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Clyde 3 v 0 Ross County

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Saturday, 8th September 2001
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Clyde
v
Ross County

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by Alan Henderson
Line up: Budinaukas, Murray, Hagen, Smith, Kernaghan, Ross, Mitchell, Millen, Keogh, Dunn, McPhee (Subs: Bingham, Cranmer, Convery, Halliwell, Hinds)

A much better but not brilliant performance from the Bully Wee. Allan Maitland took the bold decision to field 3 league debutants in McPhee, Hagen and Kernaghan. This resulted in 3 goals, 3 points and position no. 3 in the league. Hagen took over the left wing back slot and to everyone's surprise and Dunn was pushed into a more central midfield role. Kernaghan filled the left centre back role and McPhee took on the role of a wide forward. For the most part these introductions certainly worked.

Clyde had the better start but chances were few and far between. The County defence was looking very nervous at the set piece and it looked as though Clyde could profit from this area. From a corner the ball fell to McPhee on the edge of the box but he blasted it over the bar. Minutes later he tuned his marker in the box but again shot over the bar. In the meantime the fast breaking Bone and Hislop were causing problems. Twice Hislop found himself with a free header at the back post but couldn't trouble Budd. Then after about 20 minutes Clyde opened the scoring from a corner. Keogh met the ball unchallenged on the penalty spot and headed it weakly into the turf. With nobody around him he had time to regather the ball and poke it past the keeper. The second goal followed quickly after with Keogh again the scorer. McPhee broke down the right and swept in an early cross for Keogh to sweep home. McPhee then had a great chance to make it 3 goals as he beat the offside and headed towards goal. Sadly he sent his shot over the bar with only the keeper to beat.

The second half began with County looking much more up for the contest and pushing Clyde back. Budd had very little to deal with and it was Mitchell who came closest at the other end with a powerful header. On one of their rare attacks Clyde won a corner and again profited from it. The corner was cleared to the edge of the box where Keraghan let fly with a volley. It rebounded back to him and his next attempt skewed wide only to be played back into the box. Millen's first attempt was somehow stopped by the keeper but again Millen was there to fire the ball into the roof of the net. This goal killed the game and Clyde eased off. County played on to salvage some pride but the goal touch seems to have deserted them. Clyde were guilty of some very casual defending and better teams will punish such generosity. McPhee had one last chance to open his account on a break. He turned the defence inside out and curled in a neat shot that was palmed away by the keeper. On the whole a very satisfactory performance from a reshaped Clyde team.

The experienced signings make a big difference. McPhee in particular hols the ball up well for the forwards. He's physical and athletic but also has good skills. Kernaghan looks very steady at the back and mops up everything in the air. His only problem will be to remain fit. Hagen had a quiet debut but his experience showed by the way he also retained possession and didn't give the ball away cheaply. On this showing the future looks bright.