Clyde entertained league leaders Gretna at Broadwood looking to build on their impressive 4-1 victory over Dundee the previous week. Unsurprisingly, Clyde retained the same team.
Gretna were first to threaten when a McMenamin cross was met by Grady, but the diminutive striker had little chance to convert and headed over.
Clyde then started to gain control of the ball in difficult conditions, and they would go on to relinquish very sparingly in meaningful possession for the remainder of the game.
After robbing McGuffie of possession in midfield, the calm and composed Bryson fed the ball back to McKeown who switched the play to the left hand side to Harris. The young full back then played a one-two with Imrie, before releasing Gilmour on the left wing. The youngster retained possession before sending over a dangerous cross that was headed clear by Innes. In most circumstances, the defender would have done his job adequately, but, in a moment of real quality, Steve Masterton watched the spinning ball drop from the sky before volleying superbly past Main from 20 yards to give Clyde a wonderful lead after only 5 minutes.
If there were any fears of a Gretna comeback, they were allayed, simply because the far hungrier Clyde team didn’t allow it to happen and the home side continued to create chances.
The first of those occurred when a combination of Imrie and Bryson worked tirelessly to rob Graham of possession before feeding Gilmour, who intelligently held up play then fed the on rushing McCann. The hard working midfielder tried to arc his shot past Main, but the experienced keeper was up to the task and saved.
The chances kept coming though, and despite the poor conditions, the next chance was created through precise and quick passing that would have cut any side open. With possession on his own 18-yard box, McKeown passed infield to Bryson, who exchanged passes with Imrie, before feeding Gilmour who had again dropped deep into space away from his marker to receive the ball. All through this Imrie had embarked on a run up the left hand wing, and Gilmour would find him with a defence splitting pass. The energetic Clyde man then used pace and good control as he bore down on goal, with Arbuckle well placed in the middle. However at the last moment Arbuckle went far post, and that perhaps made up Imrie’s mind to shoot, and from a tight angle, he fired just wide. A great move that would have made some goal.
The visiting side’s frustrations were clear to see, when full back David Cowan was booked for a crude, at best, lunge on Imrie. Perhaps the referee took the treacherous conditions into consideration when deciding on the colour of the card, as there would have been no major surprise if the colour produced was red.
Clyde continued to create chances, and the confidence was there for all to see as Robert Harris sent a superb 40 yard through pass right on to Brian Gilmour’s toes, but Gretna full back Skelton did well to rush Gilmour into shooting and the youngster weakly shot wide.
Clyde’s best chance to add to their tally in the first half came though Goalscorer Masterton. He started the move himself by winning possession and playing a good ball up to the halfway line to Arbuckle. Arbuckle then lost possession when he had a man over in Bryson. However Masterton steamed in to force Gretna to surrender possession to McCann who slipped the ball past Canning to Masterton who had continued his run and was one on one with Main. With Bryson also well placed, square for a tap in, Masterton tried to place past Main, but again the experienced keeper kept his side in the game with a fine save.
The only criticism and worry was that Clyde had not converted a good enough percentage of chances to those created and the champions elect would endure some harsh half time words. As the rain lashed down at half time, these thoughts would surely have been going through the minds of the Clyde fans.
Although the visitors may have enjoyed more possession, the only danger being presented was from set pieces, and Clyde were dealing with them superbly, especially Higgins and McKeown.
It would again be Clyde who started to create the more clear cut chances.
After some majestic wing play by Imrie, where he sweetly nutmegged Jenkins, his cross was just too high for Gilmour and the Gretna defence were able to clear.
Then as poor goal kick by Main, saw McCann chest the ball into Masterton’s path, and the big midfielder was on a mission to make amends for his first half miss. He drove from the half way line before unleashing a great drive 20 yards out, only to see it creep wide.
There was again another controversial incident, which saw McMenamin appear to kick out at Higgins who was shielding the ball out of play. Referee Conroy missed this, but the stand side linesman flagged and the referee consulted him before strangely only issuing a yellow card for the kick, presumably because McMenamin missed!
With the park deteriorating, the game got bogged down in midfield, as did the ball in many occasions round the centre circle area, which halted one or two promising Clyde breaks.
With time ticking away Gretna had a real opportunity to draw level. A deep Nicholls free kick was flicked on by Innes, and Jenkins met the ball at the back post. However he was stretching and the chance was difficult as he blasted high over the bar.
Clyde then wrapped the game up with another impressive move. Another lung bursting run by Imrie saw him out pace McGill before playing the ball forward. Arbuckle held his line well and sprinted clear of Gretna’s static defence who were claiming offside in vain. The ball may have held up in the soggy pitch as Main started to come out then stalled, allowing Arbuckle to expertly curl past him to secure the three points.
There was still time for Davie Nicholl’s to fire a tremendous volley off the post, but it would have been a travesty on the Clyde defence who had coped with the very little flung at them admirably.
A great result, a great performance and a great springboard for the final quarter of fixtures.
|Date||Time||League||Season||Full Time||Attendance||Report Author|
|February 24, 2007||3:00 pm||Scottish Championship||2006-07||90'||1107||Graham Murray|
|Clyde||0 - 3||Gretna||Scottish Cup|
|Gretna||3 - 3||Clyde||Scottish Championship|
|Clyde||1 - 2||Gretna||Scottish Championship|
|Gretna||4 - 0||Clyde||Scottish Cup|
|Clyde||0 - 0||Gretna||Scottish Cup|
|Clyde||3 - 0||Gretna||Scottish Cup|
|Gretna||1 - 2||Clyde||Scottish Cup|