Clyde came from behind to pick up their first point of 2008 against Livingston in a match that took place in similar conditions to the last meeting of the sides. In the driving wind and rain, Clyde chose to switch to a back four with Ricky Waddell and Alan Lowing coming into the side at full back. The suspended Chris Higgins and Ruari MacLennan dropped out of the team that lost to Dunfermline in the cup last weekend.
Livingston were missing captain James McPake but were boosted by new signings David Winters and Danny Griffin who both came into the starting line-up. Unsurprisingly, given the conditions and poor pitch, the two sides struggled in the early stages, albeit Livingston left-back Jason Talbot showed a surprising level of skill as he swerved past both Clyde players and divots before firing high over the bar. The impressive Murray Davidson then tested David Hutton with a long range free kick that the ‘keeper easily tipped over the crossbar.
Clyde’s attacking threat was limited to a neat turn and volley by Alan Trouten that trickled through to the underworked Roddy McKenzie and the general level of performance was enough to leave manager John Brown in a fury at half-time. As such, it was no surprise when Livingston took the lead with 15 minutes left before the interval. Lively striker Leigh Griffiths appeared to handle the ball midway inside the Clyde half but he had slipped past Billy Gibson with too much ease in any case. Griffiths, who has been linked with numerous teams on both sides of the border, hared towards the penalty area before sliding a pass to Winters and the ex-Ross County striker coolly cut inside Lowing’s slide tackle before thumping past Hutton.
This came as no real surprise to the watching away support, given the struggles over the past two seasons, however the current side has enough attacking quality to nick a goal out of nothing. Trouten showed admirable skill to slide an inch perfect pass through between Griffin and Talbot for Willie McLaren to run onto and the winger cut inside before sliding a shot past McKenzie. It was probably an underserved leveller but that shouldn’t detract from the fact it was a well worked goal.
Remarkably, conditions worsened in the second half and Clyde were to come under pressure from both Livingston and a strong wind that blew directly towards their goal. Fortunately, the side displayed a decent level of fight and with both Stuart Kettlewell and Marvyn Wilson battling well in midfield, play swung from end to end. The first chance fell to Waddell but his left-footed shot from 12 yards went past the post, with most fans believing he should have used his right peg.
The last visit to Almondvale saw Clyde play well, only for an error by Hutton to cost them a deserved point. The goalkeeper was perhaps determined to make up for that mistake and in addition to his excellent handling of the wet football he produced two stunning saves to keep Livingston at bay. The first came after a period of Livingston pressure ended with Davidson thumping in a superb 25 yard strike that seemed destined for the back of the net, only for the ‘keeper to superbly tip the ball onto the crossbar.
Clyde continued to have chances of their own and from a Trouten free kick, Gibson headed across goal and somehow the Bully Wee failed to scramble home the ball. Roddy McKenzie then outdid his opposite number with a stunning save to keep out Pat Clarke’s close range volley but if the goalkeepers were having their own private battle to keep things level, Hutton was soon to move back in front. The wind contributed to Griffiths slipping clear inside the penalty area and his left-footed strike was superbly turned onto the post by last year’s player of the season.
The final chance was to fall to Trouten and from the corner of the penalty area, he neatly evaded Chris Innes before curling a lovely shot that swirled in the wind and ended up colliding with the junction of bar and post before bouncing safely into McKenzie’s hands.
Given their effort and commitment in the second half, Clyde probably deserved a point. The Bully Wee could have won the game but similarly, they had to rely on a couple of outstanding saves to keep Livingston out at the other end. Hutton was clearly the star performer but Alan Lithgow and Kettlewell both competed admirably in the atrocious conditions. Overall, both teams deserve credit for a reasonably entertaining game.
|Date||Time||League||Season||Full Time||Attendance||Report Author|
|January 17, 2009||3:00 pm||Scottish Championship||2008-09||90'||1354||David Worton|