Clyde earned their first away win of the season with a comfortable victory over Stirling Albion at Forthbank Stadium on Saturday.
With Christian Smith and Ruari McLennan both suspended and new signing Ryan Wilkie injured, Clyde recalled Marvyn Wilson, Michael McGowan and Gary Arbuckle to a starting line-up that saw Dougie Imrie chosen at left back. Albion fielded ex-Clyde midfielder Chris Aitken at the heart of their team.
The Bully Wee started the game strongly and from a Stevie Masterton corner, a neat flick by Chris Higgins was well blocked by Myles Hogarth. Joe Cardle was looking threatening down the left side and he saw several crosses cleared by the home side.
Despite Clyde looking the more threatening of the two sides throughout, it was to be Stirling who created the best chance of the first half hour. A deep cross by Nicky Walker was met with a thumping header by Willie Easton but the winger looked on in disbelief as David Hutton pulled off an excellent low stop.
That escape caused Clyde to lift their game and a neat move saw Wilson just miss David McGowan’s pullback. As the pacy threat of Clyde’s attack continued to cause problems, it was inevitable that a goal would come. Gary Arbuckle spun away from Aitken in midfield and moved forward. He laid the ball off for McGowan who played the ball onto Cardle. His low cross fizzed right across the face of goal and Arbuckle, continuing his run from earlier, was in the right place to slide home to complete an excellent move.
As half-time approached, Clyde looked to tie up the win and managed to all but seal the three points with a second goal. Cardle saw his dangerous cross cleared for a corner by Laurie Ellis and Neil McGregor headed Dougie Imrie’s in-swinging delivery home from close range, despite a desperate effort to clear on the line.
Stirling made several changes near the start of the second half to try and claw themselves back into the game and Neil McGregor had to look lively to block Derek Lilley. The defence, well marshalled by Chris Higgins, dealt comfortably with anything they could create in the main and it was to be Clyde who should have added the next goal. A neat through ball from David McGowan released Arbuckle but he could only slide a low shot past the post from close range. Last season’s top scorer was clearly desperate to impress and he then brought an excellent save out of Myles Hogarth with a low drive from 20 yards after a good run.
The rest of the match saw a lack of good football as Stirling failed to create any meaningful chances. John Paul McBride curled a shot into Hutton’s hands and David McKenna flicked a neat lob wide of the post but again, the best chance fell to Clyde. Arbuckle was set through on goal by a lovely pass from Wilson but his weak left footed lob failed to trouble Hogarth.
The final effort on goal was a low drive from substitute Dan Kirkup that Hogarth saved well but in truth, the game had been killed as a contest with the second Clyde goal. Although the performance was not a flowing, passing display, the manner of the win was clinical and comfortable against a team who had previously been unbeaten at home this season.
Hutton and Higgins dealt well with anything Stirling had to offer, Imrie produced a solid display at left back and Wilson provided an excellent source of creativity, experience and energy in the middle of the pitch. Cardle once again produced an improved display and the re-introduction of Arbuckle was a good decision as he impressed with his overall performance.
With a home game to come after the international break against Morton, Clyde have the potential to move right into the middle of the table with a victory and perhaps start to consolidate themselves in a safe position.
|October 6, 2007