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Greenock Morton 3 v 2 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Cappielow
Date: Saturday, 4th August 2007
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 3,784
Referee: B Winter
Greenock Morton


Greenock Morton   Clyde
(29) Weatherson Masterton (10)
(42) McAlistair Higgins (45)
pen. (57) Stevenson  

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Greenock Morton   Clyde
Robinson Hutton
Weatherson Potter
Harding Higgins
Yellow Card Greacen N McGregor Yellow Card
Walker Wilson (82) Yellow Card
Yellow Card Finlayson Smith (68)
Yellow Card Millar Bradley
(71) Stevenson Masterton
(79) McAnespie Arbuckle
(87) Templeman Imrie Yellow Card
McAlistair M McGowan
Trialist Traub
McGurn Thomson
(71) Shields D McGowan (82)
(79) Keenan Ruari MacLennan (68)
(87) Graham McKenna

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by David Worton

A controversial decision to disallow a Steven Masterton free kick late on for offside cost Clyde a share of the spoils in the season opener at Cappielow.

Clyde gave their fans a first sighting of new boy Craig Potter and once more a familiar face as a Trialist alongside another new signing, Christian Smith, in midfield. Clyde dominated this area early on and produced the first effort on goal when Dougie Imrie rounded a Morton defender before firing in a drive that was superbly tipped over the cross bar by Lee Robinson, the Morton goalkeeper.

Smith was offering a decent showing in the early stages and when he was fouled on the edge of the box after a powerful run, Masterton predictably picked the ball up and placed it carefully. As expected, the ball soon nestled in the bottom corner of the net after a typically powerful blast from his right boot. An excellent start.

The best chances continued to fall the way of the away side and Smith almost capped an impressive performance with a wonderful goal. His volley from 25 yards beat Robinson but smacked back off the crossbar.

After the early shock of losing a goal, Morton started to work their way back into the match, with the giant Chris Templeman causing numerous problems for Clyde's backline. A couple of smashing Neil McGregor challenges stopped them in their tracks before David Hutton pulled off a tremendous double save at point blank range to deny Peter Weatherson.

The versatile ex-Queen of the South man was soon to earn his revenge though. Clyde failed to clear a couple of free kicks and soon faced a corner. Weatherson stooped to head home unmarked at the near post and Clyde were back to square one.

As play swung from end to end, it was inevitable that more goals would follow. A wonderful interchange between Gary Arbuckle and Imrie saw the former scoop a shot over the bar. In truth, he was unlucky to lose the ball between his feet under pressure from Greacen but it still went down as an excellent chance.

At the other end, Morton were awarded a free kick for a foul against McGregor that also resulted in the first yellow card of the game; a somewhat harsh decision. The resulting free kick from Jim McAllister dipped superbly over the wall and struck the crossbar, bouncing down onto the goal line. As players started to argue whether it had crossed the line, Kieron McAnespie reacted quicker than Potter to prod home the rebound.

However, this Clyde team are nothing if not courageous and struck back immediately when Masterton's dipping freekick was headed home by Chris Higgins with the half-time whistle looming. A thrilling end to one of the better halves of football that most fans will have seen for a while.

The second half was understandably calmer but Morton's long ball tactics began to pay dividends, with Templeman causing all sorts of problems for the Clyde rearguard. With Clyde looking like they had weather an unproductive storm, Morton struck a huge blow as they once more took the lead in the 57th minute. A combination of a shove on McAllister and a handball by McGregor resulted in a penalty that saw Marvyn Wilson booked for his part in the incident. Jamie Stevenson swept home the spot kick.

Clyde strived to get the equaliser that they perhaps deserved but were lucky on several occasions as Morton failed to add to their lead. Templeman twice came close only to be denied by superb Hutton stops, before the young goalkeeper produced an unbelievable save to turn away Weatherson's freekick.

These saves gave Clyde the chance to still earn a point, however, then came the dramatic last-gasp denial of Masterton's freekick. Perhaps an offside Clyde player did obstruct the goalkeepers view but the immediate reaction of the Morton team was one of disgust at their poor defending.

Overall, a disappointing result at the end of a wonderful game of football. Credit must go to Morton who played the game in the right manner in front of a large home crowd. Clyde provided a decent display but the lack of match practice ultimately told. The main positives were a much improved display by Smith and the excellent goalkeeping of Hutton but the much lauded defence needs to tighten up for the future challenges ahead.