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The Roy Keane Show? (Part 2)

By Andrew Lamb
Wed, 3rd Jan 2007 10:00pm

With the start of this season's Scottish Cup campaign just around the corner, Bolton based Bully Wee supporter Andrew Lamb remembers last year's historic win over Celtic in the Third Round of the competition in a two part series...

- Click here to read Part 1

Our prayers were answered four minutes later.

O'Donnell burst forward. After a tackle by Keane the ball fell for Malone who fed Williams, who in turn missed the ball but in doing so fooled the Celtic defence. The ball fell kindly for Bryson who headed Clyde in front. This time I remember someone in the row in front shouting "they can't chop that one off". The officials didn't and it was 1-0 to Clyde. Let me put this into perspective here, as an aside, we have been living on the edge of oblivion for the past thirty years or so since leaving Shawfield, we had no home for many years, leading to our "friends" Partick Thistle labelling us "Gypsies" - a label we have taken on board and adopted as a badge of honour. Three years ago we had to enter a CVA and it was only thanks to the fundraising efforts of the supporters that we had a team to support.

Celtic tried to come back; Maloney had a chance to equalize but dragged the ball too wide and shot impotently.

Then it was back to as you were, with Clyde running the play. McGowan fed Brighton who bore down on goal but was tugged back by Du Wei................

Penalty!!!!

I always thought that the last man was sent off but the referee didn't even speak to the Chinese international. Stephen O'Donnell stepped up to take the spot kick but Boruc saved brilliantly low and to his right. The ball went out for a corner, which O'Donnell took. Sending the ball over, Eddie Malone was positioned at the edge of the area and let rip with a moment that I for one will never forget... there seemed to be an eternity between the ball leaving his foot and hitting the back of the net. At this juncture I picked up a huge bruise on my arm in the sea of flying fists and hugging.

Tom Brighton seemed to be on fire after the goal and McManus was booked for a crude challenge.

Half-time.

I received a SMS from my friend Ola asking "What are you doing to my beloved Celtic?" I sent a text back that I was in shock and that Clyde were playing the better football, Celtic hadn't been in the game! I was trying to think of all my Celtic supporting mates and fired off about six or seven SMS texts at half-time. The songs were being sung and the general sense of disbelief abounded.

I remember commenting to John McCann, who was sitting next to me that that was the best half of football I had ever seen.

Celtic sent on Virgo for Du Wei in the second half, the Chinese internationalist had been very ineffectual in the first half.

The Celtic onslaught that should have materialised in the second half never materialised, much to my surprise and delight it has to be said.

The home side continued to press and harry, the home support continued to enjoy their afternoon, with O'Donnell hitting the post after a period of Clyde pressure. Time passed and neither team really looked like doing anything more and then reality struck...

McManus got the ball for Celtic then out-muscled McGregor to get the ball and head it into the path of Zurawski, for the Polish striker to volley the ball home to make the score 2-1 and to start the alarm bells ringing in the home support. Seven minutes to go, seven long minutes, seven minutes that seemed like an eternity. In all honesty the siege of the Clyde goal that I expected never came and the seven minutes plus added time came and went. The nervousness that I felt I am sure was endemic amongst my fellow Clyde supporters, how many times in the past have we had a prize ripped from our grasp?

Then a feeling that I will never have again. The final whistle went and I cried tears of joy for only the second time in my life at a football match. I hugged anyone daft enough to come near me whether I knew them or not, that day every Clyde fan was a life long friend. Every Clyde fan had travelled with us to the far out-reaches of Dingwall, Inverness, Stranraer and Berwick. I looked about and saw the smiling faces of both the supporters and the team on the pitch.

My heart was pounding, my throat was sore from singing my heart out, my body ached, but there was no was I was going home. I was due to travel back down to University in Bolton the next day, but no early night for me.

Many have speculated on what actually happened on that Sunday afternoon in January, did Celtic underestimate us? Did the Clyde team play the game of their lives, whilst the superstars failed to play? Did Graham Roberts tactically outthink Gordon Strachan? Maybe all and maybe none of the above.

The walk back to the bus was a daze. My flat mate phoned and informed me we had drawn Gretna in the next round, but that didn't matter, we had beaten Celtic for the first time in fifty years. I was numb, the enormity of the result was sinking in

The after match celebrations carried on into the wee sma' hours. The Glasgow Branch went back to The Georgics hotel in the city centre; I received a text from my sister, which arrived the next morning (unfortunately) that the team were in Underworld. The branch chipped in and bought a bottle of champagne. This was it, who cared about Gretna in the next round? We had won our Scottish Cup and this night was going to go on and on and on.

I was one of the daft few who had put £5 on Clyde at 16/1, and I picked up my winning in Bolton and I could see the girl in the shop thinking "What an unusual bet!!"

Every once in a while a truly historic event happens in football. Indeed, I have talked to some of our older supporters about the 1955 and 1958 Cup Finals and the joy and pride involved. Well I can tell all and sundry (and I have ever since the game) my team of misfits and rag-tags, my wee team, had taken the name of Clyde and made me oh so proud to be a supporter.

In the words of the song, "We are Clyde and we're proud of it!"