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Dundee 1 v 4 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Dens Park
Date: Saturday, 17th February 2007
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 3,812
Referee: A Freeland


Dundee   Clyde
(83) Hamdaoui Masterton (1)
  Bryson (12)
  Arbuckle (29)
  Bryson (38)

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Dundee   Clyde
Roy Hutton
(46) Shields Harris Yellow Card
Yellow Card MacKenzie McCann
Gary Smith Higgins
Griffin McKeown
(71) Kevin MacDonald Masterton
McHale Bryson (80)
Robertson Gilmour (83)
Swankie Arbuckle (83)
Lyle Imrie
(46) Davidson M McGowan
(46) Higgins Bradley (80)
Reidford Cherrie
(71) Hamdaoui Hunter (83)
(46) K Smith Williams (83)
Rae Ferguson

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by David Worton

Clyde's recent poor run came to a thumping end on Saturday as a 4 goal first half blitz left an on-form Dundee side reeling.

The Bully Wee chose to keep the same starting eleven which should have taken more from the game against Livingston, the only changes seeing Roddy Hunter replaced Ruari McLennan on an attacking bench and Michael McGowan captaining Clyde for the first time. Dundee fielded ex-Clyde captain Paul McHale in the centre of midfield but missed the suspended Paul Dixon.

After two recent first half nightmares, it was unbelievable that Clyde should score with their first effort on goal, within 2 minutes of the start of the game. Dougie Imrie was fouled on the left hand touchline and although Steven Masterton's effort was played into a good area it didn't appear to have much pace. However, the ball was left by a Dundee defender which fooled goalkeeper Ludovic Roy and his late despairing dive failed to keep the ball out of the net.

Understandably, Dundee tried to respond instantly and after a Swankie corner, three players, Davidson, McKenzie and Shields all saw efforts blocked by Clyde defenders. However, Clyde's midfield was comfortably on top at this point and two poor tackles by McHale and Swankie went unpunished, when some referee's may have chosen to flash a yellow card. The pressure paid off with a second goal. Robert Harris's quick long throw cut the entire Dundee defence open and left Craig Bryson through on goal. The young midfielder steadied himself before firing low past Roy with an angled left foot volley to give Clyde a deserved two goal lead.

Once again, the home side tried to respond and they produced their best effort of the half as McHale's chip released Swankie but his deflected effort was superbly saved by Hutton at his near post. A crucial moment of the game, as after that Clyde once again started to dominate. A long ball saw Imrie get the better of Shields, however despite the Hibs loanee crashing into the back of the Clyde winger, the referee chose to allow play to continue. Imrie then passed up an excellent chance to make it three, when he fired over from 5 yards after Brian Gilmour's neat chipped pass.

A third goal was coming and it arrived from a predictable source. Masterton's poor freekick was blocked, however his second delivery was a typically wicked effort which Gary Arbuckle got a head to, for his 7th goal of the season, an impressive record, given that his first came near the end of November.

At this point, a fair few of the home fans decided to leave as Clyde continued to pummel Dundee's goal. A neat through ball saw Gilmour race into the box but Roy reacted quickly to block at his feet. Remarkably a fourth goal soon followed. A ball into the box found Arbuckle, who seemed to be tripped by McKenzie as he tried to turn. The ball ran nicely for Imrie and he dummied past one defender before finding Bryson, who took an excellent first touch past the final defender before placing a low right foot strike past Roy.

After such a good first half it was predictable that the second would certainly lack the goals of the first, as Dundee took off Shields and Bob Davidson and went to three up front. Clyde created the first two chances of the half however, as Gilmour's neat turn in the box fooled McKenzie but his powerful drive was comfortably tipped away by Roy. Then, a neat passing break following a Dundee corner saw Bryson release Imrie, only for him to blaze wildly over the crossbar.

As you would expect, Clyde then chose to sit back and make sure nothing ridiculous happened and as a result, Dundee started to come into the game as an attacking force. A powerful Derek Lyle volley was their first effort of the half and it was well tipped over by Hutton. A similar save then followed from a Swankie chip before the best save of the game; an excellent reaction stop from Lyle's point blank header.

The young goalkeeper was clearly determined to keep a clean sheet but he was to be denied. The otherwise flawless captaincy debut by McGowan was spoiled as he gave the ball away 30 yards from his own goal to Swankie. His resulting effort was well parried by Hutton but he failed to get sufficient distance on his clearance and Dundee debutant Hamdaoui couldn't miss the open goal.

Kevin Bradley, Alex Williams and Hunter replaced Bryson, Arbuckle and Gilmour as the game petered out. Dundee created a final chance as Lyle saw his close range header loop into Hutton's arms before Bradley almost scored an excellent individual effort only to be denied by Roy.

Remarkably, the first half performance was arguably better against Livingston but the difference was clearly the quality of the finishing. Hutton, Higgins and Bryson were all standouts in a team with no real failures. Hopefully the confidence from the manner of the victory will inspire the team to finish the season on a high.

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