

Craig Bryson's running was a constant feature throughout the first quarter of the match, and after he had drove towards the St Johnstone rearguard, he slipped in Imrie on the right hand side. A shot or a cross looked to be a profitable option, but Imrie chose to use his stronger foot, and the difficulty of the attempt meant he mis-hit the ball out of play and a very good chance was wasted.

The home side seemed to take heart from this let-off and entered their best period of the game, with James and Milne heading over in quick succession, before Jason Scotland missed the game's best chance when he weakly headed straight at Peter Cherrie from only 6 yards out when any power or direction would have resulted in a goal.Clyde responded instantly, and Arbuckle found himself clean through with a shot at goal, but he poorly screwed the ball wide. O'Donnell contrived to miss the target from two yards out, but would claim he knew he was offside anyway!

The play switched again to the Clyde half, where some resolute defending was required, particularly by Robert Harris who had to clear the ball off the line twice in quick succession. The game was moving quickly now, and another great cross from McGowan found Bryson, but he could only manage to head over from close range.

The half ended with Mensing and Sheridan being booked, along with young Robert Harris.

The second half however failed to live up to the excitement of the first half, as it took fully 9 minutes before O'Donnell registered a shot. Jason Scotland also drove over after a smart free kick routine.The tall figure of Kevin James was booked for hauling down Clyde's Arbuckle, while McHale was booked for a professional foul on Sheridan.

Saint's substitute McDonald could have done better with a shot inside the area, as the match was crying out for some real quality. On 75 minutes, Sean McKenna replaced the impressive McGregor whose injury problems of last season meant he was tiring. The sub was involved quickly, when he linked up with McHale, to send Bryson clear, but Halliwell was quickly off his line to clear the danger.

The youngsters of Clyde seemed to sit back a little more, but the home side did not really threaten despite having a more sustained period of possession, although right at the death Andy Lawrie found himself in acres of space only to elect to square the ball straight to the tireless McHale, when a shot was definitely on. This proved to be the last action of the game.