If Clyde can play in such a lacklustre fashion and yet emerge with a victory and top the table then this season might be something special. After gifting an opening goal to Brechin Clyde toiled for thirty minutes before the equaliser came. Clyde then toiled for large periods of the second half before a last-gasp David Hagen strike won the points.
Clyde lined up along the usual lines with Andy Smith acting as the target man for McConalogue and Harty. New signing Jamie Gibson had to settle for a place on the bench with Halliday getting an unexpected spot too.
The game began with Brechin making the running while Clyde looked as though they’d had a bit too much at lunch. After only four minutes Brechin opened the scoring. A short corner routine allowed Mitchell to cross into the box. With everybody watching Brechin’s giant striker, Chris Templeman, Jablonski was left in acres of space to head past Halliwell. So as we’ve seen so often at Broadwood, Clyde were left trying to play through so-called inferior opposition that were getting everybody behind the ball. Indeed in was left to centre-back, Marko McLaughlin to make much of the play down the left. Clyde could only muster feeble shots from Harty, Millen and Hagen. Brechin’s goal was obviously a shock to the Clyde players and they began to look nervous. McConalogue finally sprang the offside trap but could only lob the ball into the keeper’s hands from close range. The same player found space at the edge of the box but fired straight into the keeper’s hands again. The pressure was mounting though, and Ian Harty supplied the goal that put Clyde on level terms after thirt-five minutes. A break ended with Harty recieving the ball just inside the box on the right. He worked his position and took his time before firing a fierce shot into the corner of the net. It’s safe to say that he enjoyed his first league goal for Clyde. Clyde continued to press and just before the interval a corner ended up at the feet of McLaughlin and he saw his shot cleared off the line. Unfortunately McLaughlin sustained a foot injury in the process and limped off at the break.
Despite the injury McLaughlin appeared for the second half but he only lasted a few minutes before being replaced by young Paul Doyle. Doyle took up his usual spot on the right and Mensing switched to the left. McConalogue and Templeman exchanged good chances in quick succession but the game soon settled into a familiar pattern with Clyde’s attempts to break down Brechin floundering all too easily through rushed or inept passing and some poor crosses. The remedy was obviously to bring on Mark Gilhaney who replaced McConalogue. Gilhaney didn’t have an immediate impact but it was Simon Mensing who brought out a marvellous save from the Brechin keeper. Following a corner Mensing picked up the ball on the edge of the box and swivelled to fire in a shot that looked destined for the top corner until the keeper intervened. Going into the final 10 minutes Gihaney came onto his game and began to run at the heart of the Brechin defence. Fraser broke forward and clipped the ball over the keeper but the ball was scrambled around the post. Harty was not impressed as he was free in front of goal waiting to tap the ball in. Fraser was replaced by new signing Jamie Gibson for the last few minutes. With a draw looking certain Clyde kept plugging away and Hagen got the ball on the left. He dipped inside the box and sent a low shot into the net to send the Clyde faithful wild. Brechin were out on their feet and there was barely time to restart the game before time was up.
Clyde were poor for large patches of this game and Brechin no doubt must be feeling aggrieved at the outcome. Brechin’s big forwards caused a lot of problems for Clyde and once again the need for a bit of creativity was all too apparent. Still, if Clyde can play at a poor standard and still win then there is hope for a very successful season.
Halliwell *** Sound handling when required.
Mensing *** Some eccentric moments but otherwise coped.
McLaughlin *** Another fine game until injury took its toll.
Potter **** A hard shift against a huge forward but stuck to his task.
Fraser ** Lost possession too easily with some poor touches and passing.
Ross ** Didn’t get into the game much and crossing was terrible today.
Hagen *** In and out as usual but a great goal to finish his day.
Millen **** Mr industry himself.
Smith ** Lots of effort but terrible touch and passing let him down.
Harty *** A goal and lots of application but struggles to beat a man.
McConalogue *** Showed well for the ball but poor finishing lets him down.
Doyle *** Much needed experience for the young prospect.
Gilhaney *** Took a while to get going but looks great in full flight.
Gibson * No time to do anything.
ALAN KERNAGHAN – "We’ve won the biggest Rolex you’ve ever seen today. It was poor. We were made to look average both by our own performance, and by a well organised team.
"The result is the main thing and I suppose the best time to score is in the last minute. I think our strikers thought they could take it easy because there was three of them up front. There was plenty of balls in the box in the first half that they should have got on the end of.
"I don’t want to dwell on the bad stuff because the players kept battling away and realised that the game lasts 90 minutes. We’ve got the three points and we’re happy to take them – but there’s a lot of hard work for us to do."
DICK CAMPBELL – "We’re in the First Division. We’re playing Clyde and their guys are playing for a living – it’s their job. They’re not going to stop playing, particular at home, and we were guilty of switching off in the last minute. Our game plan was to come here and keep possession of the ball as much as possible and get a goal. We did well but we’ve lost two bad goals. I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for Brechin City – we’ve showed today that we can play with the best of them."
IAN HARTY – "We didn’t play great today and we know that, but I feel that we controlled the match and deserved to win. I said the goals would come as long as I get chances and I’m delighted to get the first goal and the monkey off my back.
"I’ve said for a number of years that I could play at a higher level, and I said to the Manager when I signed that I think I can play at an even higher level than this. That’s one of the reasons I came here, to get Clyde into the Premierleague which is where I think I belong.
"We need to keep working hard and hopefully keep getting the breaks. I don’t think we’ve played anywhere near our best in the league and we have 7 points out of 9 so there’s more to come."
|August 23, 2003