Clyde exited the Co-operative Insurance Cup tonight, but not before a spirited display against First Division Dunfermline.
Iain Gray and Stuart Mills were both handed their full debuts in a changed Clyde side, which took the shape of a 4-5-1 formation. Murray Henderson also returned to the defence with Ross McMillan moving into a holding midfield role.
The match couldn’t have started any better for the Bully Wee, with a goal coming inside two minutes. Good work by Marc McCusker in closing down a Pars defender led to the ball falling to Adam Strachan at the edge of the box. The club captain took a touch before curling a fine shot into the top corner of the net (pictured).
Much of the rest of the half was played in a recurring pattern, with the home side enjoying the bulk of possession and territory but rarely troubling JC Hutchison. The ‘keeper did well on two occasions but it was a rare attack at the other end that came so close to doubling the scoreline. Strachan’s cross was touched by Mills and the ball agonisingly bounced off the post, with McCusker failing to dig the ball out from under his feet after John Sweeney found him from the rebound.
That was to prove costly as Dunfermline found a goal just before the half-time break. A deep cross was headed down at the back post, leaving an easy chance for Andy Kirk.
The Bully Wee made another lightning start as the second period kicked-off. Strachan picked out McCusker at the edge of the box and the forward managed to find space and calmly slot the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
It was all action at this stage and the home side had the ball in the net moments later, only for the effort to be ruled out for a push. The play immediately swung back to the other end and McCusker broke free on the wing, cutting inside and finding Stuart Mills. He took a nice touch inside the defender, leaving him with the goal at his mercy but he couldn’t apply the finish and a scuffed shot was saved by Chris Smith.
The Pars then started to take control of the match and had Clyde pinned back very deep in their own half. A combination of the post and JC Hutchison kept alive the chances of a shock result, but the pressure eventually paid off with a quarter of the game remaining. Steven McDougall managed to cut inside Alan Lithgow in the box and smash a shot through Hutchison from close range.
With only four minutes to go, one of many deliveries into the Clyde box bounced kindly for Kirk and the striker was given another easy task from two yards to complete the comeback.
There was one last chance for the Bully Wee to force extra-time when substitute Willie Sawyers latched onto a long pass in space, but his shot from around 20 yards didn’t cause too much concern for Smith.
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