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Falkirk 0 V 0 Clyde

By Gordon Thomson
Tue, 15th Mar 2005 12:00am

It finished all square at the new Falkirk Stadium, with yet another clean sheet for Clyde.. A typically heroic Billy Reid-inspired Clyde effort produced a display that sadly did not result in the victory which Clyde really needed to keep the Championship challenge going; the gap remains at fourteen points.

A wonder save from Halliwell in the second half ensured that the points were shared but it was a fairly even match which resulted in five players being booked, including second half cautions for Clyde's Balmer and Wilson.

Clyde came closest to scoring with a Simon Mensing (pictured left) header being tipped onto the bar by Falkirk keeper Allan Ferguson. For their part, the Bairns threatened with an Alan Kernaghan header being cleared off the line. Just before the half-time whistle, Clyde captain John Potter was booked by comeback ref Stuart Dougal.

In the second half chances were few and far between, so despite Falkirk's statuis as "runaway" leaders, in head-to-head matches with Clyde the honours are shared with one win apiece and two draws. The decider is at Broadwood on the 16 April.

After the match manager Billy Reid insisted that he would not give up hope of denying Falkirk the championship and SPL promotion until it was mathematically impossible to catch the Bairns.

Tonight's 0-0 draw is all the more commendable because Clyde had earlier received a crushing blow with the news that leading goalscorer Ian Harty and midfielder Jimmy Gibson (pictured right) would miss the crucial fixture.

Clyde boss Billy Reid commented: "Ian has flu and misses out but we're hopeful he'll be ready for Saturday. Jimmy's ankle has flared up again and he's suspended for the match at Airdrie as well so we'll definitely miss him until at least the St Johnstone game."

Fortunately for the Bully Wee, Eddie Malone, Graham Jones and Gary Arbuckle all passed fitness tests. Meanwhile Falkirk plumped for experience with former Clyde boss Alan Kernaghan and Bairns player-boss John Hughes both being installed into their defence.

Clyde line up:
Halliwell, Mensing, Bollan, Balmer, Potter, Sheridan, Burns, Wilson, Jones, Arbuckle, Malone
Subs: Morrison, Bryson, Bradley, Gilhaney, Greenhill