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Clyde 1 v 2 Gretna

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Sunday, 13th August 2006
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,348
Referee: C Boyle


Clyde   Gretna
(25) Imrie McMenamin (3)
  McMenamin (88)

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Clyde   Gretna
Cherrie Main
Yellow Card McGregor Birch
(75) Bradley McQuilken (40)
Higgins Tosh Yellow Card
Harris Canning
Yellow Card McHale Jenkins Yellow Card
Bryson O'Neil (22)
O'Donnell McGuffie Yellow Card
(75) Arbuckle McMenamin
Imrie Grady
Red Card M McGowan Skelton
(75) Hunter Nicholls (22)
Scott Mathieson
(75) McKenna McGill
MacLennan Townsley (40) Yellow Card
Miller Deuchar

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by Graham Murray

Both teams entered into the match nursing midweek cup defeats. Clyde were still missing the suspended Malone, and the injured McKeown and Masterton. But both teams were very keen to get started; a fact demonstrated by their appearance a full 2 minutes before the match officials came down the tunnel.

Before Clyde could get into any rhythm, the visitors had taken the lead. After only 3 minutes, the referee played the advantage when Imrie had crudely taken out Jenkins, allowing Steve Tosh time and space to find McMenamin all alone 6 yards out with the easy task of nodding past Cherrie.

Shortly after Neil McGregor found himself in the book for a foul on John O'Neil, that would see the experienced midfielder taken off after only 20 minutes of action. The referee evened the card count up with a booking for Ryan McGuffie, when perhaps both players could count themselves unfortunate.

Despite the early setback, Clyde were causing the visitors problems, especially down the left hand side and Imrie should have done better when presented with a good crossing opportunity.

The game was being played more and more in the Gretna half, but for all an increased level of possession, there was very little penetration. Crosses were being dealt with comfortably, and the ball was not being played on the deck enough for Clyde's passing midfield.

On 24 minutes, after a flurry of blocked crosses and throw ins, McGowan found Bradley on the byline, and his lobbed cross to the back post, caught the Gretna defence and goalkeeper cold, allowing Imrie the chance to poke home from close range.

Clyde were now in the ascendancy, and after some good hassling by Bradley, Arbuckle's had the chance of a long-range snap shot. Main blocked the shot with his legs, but Bradley snatched somewhat at the rebound and blazed over from 20 yards with the goal gaping. Gretna then got behind the Clyde back line, and Cherrie had to get down well to send Grady's shot out for a corner. Just before half time, and Clyde came close to taking the lead. A short corner from O'Donnell saw McGowan whip a tremendous cross in to the danger area. The cross was met well by Neil McGregor, but he glanced the ball just wide.

Straight from the kick off and Clyde continued to put pressure on the visitor's goal. Imrie was still getting a lot of success down the left and his cutback on 58 minutes, should have been met by an on rushing Clyde player, but was cleared from danger instead. 2 minutes later and Imrie was unlucky to see a powerful free-kick hit the side netting with Main stranded. Imrie and McHale then tested Main as the home side tried to get the goal their play deserved.

On 22 minutes, Clyde should have taken the lead. Arbuckle did well to turn his marker, despite being pulled back. He floated a cross goalwards that had Main beat, but Bryson could only head on to the bar from 4 yards out with the goal gaping.With 15 minutes to go McKenna and Hunter were brought on for Arbuckle and Bradley. Both had worked hard, but had done most of their good work outside the box.Within a minute and another glorious chance was wasted by Clyde. Young sub McKenna was sent clear by Imrie, with Hunter square. Unfortunately, he must have been caught in two minds, as he lost possession weakly and the chance was also lost.

With 4 minutes to go the game exploded. Robert Harris went down under a mid-air challenge by James Grady right in front of the assistant referee. Despite it being an obvious head injury, play continued and Gretna gained a corner. After the initial serious concerns were allayed, Harris adjudged himself fit enough to continue but had to watch from the sidelines as the corner was floated in. Sub Townsley rose above everyone to knock the ball on to McMenamin to turn and drive the ball into the net.

A clearly frustrated Joe Miller was then sent to the stands for questioning why the linesman never flagged the head injury. He would be followed up the tunnel by McGowan right on full time for what looked like a wild tackle on the far side with frustrations running high.

The lack of a potent strike force ultimately cost Clyde today, despite the controversy over Gretna's winning goal. The simple fact is that if Clyde had taken half of the chances their domination created, the incidents leading up to their goal would have been redundant. Hopefully the whispers of incoming talent will give the boost needed for next week's trip to struggling Dundee.