One of the worst displays from a Clyde team in quite a long while leaves very little scope for optimism. Once Clyde went behind after 10 mins they never looked like being capable of getting into the game. St Johnstone hardly had to break sweat to win this encounter and indeed with a little more care they could have scored 5 or 6. Clyde simply can’t seem to move the ball through the midfield or retain possession. Changes look inevitable but we’ve said that before.
Following on from the poor but winning show against ICT it was a surprise that only Mensing was promoted to the team at the expense of McLaughlin. Gibson, Gilhaney and Marshall still found themselves on the bench and there was no place at all for Harty.
The game began steadily enough and it was Alan Kernaghan’s free kick that pulled a fine diving save out of Cuthbert. St Johnstone began to pile on the pressure and Clyde’s defence cracked. A cross into the box was miscued to the only Saints player anywhere near the ball and from 6 yards out MacDonald couldn’t miss. Clyde’s keeper, Morrison, was obviously nervous and a couple of hashed clearing kicks and some fumbles weren’t helping the general confidence. At least a run and shot from Hagen gave some hope. Saint’s thought they’d scored a second as Morrison embarrassingly scooped the ball into his own net but an offside had been seen. Fraser and Bernard were both red carded following some afters when the Clyde man had been fouled. It didn’t take long for Saint’s to score another though. MacDonald broke a feeble attempt at an offside trap and headed towards goal. His finish was poor and Morrison managed to block it and then for whatever reason didn’t fancy gathering the rebound. Donnelly was following up and stroked the ball past Mensing on the line. Half time couldn’t come quickly enough for Clyde.
Despite having played so poorly for 90 mins on Wednesday and 45 mins on Saturday the same players were allowed to take the field again. Clyde had very little to offer as St Johnstone shut-up shop and left Paatelainen up on his own. If we didn’t need more evidence it became clear that almost everybody was having a stinker. Saint’s were happy to play on the break as Clyde floundered and Donnelly grabbed a third goal for them. A deep cross to the far post wasn’t challenged by anybody allowing Paatelainen to head the ball down. Nobody in the Clyde defence reacted and an unmarked Donnelly blasted the ball past Morrison. Clyde rang the changes (probably far too late!), Gilhaney for Hagen, Marshall for McGroarty and Smith for McConalogue. Clyde pressed in the final 10 minutes but the ball wouldn’t run for them while at the other end the ball was whizzing past the posts all to frequently.
Playing a virtually unchanged team and giving them a chance to improve backfired badly. Clyde have little penetration at the moment and are all too often playing back to front football with no success. The central midfield is very poor as everyone knows but for whatever reasons the management won’t make changes. Playing like Clyde did today they are there for the taking on Friday night against St Mirren.
STAR RATINGS (*****)
Morrison ** Started nervously and it didn’t get better.
Potter ** Tried hard but all over the place.
Mensing *** Didn’t hide and at least showed some good touches.
Kernaghan ** Nowhere near the standard we have come to expect.
Fraser * Ran around and was sent off.
Ross *** Reasonable first half and at least showed the result was hurting towards the end.
Hagen ** Laboured performance.
Millen ** Off the pace and no positive contribution.
Keogh ** Not sharp enough and couldn’t hold the ball up.
McGroarty * Anonymous when the going gets tough.
McConalogue ** Tough shift against a big defence.
Gilhaney ** Showed some buzz that we badly need.
Marshall ** Did much more in 10 mins than others in 90.
Smith ** Got stuck into a hopeless task
ALAN KERNAGHAN – "It’s a disappointing day at the office. Defensively we were very poor. It’s something that we were able to build the backbone of our team on last season and it just isn’t there at the moment. Whether that’s down to confidence or just mistakes and poor play I don’t know, but we are giving goals away so cheaply.
"The red cards meant we went 3-3-3 so we were struggling for width and our crosses had to come from a deeper area, and we didn’t really have anyone with a turn of pace to go through the middle. Up to the box we were alright but after that we didn’t create anything. It was just a calamity.
"The sending offs seemed to just be a tackle and then it all went mad, so I’ll be interested to see it on TV tomorrow. I think the game was end to end before that and they were playing well, so I wouldn’t say they changed the game that much.
"Mark McLaughlin was injured and Ian Harty wasn’t involved because we wanted to go with the same line-up as last week."
"We’ve got a fair bit on our plate this week before the St.Mirren match."
BILLY STARK – "The sending offs changed the game but I thought we were in the ascendancy before that. My team did everything I asked them to today and we got our just rewards – I thought the scoreline was quite accurate.
"I was quite surprised at how easy it was for us today because the previous matches against Clyde have been tight, but we are playing well just now and I expected us to do so again today.
"We’re very offensive in the middle of the pitch and in that respect I thought the sending offs would be more detrimental to us because Paul Bernard is a driving force for us. It’s difficult to say if yellow cards would have been enough but in a general sense I would always rather see players kept on the park. Referees are maybe a bit too ready these days."
|November 8, 2003