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The boy they said would never return did and Clyde took all three points off Ayr for the first time in ages. Brian Carrigan went straight into the team in his usual wide right position and after a few minutes you began to wonder if he’d ever been away. Although he didn’t pose much of a goal threat his skill and general cockiness were a welcome addition to the attack.
With blustery conditions and a general lack of height in Clyde’s midfield/attack it was obvious the ball would have to be kept on the deck, which Clyde proceeded to do. Clyde saw a lot of the ball but neither side was really threatening much. De Gregorio took matters in hand and set off on a run from halfway beating three men but then shooting tamely into the arms of Nelson from the edge of the box. Mitchell took up the challenge also and fired just wide. At the other end everybody but Grady hesitated at a bouncing ball and he fortunately volleyed over the bar. Clyde opened the scoring from a corner kick which given the lack of height and physique in the team was a bit of a surprise. Kernaghan met the corner powerfully and it was cleared off the line but in an instant Hinds put the ball back into the roof of the net. The Ayr response never really materialised and Clyde saw out quite a comfortable half. Sadly De Gregorio, who been playing quite well, was subbed by Bingham before the interval.
Ayr were playing towards their own fans in the second half and started as if they meant business. However they were restricted to mostly long range efforts straight at Halliwell. As Ayr pressed on the game became stretched and Clyde had chances on the break. Twice Halliwell got around the back but lack of support foiled the moves. Mitchell then blasted over from the edge of the box following another swift counter. Clyde were playing deeper and deeper but Halliwell, Mensing, Smith and Kernaghan were all holding firm. Cranmer replaced Ross as Clyde tried to shore things up with another big defender. Convery also replaced Hinds to try and give Clyde an outlet. Hagen couldn’t connect with another cut back that would have sealed the game. The last 10 minutes saw Ayr right on top of Clyde using route one into the box. The ball was flashing across goal and right at the end a shot came off the top of the bar but Clyde held out for all the points.
Emerging from Ayr as victors without Keogh, McLaughlin and Millen says a lot for this recast team. The team played some neat passing football in the first half and showed some guts at the end to hold out. Ayr didn’t even get the traditional penalty! Hagen and Fraser put in really good shifts and Mensing was again outstanding at the back. Now Clyde have laid that bogey to rest let’s be on our guard to ensure that Raith don’t do the same to us in a fortnight.
|January 19, 2002