Another game and another sad defeat. Although Clyde tried in vain to snatch something from this game, the truth is they were beaten before the ball was kicked. The fans knew it, the players knew it and most importantly our host of coaches couldn’t do anything to alter that frame of mind.
Clyde changed formation and went with a back four of Okikiola, Dunn, Cranmer and Keogh. It had little effect as Ayr eventually began to tear Clyde apart. Annand was put clear but thankfully could only lob the ball into the arms of Budd. Clyde couldn’t keep the ball and all too often David Dunn was being beadily exposed by the skills of Ayr’s Teale. Ayr’s first goal came from a corner after 16 minutes. A simple head flick left Annand all day to volley the ball past Budd. For a team that has built up a strong defensive reputation losing goals like these is sickening. Ayr’s second wasn’t long in coming. Teale beat Dunn to the line and his far post cross was met by Annand to head in number two. Clyde were on their knees. The team badly needs leadership or an example to follow but Captain Jack Ross and Player/Coach Andy Millen were both silent and lost on the pitch. Half time came and Clyde were very lucky to be only two goals adrift.
Hagen was withdrawn at the interval to be replaced by last season’s top scorer, Andy Kane. Clyde did little to convince the fans they had any fight in them in the opening 10 minutes of the half. The space afforded to Ann was shocking to watch and we can only assume the former Clyde favourite was having sympathy on us. Then Clyde won a corner and it all changed. McGhee rose unopposed and headed home with the ball skimming off somebody’s head. Suddenly Clyde realised that the Ayr defence was a bit slow and struggling for fitness. Ross and Okikiolu found lots of space down the right but the final ball wasn’t good enough. Hinds did work a great position but his cutback just evaded Mitchell a couple of yards out. Another move from the right saw Hinds head over the bar.
Clyde decided to change things and it was a very disappointed Cranmer being replaced by Aitken. Millen dropped back into defence. What does this tell us? Cranmer was having a bad game? No! Millen can’t be substituted? Possibly! Anyway, in chasing the game Clyde replaced their most potent threat from the set piece with a midfielder. Meanwhile, Crawford, a proven scorer, bided his time on the bench. Ayr then won their traditional penalty in front of the Shed. Grady and Budd challenged for a bouncing ball. Grady’s foot was high but Budd bumped into him and the Referee went with the crowd. Budd had a go at Grady and was booked for his troubles. Justice was done when Budd pulled off a fantastic double save to deny Ayr the clincher. Clyde couldn’t find anything to salvage a point and it’s bottom of the league for the Bully Wee.
The Bully Wee look lost at the moment. They have no direction on or off the park. A few more defeats and Clyde will be isolated at the bottom. If that happens then we all realise that Clyde don’t have the resources to salvage that position. Things have to start happening and happening fast!
|September 23, 2001