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Clyde 3 v 0 Airdrie United

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Saturday, 18th April 2009
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Attendance: 1,614
Referee: S McLean
Airdrie United


Clyde   Airdrie United
(5) Waddell  
(61) Ruari MacLennan  
(74) Ruari MacLennan  

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Clyde   Airdrie United
Hutton Robertson
(51) T Stevenson McLachlan Yellow Card
Yellow Card (72) Waddell Nixon (67)
Higgins Smyth
Brown Donnelly
Lithgow McLaughlin
Trouten Smith Yellow Card
Kettlewell McKenna
(67) Winters Di Giacomo
Tade Lynch (32)
McLaren Baird
McSwegan McDonald (32)
Cherrie Hollis
Yellow Card (51) Ruari MacLennan McDougall (67)
Yellow Card (72) McKay Hazley
(67) Gemmill Lovering

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by Graham Murray

Clyde fans knew that a defeat meant it was near enough game over as far as First Division status was concerned, and on “Unity Day” the team finally united together and put on one of the best performances of the season when it mattered most.

A pre-match injury to Pat Clarke meant that Winters started up front ably assisted by Tade and McLaren in support. With Gibson out for the season, Ricky Waddell came in on the left hand side, and every time Waddell has scored for Clyde this season, the team have won the game.

The omens were good when Waddell opened the scoring after only 5 minutes, when Tade combined initial tenacity with dribbling and crossing panache to leave Waddell the simplest of tasks to fire home from close range.

Clyde continued to press and could and should have added to their lead. With pace and purpose Clyde were threatening regularly. McLaren, faced with a two-on-one advantage, perhaps delayed the final pass too long as when it came it fell just behind Winters. Then Winters dallied in the box from only 8 yards and lost the initiative.

The same two players were involved soon after, when Winters' glorious cross-field pass found McLaren, who cut inside onto his favoured left and curled inches wide.

The closest Clyde came to painting a more accurate reflection on the scoreline came just before half-time, when excellent link-up play from McLaren and Winters saw the latter cross near post for the supporting Trouten, only for his deft flick to be superbly turned over by Robertson.

The obvious worry was that the fine first half performance was not reflected in the score line. The Clyde players obviously thought the same, as they started the second half 10 yards deeper and invited Airdrie to come at them.

After a couple of routine saves for Hutton, and a wild miscued clearance from the otherwise superb Mark Brown, Hutton’s save from John Baird probably turned out to be the turning point. Ex-Clyde youngster Baird will probably not catch a shot any sweeter, but Hutton was equal to it, somehow tipping the ball onto the junction of post and bar.

Because Clyde were sitting so deep, Airdrie were liable to be caught by a counter attacking Clyde and just after the hour mark, Clyde extended their lead.

Winters was sent clear and wide, but lacked support. He used all his experience to hold the ball up and pass inside to Kettlewell.  The skipper for the day slipped a great ball inside the box for McLaren, who then appeared to slice the ball the wrong way – away from goal and across the edge of the 18-yard box. Good thing for Clyde, substitute MacLennan was supporting from midfield and cracked a lovely 18-yard left footed volley beyond Robertson.

Clyde almost added a third when, Winters again held the ball up well, and sent McLaren away through on goal with only Robertson to beat. It looked odds on that the winger’s attacking play would bring a goal, but he scooped the ball over the bar from 18 yards.

With just over 15 minutes to go Clyde received a gift. McKay’s through ball intended for MacLennan was cut out by an Airdrie defender and found its way back to Robertson. The keeper, instead of hoofing it clear first time, took a bad first touch then tried to turn inside MacLennan from two yards out, completely missed the ball and MacLennan knocked the ball home.

Despite the comfortable scoreline, there should have been more. McLaren was too over elaborate in the box when he should have had a shot with his weaker right foot, and Gemmill had two chances. The first saw him clip the ball over from close range after great work from McKay, and the second saw him shoot straight at Roberston after the ball was fed to him on the left flank.

Another goal would have brought Clyde level on goal difference with Airdrie albeit still with a point to claw back. Before the game it seemed unlikely that a play-off spot would be achievable, but three more performances of belief, the right formation, hunger and finally skill may well see us leapfrog a desperate looking Airdrie side whose confidence must be low now, and who face the tougher of the run-ins in the final three games.

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