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Musselburgh Athletic 2-3 Clyde

Clyde will face Jeanfield Swifts in the third round of the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup after narrowly defeating Musselburgh Athletic in a dramatic tie in front of the TV cameras at Olivebank.

Interim Head Coach Chris Millar made two changes from the side which faced Bonnyrigg Rose with Erik Sula and Kian Leslie replacing Alexander King and Jon Craig.

As the match reached the half hour mark, affairs on the park were fairly even with neither team able to carve any meaningful threat going forward or achieving a single shot on target. However, Musselburgh were keen to make their presence in attack known with Jordan Smith pacing up the left flank in the 32nd minute, attempting to round Ross Lyon, only for his shot to career wide.

At the other end, the Bully Wee sought a way through a well-drilled defence when Ross Forbes floated a menacing corner into the box, which resulted in a scramble as Darren Whyte tried to garner a powerful shot goalwards, but his effort was blocked.

Clyde’s clinical prowess continued to elude them towards the end of the first half as Laing stretched to poke Kian Leslie’s effort from the edge of the box over the bar.

The visitors returned from the interval in promising fashion with Martin Rennie darting through the box to drill a long shot across the face of goal in the 48th minute, but it was too fast for either Leslie or Conor Young to connect with.

The Bully Wee were determined to rectify their lack of goalscoring threat from the first half as Stevenson latched onto Darren Whyte’s cross at the far edge of the box to rocket a powerful effort which flashed wide. Having said that, the Burgh were also searching for the elusive first goal as they came close in the 66th minute. An unmarked Smith was allowed ample space to drive the ball straight at goal from outside the centre of the box, which bobbled past the post.

As proceedings neared the final quarter, Clyde prised open the deadlock in the 74th minute. Second half substitute Liam Scullion won possession of the ball to bring in Rennie, who played it to Leslie, which resulted in the awaiting Young squeezing past opposition defenders to slot the ball beyond Laing and into the bottom left corner.

However, the Burgh stunned the visitors as they forced an equaliser and extra time with seven minutes of normal time remaining. O’Kane floated a free kick into the box which Leighfield leapt up to collect, but he was beaten to the ball by Todd who powered a header into the empty net.

Clyde regained the advantage in the fourth minute of extra time. Leslie played the ball to Young on the edge of the box, however, he bamboozled the home defence with a dummy and the ball ran through to Rennie, who made no mistake during a one-on-one with Laing to drive his shot into the bottom corner.

The Bully Wee, conscious that they couldn’t concede this particular lead were defensively solid as they prevented the hosts from creating any trouble in their own half. Meanwhile, Kian Leslie attempted to strengthen the visitor’s tally in the 105th minute as he sliced the ball through the middle of the box, but his goalbound effort was blocked by Laing’s foot.

Clyde continued to ramp up the pressure in the second period with Rennie yet again in action as he sent in an angled shot from inside the box, but Laing crouched low to calmly collect.

Despite the Burgh receiving consecutive dangerous corner kicks, Leslie manoeuvred up the park to convert Clyde’s third and his first in Bully Wee colours in the 114th minute. The Kilmarnock loanee connected onto Rennie’s flick on from Leighfield’s goal kick to slither past the ‘keeper and outrun Wilson to coolly roll the ball into an empty net.

However, there was time for late drama as the East Lothian side snatched a late consolation at the death. The ball fell kindly for Renton after a save from Leighfield, and the striker lashed home from close range.

Pictures by David Simmonds

Clyde will face Jeanfield Swifts at New Douglas Park in the third round of the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup. The tie will be played on the weekend of 25th November, with date and time to be confirmed in due course.