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Clyde 2 v 2 Stenhousemuir

Match Type: League Cup
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Tuesday, 11th September 2001
Kick Off: 12:00am
Clyde
v
Stenhousemuir

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by Graham Forrest
Clyde: Halliwell, Murray, Hagen, Smith, Kernaghan, Okikiolu, Mitchell, Millen, Hinds, Bingham, McPhee. SUBS: Ross (Bingham 45), Crawford (Murray 45), Dunn (Okikiolu 91), Convery, Budinaukas.

The first half began in fairly slow fashion, after a minute's silence for the victims of the terrible attacks in America had been observed. A much-changed line up from Saturday saw Ross and Dunn rested with Keogh out injured. Okikiolu replaced Ross at right wing back, Bingham came into midfield for Dunn and Leigh Hinds made a welcome appearance up front. The first chance of the match came when David Hagen connected with a cross from the right at the back post, but he couldn't direct his header. A mazy run from Leigh Hinds led to a shot from the edge of the box, but it sailed just wide. After a poor spell of play, Stenhousemuir broke up the park, Murray was beaten on the left hand side to allow the forward to round Halliwell and cut the ball back for Abbot to smash the ball high into the net. Familiar defensive frailties on show. Clyde then failed to make any impact on the Stenhousemuir defence, too many passes were going astray and there was no penetration through the middle of the park, any Clyde attacks were coming down the wings. Again familiar stuff. Brian McPhee was the only player at this stage who looked like causing Stenny any problems. A tactical switch by Allan Maitland saw Bingham moved to right wing back to allow Sammy to move into midfield, letting Jamie Mitchell slot in behind the front men. This didn't have any effect before half time arrived. Craig Bingham was booked early on in the half for a late but clumsy challenge that the Stenny player made a meal of.

Clyde came out in the second half and looked a lot more in the mood. Jack Ross came on to replace Bingham in his right wing back role, and Brian Crawford came on for Murray to boost the attack. Sammy was moved to Murray's right back position. A good move involving Ross led to a Mitchell cross being well held by the Stenny keeper. After good pressure, the ball fell to Mitchell at the edge of the box. His looping left footed shot came back of the bar, but the ever reliable Brian Crawford neatly headed the rebound into the corner to make it 1-1 after 55mins. Soon after, a low, powerful Brian McPhee shot went just wide from outside the box. This was Clyde's best spell of the match, but again they failed to take the chances on offer to kill the match. A great long pass by Kernaghan released Hagen through on goal. He tried to place his shot round the on rushing goalkeeper but it trickled wide - a good opportunity missed. The Jamie Mitchell picked the ball up just inside the Stenhousemuir half, and a few skinned players and lucky breaks later and he was in the box with only the keeper to beat. From where I was sitting, it looked clearly as though Mitchell was brought down from behind, but the referee (who had a dreadful night) said he stumbled. A Leigh Hinds special form 25 yards then fizzed against the high side netting. A Stenhousemuir player was then stretchered off and taken to hospital with what looked like a bad injury. Stenhousemuir weren't in the game at this stage, it was all Clyde, as a Jack Ross cross was flicked on by McPhee in the box, but it drifted agonisingly past the far post out of play. In a rare forage up the park, Simon Vella (on trial at Clyde pre season) headed a cross back across goal but there was no takers. Clyde's last effort on goal was by Brian Crawford. A powerful header by the ever-impressive Kola sent Crawford through, but he fluffed his attempted lob of the keeper from range. The last 5-10 mins were poor for Clyde, they made no real impression on the Stenny goal and the match went into extra-time.

Sammy had to come off before the start of extra time after picking up what looked like an ankle knock, so David Dunn replaced him. Andy Millen moved back into the defence. Immediately after the restart, Brian McPhee had a glorious chance to put Clyde in the driving seat. A cross from the left allowed him a free header right in front of goal, but he headed straight at the keeper and couldn't finish the resulting scramble. Clyde paid for this mistake shortly after. In 93mins, a pass by a Stenny midfielder sliced open a static and slow Clyde defence. Ferguson raced through and put the ball past Halliwell and into the top corner to spark big celebrations in the Stenny bench. Their joy was short lived, as Crawford once again showed his undoubted goal scoring ability. A minute after Stenny's goal, he picked up a loose ball in the box and smashed the ball into the bottom corner. By now, Chris Wood had come on for Stenhousemuir and he looked impressive. A cross from the far left found Ross sliding in but his low shot crept wide. Leigh Hinds then ran through the Stenny defence, but after being forced wide the keeper saved well. At the other end, Wood brought out a good save from Halliwell after a neat turn. Wood was causing Clyde all sorts of problems, and after beating Millen in the box, he forced Halliwell to produce a superb save from close range. Euan Donaldson ended Clyde's last attack of the first extra half by making a good tackle on Mitchell in the box.

The second half began with Stenny now looking the better, and more worryingly, fitter side. Wood fired the ball wide after a neat backheal. The same player crossed into the box and Ferguson hit the bar with a header, Halliwell possibly got a touch on it. Clyde's only effort came from Dunn but his volley was well held by the keeper. Towards the end of the match Clyde were holding out and a shot was spilled by Halliwell but Hagen cleared to save the match for Clyde. The match then went on to penalty kicks, which Clyde eventually won 4-2. Crawford, Smith, Mitchell and Millen all scored expertly for Clyde while David Dunn hit the post. Bryn Halliwell produced two excellent saves to win the match for Clyde. Brian Crawford was rightly named Man of the Match by the sponsors, his goalscoring ability cannot be overlooked.

Overall, a disappointing performance by Clyde. With home advantage, I'd be expecting a comfortable victory to see us through. Players were rested and it was a considerably different side to Saturday's, but the performances of some players tonight have to be questioned. Also, I was shocked that our players looked just as tired, if not worse, than the Stenny players towards the end of the match. I'm sure you'll discuss these points on the Message Board! On to the next round then.