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From The Other Side

Throughout the season, Craig Anderson will be bringing you a viewpoint on Clyde’s next match from the opposing side. In his second article for the Official Website, he has a look at Raith Rovers, Tuesday’s opponents…

Clyde v Raith Rovers (7/8/2007)

The season has finally begun and that means it’s CIS Insurance Cup time again, a trophy that Tuesday’s opponents Raith Rovers are all too familiar with.

However it’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 12 years since Jimmy Nicholls’ side shocked football by beating Celtic in the Coca-Cola Cup Final, as it was then. Every Raith player who played at Ibrox that day will have their place in history, but a dozen years on, it’s a very different side that will face Clyde.

The Kirkcaldy side struggled last season as they languished near the foot of the table and even the appointment of Craig Levein, albeit for two months, didn’t really lift spirits. Marvin Andrews returned from Rangers to tighten up the defence and after Levein quit for Dundee United in November, Rovers appointed respected Hearts coach John McGlynn (pictured). From then the club haven’t looked back and went as far as reaching the play-offs, where they were beaten by Stirling Albion.

They started their Second Division campaign on Saturday as a Marvin Andrews goal sealed a 1-0 win over newly-relegated Airdrie United and that will boost them ahead of Tuesday’s game.

Amazingly this is the first time the clubs have met in the League Cup since 1976, back in the days when the format of the cup included a group stage. In both games at Shawfield and Stark’s Park, it was 1-1 draws and this tie will be only the fifth meeting in total in this competition.

No matter what happens in Tuesday’s game, at least one of the teams will go one stage further than last season, when both sides were knocked out in the first round. Raith lost 2-1 to Airdrie United, while Clyde were humbled 4-2 in Dumfries by Queen of the South, so the possibility of meeting an SPL team in the second round is greater.

The Bully Wee will be looking for a win in the first home game of the season after losing 3-2 to Morton on Saturday and a route into the second round will give boss Colin Hendry going into this Saturday’s game with Hamilton.

In the transfer market, McGlynn went back to Hearts to pluck some of the Tynecastle club’s youngsters he worked with, including Robert Sloan and Graham Weir, to give his squad options. Now the side has McGlynn’s mark over it and it will be interesting to see, even at this early stage, just how much potential they have.