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Airdrie United 0 v 2 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Excelsior Stadium
Date: Saturday, 20th September 2008
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,489
Referee: B Winter
Airdrie United


Airdrie United   Clyde
  Waddell (27)
  Ruari MacLennan (59)

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Airdrie United   Clyde
Robertson Cherrie
Yellow Card Smyth Lowing
Red Card Lovering Ohnesorge Yellow Card
(70) McDonald Higgins (46)
Donnelly McGregor Yellow Card
Yellow Card Nixon Kettlewell Yellow Card
(67) McDougall McKay (80)
McKenna Gibson Yellow Card
Di Giacomo Clarke Yellow Card
(23) Lynch Gemmill (46) Yellow Card
McLaughlin Waddell
(70) Cardle McSwegan (46)
Hollis Hutton
Smith Trouten (80)
(67) Noble Ruari MacLennan (46)
(23) Brown Brown

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by David Worton

Clyde moved back into 7th spot in the IRN BRU First Division after a comprehensive 2-0 win over ten-man Airdrie United. With St. Johnstone, Ross County and Morton all dropping points, it gives the Bully Wee the chance to concentrate on moving up the table.

Paul Emslie and Stuart Kettlewell faced late fitness tests that saw the latter fit enough to take his place in the side. Chris Higgins replaced Emslie however, with Billy Gibson moving into midfield. The home side, who had conceded only two league goals this season, included ex-Clyde loan signings Joe Cardle and Kevin McDonald in their squad.

The first ten minutes of the game were played primarily in the home team's half and Scott Gemmill spurned an early chance to score when he fired over the cross bar. The young striker was then involved in the first moment of controversy as his high boot caught Bobby Donnolly in the face. Some referee's may have chosen to show a straight red card but on this occasion Brian Winter decided to only award a yellow, perhaps taking into account the fact that Gemmill was clearly attempting to control the ball.

On the ten minute mark, further controversy occurred and on this occasion, the referee did choose to send a player from the pitch. Airdrie captain Paul Lovering was involved in scuffles with both Dave McKay and Pat Clarke on the touchline and the assistant referee signalled that he had struck one of the pair. Referee Winter appeared to be considering a booking for the left-back but his resulting dissent appeared to convince the official to show the red card.

Predictably, this offered a considerable advantage to the Bully Wee and apart from a powerful drive from Stephen McKenna that was well blocked by Kettlewell, play flowed towards the home end. John Brown had soon chosen to push Dave McKay into a three pronged attack, with Alan Lowing providing width at wingback. The on-loan Rangers youngster was to cause problems throughout the game and a lung-bursting sprint forward saw him cross to the back post, where Pat Clarke was denied by a good clearance from Mark Smyth. The defender was called into action soon after when a neat move saw McKay play Gemmill in behind the home defence but the striker took too long to get his shot away and Smyth blocked well. In a frantic opening period, Michael Ohnesorge and David Nixon also received bookings for cynical fouls.

The away support was beginning to become restless with the failure to net the opening goal but those fears were eased as the consistent pressure paid off. Good pressure down the left allowed Ricky Waddell to find space in the box and as the home defence parted the ex-Airdrie United man stroked home a low shot into the far corner to give Clyde a deserved lead.

To their credit, the Bully Wee continued to press for more goals by retaining possession at the back and then springing forward when the opportunity arose. Indeed, the game should have been won before the interval as Pat Clarke missed three good chances. One header went just over the bar before a low drive was well held by Stephen Robertson. The best opportunity came from another excellent delivery by Lowing but the Clyde striker thumped his header against the cross bar from 6 yards.

Despite the dominant first period, Clyde chose to make two changes at the interval with Gemmill being replaced by Gary McSwegan up front to protect him from a costly second yellow card. Ruari McLennan replaced Higgins, with Gibson dropping back into the defence. The midfielder usually provides an attacking threat in the middle of the pitch and his bursts forward proved to be a consistent feature of the second half.

Airdrie didn't appear to be capable of causing problems for Clyde and McKay was first to fire an effort on goal after being played in by Clarke. Then, MacLennan's forward run saw him reach the edge of the box where he slipped in McSwegan but the substitute's strike was straight at Robertson. Neil McGregor was then harshly booked for ending a weak foray forward from the home side and with the pressure building on Airdrie's goal it was only a matter of time before Clyde sealed the victory.

On the hour mark, another creative run by MacLennan saw him tripped on the edge of the box and from the resulting free-kick Waddell saw his drive deflected wide for a corner that the former Airdrie United player took himself. From the ensuing scramble in the box the ball squirmed loose and MacLennan, 18 yards from goal, fired a stunning low strike into the corner of the net.

Predictably, the goal deflated Airdrie further and Smyth picked up a booking for dissent, whilst for Clyde both Kettlewell and Clarke received yellow cards for fouls in the middle of the pitch. McKay was then given a well deserved rest as he was replaced by Alan Trouten.

Chances continued to fall to Clyde and Clarke should have done better with a header from 8 yards that squirmed past the post after another excellent delivery by Waddell. Clarke was then lucky to escape the concession of a penalty as a free kick struck his hand in the box, only for the referee to inform the home side that he hadn't yet blown his whistle for the dead ball to be taken. At the other end, Trouten, clearly desperate to impress, manufactured himself a chance with a neat run past two home defenders but his weak shot failed to trouble Robertson. His next effort proved to be more testing for the home stopper as a superb strike from 20 yards was well stopped by August’s Player of the Month.

Billy Gibson then joined the list of booked players as he chopped down Stuart Noble 25 yards from goal. This provided Airdrie with a late chance to worry Clyde but the resulting effort managed to nearly clear the stand behind Peter Cherrie’s goal. To his credit, another good run by Noble almost saw him net a consolation but his low drive slid past the post with Cherrie beaten.

Overall, as professional a performance as Clyde have produced in a while. Although the early red card made the match a comfortable one, Clyde had started well and looked the more likely team to score in any case. An emphasis on possession was obvious and with Lowing and Waddell providing good width, plenty of chances were created.

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