An Ian Harty goal on the stroke of half–time proved to be the difference between the two sides as Clyde recorded their 3rd win away from Broadwood this season. It was also a result which means that, with 1 game to go before the 1st half of the season is complete, Clyde have now beaten every team in the 1st division.
In a 1st half almost totally dominated by Clyde the only surprise was that we had to wait until almost the last kick of the opening 45 minutes before a goal was scored. And the main culprits were the two upfront as they conspired to miss a host of chances before Harty took his goal well. But it was County who almost opened the scoring early on as Alan Kernaghan decided to let a harmless cross drift over his head and Bayne sneaked in at the far post but his effort was tame and easily held by Morrison. The keeper will have been glad of the work as it was all he had to do in a first half dominated by the away team. Harty and Smith were causing no end of problems to the County rearguard and the young keeper looked decidedly nervous any time the ball went near him. Indeed on more than one occasion he flapped at some cross balls into the box, but neither striker was able to find the net. But after 20 minutes the on loan Rangers keeper gained a bit of confidence as he got down low at his near post to block Harty’s shot on goal from a tight angle. Andy Smith looked less than pleased that he did not receive a cut back as he stood free in acres of space. However minutes later, Smith blasted over after a good through ball from Kernaghan. With captain, Jack Ross, controlling midfield Clyde were always a threat up front and a few more chances went awry before Harty latched onto a through ball from Kernaghan, and drew the keeper before calmly side footing it home. It was no less than Harty or Clyde deserved, however a one goal lead in Dingwall is always a tricky one to hold on to and Clyde came out all guns blazing to try to extend it early in the second half.
And Harty should have doubled his tally early on as he broke into the County box, but his shot was high, wide but most certainly not handsome as he looked to burst the net. And minutes later he was much closer to scoring but this time his shot skimmed the top of the cross bar. Although not having much luck in front of goal, his effort and commitment could not be faulted as he chased down almost every ball which came close to him. Mark McLaughlin almost scored but his powerful header from Hagan’s excellent corner was cleared off the line and this seemed to spur on the home side. On more than one occasion they could have grabbed an equaliser but some poor finishing and good defending meant the points were destined for Broadwood as Alan Kernaghan grabbed his first win as manager in Dingwall. Last word went to Jack Ross as his goalless streak continued though this time it was some excellent goal keeping which foiled him and not poor officiating as Smith got down well to stop his excellent snap shot.
In the end Clyde ran out deserved winners and with Inverness having a difficult run in over the festive period we could well be top of the table come New Year.
STAR RATINGS *****
Morrison **** Not a lot to do but yet another clean sheet.
Mensing **** Growing in confidence every week with another fine display.
McGroarty *** Didn’t always inspire confidence but did enough.
Kernaghan **** One of his best all round performances of the season.
McLaughlin **** Forming a formidable partnership with AK.
Ross ***** First class and tireless midfield work from the Captain – goals will arrive shortly.
Hagen *** Quiet for periods of the game but did well overall.
Marshall *** A difficult game but he stuck at it.
Smith *** A now accustomed performance but a couple of missed chances.
Gibson *** Didn’t quite click for the playmaker but still did a job.
Harty **** A great shift and goal – only complaint was other missed chances.
Gilhaney ** Eased the pressure with a late run and shot.
ALAN KERNAGHAN – ""It’s a fantastic result for us. I think we showed both sides of our game today, In the first half we passed the ball around well and dominated and in the second half we dug in, defended well and met all the challenges they threw at us, which is great.
""The only bit we have to improve on is taking more of our chances. Most of them fell to Ian Harty today, who probably could have had a hat-trick, and their keeper made a great save from Jack Ross. If we had managed to stick another one away the game would have been dead and buried a lot earlier.
""My pass for Ian’s goal was a ‘good bad’ one to be fair. I meant to play it to his feet rather than down the side but he finished it off well and it was coming because we should have scored before that.
""I thought Ian was a thorn in their side today, everything over the top he was onto and causing them problems. He worked had as did everybody – which is the first and foremost thing we ask from the players. We say that 99% isn’t good enough but 101% we don’t ask for.
""I felt that Mark and I dealt with most of the things that came into the box which was good. Jim Hamilton is probably one of the wiser centre forwards that we will meet but I was pleased with how we were able to deal with that.
""I thought Jack Ross was superb today, as is Jimmy Gibson; they are forming a good partnership. I feel sorry in a way for Andy Millen because he has done so well for us but it’s unfortunate for him that, with the way those two are playing, he can’t get back in. From my point of view it’s great that I’ve got people pushing for the majority of positions and when we get two or three back from injury it should be even better.
""Inverness have the luxury of being able to score two or three goals every game but we do it the other way around with one goal victories, which the Chairman detests! We’ll take them any way they come though.
""I haven’t heard anything from Partick Thistle and as far as I know the club haven’t either. It’s nice to be linked with these things but it can be a pain in the a*** as well. It comes with the territory that John Connolly and myself seem to be linked with every job going, but I’m delighted to be doing what I’m doing here at the moment.""
IAN HARTY – ""It’s a great three points. We knew coming up here would very though as they are very good going forward but we got the goal and had a few chances to make it more.
""I’ve started to enjoy myself again in the last three or four games compared to earlier in the season when I wasn’t playing well and was in and out of the team. Getting 90 minutes in the last few games has been really good.
""Andy and I set out to work hard and chase things down and we seem to be getting the rewards.
""The league is really tight so we just have to keep winning, especially at home and take anything we can away.
""You can see the job Alan Kernaghan has done here over the last couple of years and the players certainly don’t want him to go, but it’s all speculation to us.""
JACK ROSS – ""It was an enjoyable game for us. These are the type of games that give an indication of where we are going to be at the end of the season. We were delighted in the dressing room because it’s a long time since we won up here, despite playing ok in most matches.
""I thought it was a decent game and probably one of our best performances of the season given the amount of chances we created. They came into the game a bit in the second half but we weathered that storm. It’s the same old story with us – we could have been three goals up and comfortable by then.
""I enjoy playing the middle of the park. The Manager thinks that I don’t like it there but I do, I can get more involved and get into the box more. I should probably score more goals from there but it looks like I’m destined never to do it!
""Jimmy has been coached to a good level having spent years at Ibrox and he’s come in and done well, Colin is the type of player who can get at people on the right and Hagey looks more comfortable in a 4 so overall it’s made us more solid and long may it continue.
""I played in that position before I came to Clyde so it’s no stranger to me and I’m coming to games now hoping that I will be picked to play there.
""The league is so tight that you can’t discount Ross County because we’ve beaten them today. It looks like it will go right down to the wire, which is good for the fans and the press who can ignore the boring SPL!""
|December 13, 2003