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Arbroath 2 v 1 Clyde

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Gayfield
Date: Saturday, 8th December 2001
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Arbroath
v
Clyde

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by Graham Forrest

CLYDE LINE-UP: Halliwell, Mensing, Millen, Kernaghan, Bingham, McLaughlin, De Gregorio, Fraser, Mitchell, Keogh, Hagen (SUBS: Cranmer for Kernaghan (21), McDowell for McLaughlin (45), Hinds for De Gregorio (82) NOT USED: Budinaukas and Smith)

After our recent revival, this game can only be described as very disappointing. Just when we thought we could get a good run of results going and maybe get nearer to the top, this result brings us crashing back down to earth. It's not a particularly bad result away from home, and as we know this league is never predictable, but the manner of defeat was frustrating.

The game began and it was immediately apparent that this was going to be a battle. The tight park left no space in the midfield for free flowing football and a passing game was always going to be difficult on the dodgy surface. Arbroath took control of the early exchanges, without creating any clear chances. Paul Brownlie was playing well at left wing and he put in a couple of crosses that caused the Clyde defence a lot of problems. This was a feature throughout the match, we struggled to deal with their cross balls for some reason. Pat Keogh was given the best chance of the match so far in 15mins, after Jamie Mitchell had played the ball through to him. Unfortunately, he couldn't quite get enough space for a clean shot and he blazed the ball well over from just inside the box. Shortly after Alan Kernaghan suffered a bad looking head knock in what appeared to be an accidental collision. He was taken off with at least concussion - lets hope Alan recovers quickly. The home side continued to dominate and take control of the midfield, with Fraser, Mitchell and De Gregorio struggling to get into the game. Their pressure finally paid off, after 39 minutes, but it was due to a dreadful mistake by Andy MIllen. A long ball was played over the top, and Millen turned to play the ball back to the advancing Halliwell but for some reason he played it past him towards the net while under no pressure and with a clear view of the situation. Bayne slid in to finish, and Clyde went in one down at half time.

Mark McLaughlin, who clearly wasn't fit and had been struggling to make an impact, was taken off at half time for Murray McDowell. David Hagen moved back to the left wing back position. Arbroath continued to be the better side, with Andy Cargill in particular looking a very good player. He had a long range shot flash just wide of the Halliwell's left hand post. His cross allowed Bayne to bring out a brilliant save by Halliwell with a looping header. We tried hard to get into the match, but we too often resorted to long balls to Pat Keogh. Eventually though, we came into a spell of better play and it quickly resulted in the equaliser. A cross ball by Bingham was collected by Keogh, he controlled the ball on his chest and put a wonderful overhead kick into the corner of the net from the edge of the box. Another fine goal to add to his tally this season. Clyde began to look like they could win the game, and a couple of passing moves began to take shape. Pat Keogh was put through on goal, but his powerful shot (from a wide angle) was well blocked by Hinchcliffe. John Fraser then collected the ball in front of the keeper after a Mitchell through ball had evaded everyone, but after rounding the keeper he found himself out of space and couldn't get a good shot in. Mitchell himself came agonisingly close to giving us the lead soon after. He twisted and turned on the edge of the box but his cross cum shot scraped past the far post. After that we drifted out the game again, with too many players not getting involved enough. As we pushed forward to try and get the winner, Arbroath started to sit in and exploit the holes in our defence on the counter attack. Leigh Hinds came on for De Gregorio after 82mins, but before he had a chance to make an impact, they had scored the winner. A cross ball was met by Ritchie and someone appeared to swing at the ball and miss it right in front of Halliwell, which obviously put him off as he let the ball trickle through his legs and into the net. After that we couldn't get out our own half, and The Lichties could have made it 3 quite easily.

Overall we can't really complain about the result - the better team won on the day. Pat Keogh's goal deserved to be worth something, but as it is he might have to settle for Football First Goal of the Month! We still have a lot of work to do, but as long as we bounce back next week at home this result can be forgotten quickly enough. On the plus side, a good Clyde support made the 100 mile journey, and the weather was thankfully good. Not forgetting the free pies!