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Clyde 2 v 2 Ayr United

Match Type: Scottish Championship
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Saturday, 30th March 2002
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Clyde
v
Ayr United

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by Cameron Macdonald
Line up: Halliwell, Mensing, Potter, Smith, Fraser, Ross, Mitchell, Millen, Keogh, Hinds, Dunn (Subs: Convery, Kane, Hagen, McLaughlin, Graham)

Hopefully Clyde won't live to regret not taking full points from this encounter. They fought back to take the lead only for a Halliwell flap to gift Ayr an equaliser. New signing Paul Kane found a place on the bench but otherwise it was the same team as Wednesday night.

Given that relegation was a real threat for both teams the game began in a very end-of-season fashion. Clyde in particular were very hesitant and not stringing passes together at all. Ayr were taping the ball about well but had no punch. Clyde's touch was abysmal as move after move broke down. At least Scott Crabbe took it in hand to liven the proceedings by taking exception to a Mensing shove. Both were booked but at least it raised the interest level a bit. Clyde's best chance fell to Koegh on the edge of the box. He didn't really catch the ball well but Nelson in the Ayr goal went down in instalments and just managed to claw the ball away. Then new boy Potter made a hash of a clearance. The ball cannoned off one Ayr player to another and he stuck the ball away only to have been deemed offside from the ricochet. Jack Ross went off with a mysterious injury to give Paul Kane an early start. Fraser switched to right wingback and was quickly exposed. A long diagonal ball allowed Lovering to knock the ball down for McGinlay to volley home from about 6 yards. Clyde had little response before the whistle blew for half time.

The management reshuffled the pack at the break. The completely anonymous Dunn was replaced by Convery. Fraser switched to left wingback and Convery took the right flank and the changes seemed to work. Clyde began to press and Koegh missed the target with a free header from 6 yards. Again Keogh was put through by Mitchell but his shot was turned away by Nelson. Clyde eventually equalised with a classic third-man-running move. A Kane free kick was played to the feet of Keogh on the edge of the box. He flicked the ball to the on-running Mitchell and he slotted past Nelson. Clyde quickly took the lead via another free kick. A long diagonal ball found Potter rushing in to head past Nelson almost unchallenged. Clyde were looking good for all 3 points as this stage as they got behind the Ayr defence time and time again. Of course Ayr had Eddie Annand on the bench and they brought him on to try to salvage the game. A cross tempted Halliwell off his line when he never looked like getting it. He got a hand to it but the ball fell to Annand and he stroked the ball into the empty net for a really soft goal. Ayr went for the win but that was the end of the action and by the end both teams were content with a point.

Another mixed performance from Clyde. They were dreadful in the first half but good for a long spell in the second. But for Halliwell's mistake the season would be virtually safe. Fortunately Raith and Falkirk lost again so the gap on them increased and Clyde at least have some breathing space. Paul Kane brought even more experience to the midfield but he's now carrying more weight than he used to. Do we really want to see Millen and Kane in the midfield? So it's Kirkcaldy next week and the last chance saloon for Raith Rovers. Should be a very tight game.