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Alloa Athletic 2 v 1 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Recreation Park
Date: Wednesday, 30th April 2008
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Attendance: 1,026
Referee: D Somers
Alloa Athletic
v
Clyde

Goals

Alloa Athletic   Clyde
(31) Scott Masterton (62)
(83) Coakley  

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Alloa Athletic   Clyde
Jellema Hutton
McClune N McGregor
Fleming B Gibson
Yellow Card Townsley Higgins Yellow Card
Forrest Bestvina
Yellow Card Grant Masterton (79)
(71) Scott McKay (46)
McKeown Ruari MacLennan Yellow Card
(78) A Ferguson Arbuckle (84)
Yellow Card Agnew Clarke
(66) Brown M McGowan
Substitutes
(78) B Ferguson J Gibson (79)
Bruce Cherrie
Yellow Card (71) Coakley Bradley (46) Yellow Card
(66) McAuley D McGowan (84)
Hodge Roddy MacLennan

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by David Worton

Clyde's First Division future hangs by a thread following a crucial 2-1 defeat at the hands of Alloa Athletic, in the first leg of the playoff semi-final. The home side fielded ex-Clyde striker Andy Ferguson who had netted their winner at the weekend to take them into the playoffs. Clyde were hurt by the absence of Gary McSwegan, Marvyn Wilson and Jorg Albertz, although Neil McGregor became available after a suspension and this saw Stevie Masterton move into midfield.

Clyde failed to use their extra quality to impose themselves on the early stages of the game and Alloa were quick to carve out some good chances. A short free kick by Derek Fleming saw Scott Agnew find space inside the box but his curling effort only struck the post before being cleared by the Clyde backline. John Grant was then played in after a neat passing move before seeing his powerful drive thud just past the post, with most of the away crowd believing that the ball had entered the net.

The Bully Wee responded and created two chances in the space of 5 seconds. Billy Gibson saw his powerful drive from the edge of the box head towards goal only for the ball to strike Neil McGregor in the face, before Gary Arbuckle hit the rebound against Alloa defender Chris Townsley. The home side were threatening more and took a deserved lead in the 31st minute as Agnew's low ball into the box was attacked by Ferguson, before falling nicely for right winger Andy Scott to fire home into the bottom corner.

To some extent, Clyde started to come back into the game and were denied a leveller right on the stroke of half-time. McGregor raced forward and when the ball fell to him in the box, he teed up Masterton who saw his thunderous strike crack off the post.

The second half began with a substitution for Clyde, Kevin Bradley replacing David MacKay and the wingback went on to produce his best display in a Clyde jersey, showing both pace and skill. His first action was to set up Pat Clarke but his weak strike was comfortably stopped by Jellema. With Masterton prominent in midfield, Clyde started to take control of the game and earned a deserved equaliser just past the hour mark. Ruari McLennan was fouled on the edge of the box and in the absence of Albertz, Masterton had no competition to take the free kick. His fizzing strike cracked through the wall and into the bottom corner and Clyde were back in the game.

Perhaps sensing a chance to kill the tie with an away win, the Bully Wee continued to pour forward in search of another goal and McLennan's chip to the back post was just too high for Gary Arbuckle. Masterton was then strangely removed for Jimmy Gibson, despite an outstanding individual display.

With Townsley providing an excellent performance at centre half, the Wasps were able to keep Clyde at bay and introduced two pacy strikers, Adam Coakley and Kyle McAuley to try and hit on the break. This proved crucial as a long ball from the back released Coakley and he cut inside Neil McGregor before curling a shot past David Hutton. An excellent goal but ultimately Clyde had left themselves with too many men in forward areas and were punished accordingly. The remainder of the match passed without incident and Clyde have much work to do in the second leg to keep themselves in contention to stay in the First Division.

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