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Ross County 2 v 2 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Victoria Park
Date: Saturday, 17th March 2007
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 2,145
Referee: C Allan
Ross County


Ross County   Clyde
(49) Higgins Gilmour (47)
(79) Adams M McGowan (63) pen.

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Ross County   Clyde
Tommei Hutton
McCulloch Harris
Yellow Card (76) Moore McCann (72)
Dowie Higgins
Yellow Card Keddie McKeown Yellow Card
Yellow Card Adams Masterton
Scott Bryson
(69) Higgins Gilmour
Shields Arbuckle (86)
Cowie Imrie
Robertson M McGowan Yellow Card
(76) Gunn Bradley (72)
Samson Cherrie
(69) O'Carroll Williams (86)
Webb Ferguson
Gardyne Hunter

Hide Match Report

by David Worton

Clyde's recent winning streak came to an end in wind-ravaged Dingwall at the weekend, as an exciting second half saw Ross County come from behind to take a deserved point.

Both sides fielded unchanged starting elevens and with McGowan missing the next two matches and Harris missing the trip to Dumfries next week due to impending suspensions, the pair played their final game for several weeks.

Unfortunately, the first half of the game in particular was ruined by a ridiculously strong wind. It's hardly surprising that Scotland doesn't produce many technically gifted players when they have to play on atrocious pitches in blustery gales for half of the season and at times the match was farcical, as David Hutton struggled to clear 30 yards with his kick outs. At one point, a goal kick swirled behind him for a corner. Another deep cross by Don Cowie was headed over the bar by Martin Scott.

Clyde looked more likely to play passing football and their first neat move saw Gary Arbuckle fouled by Alex Keddie, who was booked as a result. The free kick on the edge of the box was surprisingly thumped straight into the wall by Steven Masterton, who has netted numerous free kicks from a similar range recently.

The best chance of the half fell to County and, again, the blustery conditions were to blame. A long ball swirled in the wind and fell to Dene Shields who cut in from the left-hand side. Unfortunately for County, he chose to hit a weak shot that Hutton saved comfortably, rather than square for the unmarked Higgins.

When Clyde managed to get the ball down from wherever the wind was blowing it to, long periods of possession followed, without too much being created. Another free-kick from Masterton struck the edge of the County wall and an Arbuckle header fizzed past the post, with the Assistant Referee's flag raised in any case. Craig McKeown then joined Keddie in the book by kicking the ball away and the persistent yapping of Derek Adams finally earned him a yellow card, as the first half reached a close.

Clyde came out of the traps quickly in the second half, perhaps sensing that the wind would be in their favour and an early goal confirmed this. A neat move saw Imrie play in Bryson and after beating two men, he was felled on the edge of the box. With County players awaiting a free kick, Brian Gilmour moved onto the loose ball at the corner of the penalty area, cut inside the defender and swerved a beautiful strike into the top corner. A moment of true quality, made all the more remarkable by the fact it came from someone who missed from 2 yards last weekend!

Given the relative dearth of chances in the opening period, it was a shock to see County level the scores within two minutes with a hotly disputed goal. Firstly, a cross from the left seemed to rebound back onto the County player, however a corner was awarded. Then, from the resulting delivery, Masterton strangely chose to head back towards his own goal, allowing Sean Higgins to poke a finish towards the line. As Robert Harris cleared the general reaction from players and fans seemed to indicate a successful clearance, however, the referee decided to over-rule his Assistant and award a goal, a decision that amateur footage has since apparently proved incorrect. Michael McGowan was booked for his protests.

The next effort on goal came from a bizarre source as David Hutton's long, wind-assisted kick out had Tommei struggling to get back onto his line and the bounce of the ball just cleared the cross bar.

The wind was to play a major part in Clyde regaining their lead. Tommei sliced a kick out high into the air and it landed near the bye-line, where Dougie Imrie moved onto it. The winger cut inside Andy Dowie who seemed to just catch the back of Imrie's leg with his knee. Remarkably, the referee awarded a penalty, a particularly soft award and perhaps an indication that he had got the crucial earlier decision wrong. McGowan made no mistake from the spot, sending Tommei the wrong way.

County then started to throw men forward and Clyde bravely chose to keep the system to try and get the crucial third goal. Substitute O'Carroll almost netted instantly for County, as he moved clean through on goal, only to be clipped from behind by Chris Higgins. The striker admirably stayed on his feet but his effort on goal was obviously affected by him being off balance and was comfortably held by Hutton.

Much of County's play was down their right hand side, with the attacking Imrie sometimes leaving Harris exposed. A cross from Cowie was missed by Hutton, however Adam's poor header looped into the goalkeeper's arms. However, within two minutes County were level. A low shot from Cowie was superbly stopped by Hutton but Adams reacted quickest to thump home the rebound.

Play then raged from end to end as both sides attempted to score the winner. Two County efforts were blocked in the box but Clyde's pace on the break offered a bigger threat. Firstly, Imrie was denied by Tommei from close range and then a superb last ditch tackle by Scott denied Gilmour. In truth, such an exciting second half dictated that the draw would be a fair result.

Clyde will be disappointed not to have capitalised on leading the game twice, especially given their recent defensive record. However, County thumped Hamilton 4-1 in midweek and are fighting for their First Division lives, so a draw isn't such a bad result.

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