Clyde completed their first quarter of the season with a comfortable win over Arbroath but it was the manner of the victory that was most pleasing, with the 3-0 scoreline fully showing their superiority.
The side featured one change to the team that defeated Stenhousemuir, with the suspended Robert Halliday being replaced by Gary Muir. Jamie Doyle also replaced Jay Lang on the bench. Barry Sellars was the solitary ex-Clyde man in the Arbroath team.
Despite the excellent performance things could have been so different had the Red Lichties taken the early chance that fell to top scorer Bryan Scott. A long ball was missed by Mark Casey to leave the striker through on goal but he pulled a weak effort past the post. Steve Hislop, the striker that netted Inverness’s crucial goal at Broadwood back in 2004, then fired high over the bar when well placed. However, that was pretty much the end of Arbroath’s threat as Clyde started to dominate, particularly due to Marvyn Wilson’s influence on the game. Throughout the 90 minutes, play was spread out to the full backs in order to retain possession and gradually the Bully Wee wore down their opponents. The first chance fell to Steven Howarth who was released in the box after a neat passing move but his poked effort was well stopped by Darren Hill.
Willie McLachlan continued in the midfield role that he played in on Saturday and his energy and work-rate were impressive throughout. Clyde fans are also aware that he possesses a venomous shot and Hill was soon to realise this. First, a powerful shot from 25 yards needed to be tipped over the crossbar by the ‘keeper and this was followed up minutes later by a daisy-cutter that cracked off of the post.
Clyde’s dominance finally paid off in the 27th minute. Ally Park launched a free-kick into the box and from Howarth’s knockdown, Willie Sawyers reacted quickly to knock home his second goal in two games. The Bully Wee continued to push for a second goal and came close particularly from some excellent corners by Connor Cassidy but despite their good work though Arbroath could have levelled just before the interval. Minutes earlier, Scott had been denied by the onrushing Reidford who took a blow to the head in the process but on this occasion it was the striker that won the race for the ball. His pull-back found Hislop but his attempt to find the open goal was superbly blocked, first by Park and then by Casey.
The first chance of the second half also fell to the home team as Scott headed Dermot McCaffrey’s cross past Reidford’s near post. Clyde were continuing to dominate possession but perhaps due to the amount of decent chances the home side were creating the Bully Wee upped the tempo of their play and were duly rewarded. Sawyers did superbly to go past a couple of defenders, only for him to be tackled on the edge of the box but Park moved onto the loose ball and curled a cracking left-footed effort into the top corner of the net.
Clyde continued to pummel the Arbroath goal and Alan Lithgow was only denied a goal by the crossbar. The woodwork was aiding Arbroath and Clyde struck it for the third time when a combination of the crossbar and Hill kept out Muir’s long range drive. From the resulting corner, Muir unbelievably struck the bar with a header only for Howarth and Casey to combine to turn the rebound into an easy chance that Sawyers wasn’t going to miss.
Predictably, the third goal led to an element of relaxation moving into Clyde’s play and although Wilson continued to dominate the ball, fewer chances were created. Indeed, the best chances all fell to Arbroath, the first falling to the luckless Scott who fired a shot across Reidford and against the inside of the post. The goalkeeper may have got a touch to the shot but he definitely deserved his clean sheet after a latter stop from substitute Ciaran McMullan who had ran in behind Cassidy. More substitutions broke up the play with Paul McLeod, Connor Stevenson and Alan McFadden replacing Howarth, Wilson and Muir and when Sellars fired in a 20 yard free-kick that threatened Forfar more than Reidford’s goal, Arbroath’s final chance for a consolation was lost.
Everything about this display was pleasing from a Clyde point of view. The team looked organised and retained possession well, whilst the front pairing of Sawyers and Howarth caused problems throughout. Muir impressed with an energetic performance but the truth is that the word energetic could have applied to any of the players. Even at 3-0 in stoppage time, the likes of Casey and Park were throwing their bodies in the way of the ball. Given the way that this team was put together, to finish the first quarter of the season with 10 points is a decent achievement and gives hope for the future.
|October 14, 2009
|Scottish League One