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From The Other Side

Craig Anderson looks ahead to Saturday’s IRN-BRU First Division match at McDiarmid Park from the viewpoint of an improving St.Johnstone side…

St.Johnstone v Clyde (27/10/2007)

OWEN COYLE will welcome Clyde to McDiarmid Park on Saturday and will be looking to claim a win over the only side to have taken full points from them.

The in-form Perth side have started to show the sort of form that got them to within a minute of promotion to the SPL last season and now the Challenge Cup Final. They’ll aim to keep that form going when Clyde go to Perth on Saturday, but Saints fan will demand a little payback first.

Clyde are, so far, the only team to have beaten the McDiarmid Park side in the First Division this season and to get a second win over them would dent their promotion hopes further.

Since losing to the Bully Wee, Saints have gone on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions and also reached the Challenge Cup Final, where Dunfermline await. They are presently eight points behind leaders Hamilton Accies, but signalled their intent by thrashing Accies 4-1 in a recent league encounter in Perth.

They come into the game on the back of a 2-0 win over Queen of the South, with goals from Kenny Deuchar and Andy Jackson. It’s those two Clyde’s defenders will have to watch as they have amassed 15 between them this season, making them the most lethal striking partnership in the league.

Ruari MacLennan’s 70th minute goal was the difference when Clyde met them in August but anything other than a win would have to be seen as a setback for Coyle’s men.

Clyde though will be looking to pick themselves up after losing 1-0 to Morton last Saturday, with that result leaving them within three points of the bottom. On the up side, a win would probably give Clyde their highest league position of the season, but they would have to get over the run of inconsistency that has plagued them so far.

Also, the Bully Wee have suffered wretched form at McDiarmid Park, with only one win to show for their last eight trips there. Clyde last won in Perth in March 2004 when Stephen McConalogue, Andy Smith and Ian Harty secured a 3-1 win against the Saints. Kiegan Parker notched a late consolation but it’s the sort of result Hendry will be hoping to get this weekend to give the squad a boost.

Gary Arbuckle, who scored in Clyde’s recent 2-0 win at Stirling Albion, was the man who ended Clyde’s six games without a goal at McDiarmid Park last season. But the Bully Wee’s last visit to Perth on Boxing Day last year ended in heartache when Steven Milne equalised six minutes from time. Then Peter MacDonald notched a late, late winner to dump Clyde and help Saints on to their promotion push.

Anything taken from Perth this weekend would be a welcome result for the Bully Wee fans.