Ian McCall enjoyed the first league win of his tenure as Clyde welcomed 2024 with a well-deserved victory over Bonnyrigg Rose.
New signings Lee Hamilton, Craig Howie and Robbie Leitch were handed their first starts for Clyde as the manager made five changes from the side that faced Stenhousemuir. Raymond Grant and Alex King were also in the XI with Peter Grant, Stuart Carswell, Darren Hynes, Ji Stevenson and Kian Leslie dropping to the bench.
The first opportunity of the match fell to Clyde in the seventh minute. Scullion knocked the ball to King from the edge of the box, however, his curling strike whistled wide. The Bully Wee were demonstrating the most threat on the ball, which led to the opening goal in the 16th minute. Seconds after Leitch’s effort from the middle of the box went straight at Martin, Connor Young pounced onto Logan Dunachie’s teasing cross from the right flank to prod the ball home from the near post.
Clyde were evidently buoyed from their positive start and were exploiting gaps in the visitor’s defence as Scullion was next to create an attempt at goal with a blistering shot from a couple of yards, only for the ball to career wide off target. Meanwhile, at the other end, a frustrated Bonnyrigg were struggling to make inroads with the hosts’ defiant in defending their half of the pitch.
As proceedings reached the half hour mark, The Bully Wee further exerted their newfound dominance by doubling their advantage. Scullion fired a corner kick deep into the box where Dunachie was on hand to direct a powerful header into the net.
With four minutes remaining until the interval, Clyde extended their lead further with an unbelievable finish. King played a one-two with Leitch at the far edge of the box before unleashing a rocket of a strike, which crashed into the net via the crossbar and gave Martin no chance.
It was not until the 63rd minute that the hosts threatened again as an unmarked Young cut inside the box and attempted to secure a brace, but the ‘keeper struck out a palm to block his effort, with the ball rolling past the target.
As the match entered the final 12 minutes, Bonnyrigg pulled a goal back, courtesy of Smart Osadolor. Ross Lyon lost possession of the ball on the edge of the box, which enabled the former Clyde striker to pounce and drill the ball past Leighfield. However, the home side appeared unfazed by the late concession of a clean sheet, as King muscled into the box with an over-arching effort, only to bruise the woodwork.
As the match entered injury time, Clyde’s commanding lead was placed in danger as Osadolor netted his second, finding space within the box to poke the ball home from close-range.
Young and Scullion then had chances in the dying seconds but were thwarted by visiting defenders. Clyde ultimately done enough to secure a well-earned victory, with the players awarded by a rapturous applause at the final whistle.
BULLY WEE FUND DRAW WINNER: 95. JACK PHILLIPS – £625
Pictures by Craig Black