Stephen O’Donnell, impressive against Dundee the previous week, kept up his fine form with another excellent display, capped by two goals which gave the Bully Wee three points.
It’s a result which could have been quite different, but for an early refereeing decision. With the game just ninety seconds old, Clyde ‘keeper Paul Jarvie misjudged a high ball ahead of ex-Clyde man Leigh Hinds and the former Dundee United goalie appeared to handle the ball outside the box.
To the relief of the travelling support, and no doubt the Clyde management team, Referee Ian Frickleton awarded a free-kick and punished Paul Jarvie with a yellow card; it could have been worse.
In the eighteenth minute, in the second incident of note, it was over and out for Craig Bryson as he belted a twenty-five yarder over the bar and out of Stair Park.
A few minutes later, Craig turned provider when he knocked the ball back for Stephen O’Donnell to crack in a first-time shot from the edge of the box. It looked like a goal until Stranraer keeper Corr made a superb full-length save low to his left to turn Stephen’s shot round for a corner.
Stranraer’s influence on the gamer was on the increase around the mid-point of the first half and in the twenty-ninth minute Blues’ striker Scott McLean did well to hold the ball up before touching it on to Paul Walker who dragged his shot inches wide.
Three minutes later Paul Walker was again at the centre of the action when he won the ball from O’Donnell, surged forward then cut the ball back to Hinds, who left it to Allan Jenkins. Jenkins finished the break with a ferocious twenty-five yard drive which went just wide.
With the home team on the ascendant their hopes of making a breakthrough were reduced in the thirty-fourth minute when key man Scott McLean crashed to the ground, holding his knee with no-one near him. Medical efforts to get him back into the game failed and he was replaced by Lee Sharp.
Clyde again made their presence felt when Craig Bryson carved out another opening on the right, before cutting in and unleashing a shot that sped straight into keeper Corr’s custody.
Minutes later striker Tom Brighton then pushed the ball into the path of Stephen O’Donnell who had another shot on goal, this time a twenty-yard rocket shot that flew just wide.
Clyde’s willingness to have a go from various angles and distances was encouraging but by half time neither side had opened the scoring.
Twelve minutes into the second half Clyde were given that opportunity when Stranraer’s Alex Keddie clattered Craig Bryson at the edge of the box. Tom Brighton then stepped up and curled a low shot towards the corner but the impressive Corr dived down to his right to block the Brighton effort. From the rebound Bryson latched on to the rebound but his effort went over.
Two minutes late Clyde finally opened the scoring, and as was the case against Dundee, it resulted from some dithering defensive play by Clyde’s opponents. In the midst of Blues indecisiveness, Stephen O’Donnell grabbed possession and drilled a twenty-five yard shot into the corner.
One down after fifty-nine minutes, the home team almost equalised ten minutes later when Corr’s huge kick-out, missed by the Bully Wee defence, found Leigh Hinds but his shot was blocked by Paul Jarvie. The ball then fell to Walker who prodded his fifteen yard shot just wide.
The equaliser was merely delayed. In the seventy-fifth minute Murray Henderson put over an inviting low cross which was met by defender Stephen Swift at the edge of the box. The appropriately named Swift shot was sweetly struck and ended up in the back of Paul Jarvie’s net.
With fifteen minutes left to play Clyde showed no signs of settling for an away point but that looked the outcome until three minutes from time when Stephen O’Donnell’s first effort was blocked by Corr but the ex-Dundee United man remained composed as he hit home the rebound to make it 2-1 for Clyde.
|August 20, 2005