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Greenock Morton 1 v 2 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Cappielow
Date: Saturday, 9th February 2008
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 2,239
Referee: C Charleston
Greenock Morton


Greenock Morton   Clyde
(52) Millar Ruari MacLennan (90)
  McKeown (90)

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Greenock Morton   Clyde
McGurn Hutton
Smith N McGregor
Greacen Campbell (83) Yellow Card
McGuffie Bestvina
McLaughlin McKeown Yellow Card
Finlayson B Gibson
Jenkins D McGowan Yellow Card
Yellow Card Millar Fagan (80) Yellow Card
McAlistair Clarke
Weatherson Bradley
Yellow Card (71) Wake M McGowan (68)
MacGregor Masterton (83)
Robinson Cherrie
(71) Russell Ruari MacLennan (80)
Stevenson Arbuckle (68)
Graham Higgins

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by David Worton

An astonishing closing period at Cappielow saw Clyde run out 2-1 winners with a pair of goals in stoppage time.

Clyde chose to ring the changes, with Dusan Bestvina, David McGowan, Shaun Fagan and Kevin Bradley coming into the lineup, with Craig McKeown being given the captain's armband for the first time. This resulted in a strong bench that was to ultimately prove vital in the final scoreline.

Allan Jenkins was given his debut for the home side and proceeded to run the game, aided by St Johnstone pre-contract signing, Chris Millar. Although Pat Clarke looked dangerous early on and volleyed over the bar when well placed, all of the action after this moved towards David Hutton. The Clyde goalie was tested when he was harshly adjudged to have caught Ryan McGuffie's punt forward outside of his box. The resulting freekick from Peter Weatherson took a huge deflection off of the Clyde wall and Hutton changed direction well to tip past the post.

Although Morton had plenty of possession, chances were at a premium and the closest that they came in the remainder of the half was a low ball across the face of goal that was met by Jenkins, only for his goal bound shot to be superbly blocked by Iain Campbell. Ex-Hamilton striker Brian Wake then missed an unbelievable chance from 5 yards but was given offside in any case.

If Clyde had threatened sporadically in the first period, the second half was to provide even less action for the away fans to enthuse about until the dramatic late goals. Morton didn't produce much in the way of efforts on goal but took the lead when Millar's powerful drive struck the head of Craig McKeown and looped up over Hutton into the net.

The young goalkeeper was to then prove invaluable as two excellent saves from Weatherson kept Clyde in the match. The first was from a powerful volley that Hutton superbly tipped over the bar and this was followed several minutes later by a low, trickling effort that threatened to squirm over the line.

Perhaps sensing that these missed chances could cost Morton, Clyde rang the changes and introduced Gary Arbuckle, Ruari McLennan and Stevie Masterton. Fagan, Michael McGowan and Campbell gave way. Arbuckle caused immediate problems with his pace and looked to be tripped by Stewart Greacen inside the penalty area, only for the referee to ignore Clyde's claims. Masterton then pinged in a vicious shot that struck Barry Smith with the goalkeeper stranded.

With the 90 minute mark reached and David McGurn in the Morton goal having had nothing to do for the whole game, Clyde mounted their first real attack of the game and from it, came a dramatic equaliser. The ball found its way to McLennan on the edge of the Morton box and he dropped his shoulder to gain space on the outside of the defender before unleashing a superb left foot strike that fizzed across McGurn into the net. The reaction of the supporters and players told its own story; the relief of staying within touching distance of safety was tangible.

However, there was to be further drama. Deep into stoppage time, Kevin Finlayson irrationally chose to block off Bradley out on the touchline. There were shades of the opening game of the season, where with Clyde trailing, a late freekick from almost the exact same blade of grass curved into the net, only to be denied by an offside decision. On this occasion, the ball was once more whipped in superbly by Masterton and McKeown was there to head home at the back post. The small band of travelling supporters erupted and once more, the players celebrated to a similar level. There was barely time to kickoff before the referee blew for full-time.

The drama of stoppage time should not disguise that there is plenty of room for improvement. The list of good performers can be limited to Hutton, McGregor and Bestvina for Clyde and Jenkins and Millar for Morton. However, if Clyde can take their desire and togetherness into the remaining matches of the season, then the battle to avoid the drop will go down to the wire.

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