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Ross County 3 v 0 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Victoria Park
Date: Saturday, 1st November 2008
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 2,205
Referee: M McCurry
Ross County


Ross County   Clyde
(82) Higgins  
(84) Gardyne  
(90) Hart  

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Ross County   Clyde
Bullock Hutton
McCulloch Lowing
Yellow Card Keddie Waddell Yellow Card
Dowie Higgins
Boyd Gibson
Strachan Wilson
Yellow Card Hart Trouten
(71) Brittain Kettlewell (86)
(46) Daal Clarke
Craig Gemmill (77)
(60) Scott McSwegan (46)
Siegal Cherrie
(71) Lawson Murch (86)
(46) Gardyne Ruari MacLennan (46)
(60) Higgins McCusker (77)
Watt Lithgow

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by David Worton

A late rush of goals for Ross County saw a good travelling support disappointed as Clyde fell to another defeat.

Once more, the Bully Wee were forced into a number of changes, with Gary McSwegan, Alan Lowing, Marvyn Wilson and Stuart Kettlewell all returning to the side. New signing Alan Lithgow was given a place on the bench, along with Marc McCusker who had the chance to make his first appearance of the season.

The first half produced one of the worst periods of football for many seasons as Clyde, perhaps wary of how good County were in possession earlier in the season, chose to sit back and keep things tight. The system employed saw Pat Clarke play behind McSwegan and his presence stopped the home team from building up any serious attacks. The solitary effort on goal came from a long range free kick by Ritchie Hart that David Hutton caught comfortably. Clyde failed to trouble Tony Bullock but did have a couple of decent breaks that were spoilt by a poor touch before the decisive pass could be played. Ricky Waddell picked up a booking for a wild challenge on Adam Strachan.

Both teams made changes at the half-time break, with Michael Gardyne replacing Dyron Daal for County and Ruari MacLennan replacing McSwegan for Clyde. This change saw Clarke move out onto the left wing, with Scott Gemmill becoming the lone striker. The changes opened the game out to some extent and Clyde were to spurn several good chances to take the lead. Firstly, Gemmill bustled his way past a couple of chances before striking a ferocious effort just past the post with Bullock beaten. Then, a neat move saw Alan Trouten reach the bye-line and cut back for Kettlewell, only for the captain to scuff his shot. From the loose ball, Pat Clarke thought he had headed in the opener, only for the goal to be rightly ruled offside.

Ross County then thought they had nicked the lead when Steven Craig met Strachan’s cross with a powerful header, only for Hutton to change direction superbly and parry the shot away. This looked to be crucial as just minutes later, MacLennan won a tackle in midfield and the ball was played instantly over the top of a static County defence for Clarke. The striker had only the ‘keeper to beat but his left foot shot was well stopped by Bullock’s leg, before Gemmill somehow headed wide of the open goal from the rebound. Alex Keddie and Hart both then picked up bookings for the home side who replaced Martin Scott and Richard Brittain with Sean Higgins and Paul Lawson. McCusker then made his first appearance of the season, replacing Gemmill.

Due to the half-time changes, Clyde were being left exposed down their left hand side and from a cross from this area, Keddie fired in a powerful drive that Hutton did well to clutch just under his cross bar. With just 8 minutes to go, this failing in Clyde’s set-up saw County net the crucial opener as Strachan’s ball into the box eventually fell for Higgins and the young striker neatly slotted the ball past Hutton.

After plenty of hard work, this late drama predictably took its toll on Clyde and within a minute, the game had been sealed in Ross County’s favour. Gardyne burst through the centre and neatly flicked the ball over Waddell, before volleying low past Hutton to give his side an undeserved cushion.

If that goal put an unfair reflection on the score line, then the third merely poured copious amounts of salt into the Bully Wee’s gaping wounds. Trouten, who had another decent game overall, underhit a pass to Wilson and after a quick interchange of passes, Strachan burst clear behind the home defence before squaring to Hart who had a simple task to tap home into the net.

It is true of most leagues that netting the opening goal in a game is crucial, however, the statistics show that amongst all eight British leagues, this is most vital in the Scottish First Division. Similar to the recent matches with Dunfermline and Queen of the South, the match was a tight affair until the opposition netted the opener. Unlike the recent game at Morton, there were several good performances with Higgins and Wilson the standouts.

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