Clyde 3-2 Saints

Last updated : 01 January 2003 By Stuart Gillespie
I should have read the signs. I mean in retrospect it was pretty obvious what kind of day today was going to be. I woke up in a bedroom in Barrhead after the excess from the night before and anyone who knows that area knows what kind of a disaster that is.

All kinds of thoughts spring to mind, like did I talk rubbish the night before ? Did I embarrass myself in any way ? Is that fire breathing thing that is lying next to me in this strange bed really my wife ? Well when you are in Barrhead the next thing is, shit I hope no-one has stolen my car…..

I rushed to the window and ripped open the curtains and there was a blizzard going on with a nice thick layer of snow lying on the ground. “YES” I thought. The match will be off. No such luck.

The next sign was perhaps more obvious. Stood at the ground, freezing my bollocks off, just for the purpose of writing this match report, with my head pounding and my kids talking non stop, all I wanted was a bit of quiet and a drab match, instead the hosts reeled out some old geezer to sing some pish song about Clyde that was written in 1973. Jesus, even the Clyde fans seemed totally unimpressed.

Kick off and the old dosser was still singing and my head was still bursting, so it didn’t take long for me to get more pissed off. St.Mirren had immediately retreated into their own third of the park and the defending already looked desperate. All it seemed to take for Clyde to threaten was for them to put their head down and run, none of our midfield or defence was likely to tackle that’s for sure.

Still somehow or other it was St.Mirren that scored first. Ross and Baker linked well down the left wing and found Junior Mendes. Mendes seemed amazed that he was onside, certainly he shouldn’t have been but he was. He turned, unchallenged and delivered a superb low cross which Gillies tucked away nicely.
St.Mirren took a lift from this and did actually pile on a bit of pressure. Mendes was getting plenty of the ball and his crosses were being delivered well. Indeed a few minutes after the goal one cross caused Halliwell all kinds of problems and he lost the flight of the ball. Unfortunately, so did Broadfoot and the ball rolled by his foot with the goal unguarded.

Clyde’s second attack of the match brought about a goal. The whole Saints defence switched off and allowed a Clyde player to run 20 yards and fire in a weak shot. Ludo Roy should have had it covered but instead spilled the ball and pensioner Willie Falconer rolled the ball into the empty net from two yards.

Things were about to get worse though. In 24 minutes a cross into the box was met close in by Falconer. His header was hardly the best, after all it was at a good height for the keeper, but Roy flapped at it, perhaps afraid of clattering into the post, and the ball sailed by him into the net.

Now it was all Clyde. Time and time again St.Mirren’s defence would back off and nearly paid for their ineptitude when Leigh Hinds battered a long range effort off the post.

Incredibly St.Mirren got to half time still in with a chance of taking something from the game and in the first two minutes of the second half St.Mirren looked like they might just take a lucky point from the game. St.Mirren were awarded a free kick on the right and the resultant cross was met by Broadfoot and his header from close range powered into the back of the net.

Luck was still on St.Mirren’s side and Clyde squandered chance after chance to tie up the match. Paul Rudden was totally exposed on the St.Mirren right. Coughlin’s simple 4-4-2 formation was being ripped wide open as Gillies moved in off the wing to be the extra man in the centre of midfield. This meant that Clyde could get at the off form Rudden with ease and the crosses coming off that wing were superbly delivered. Indeed had it not been for some superb defending by Martin Baker at the back post Clyde would have sown up this game with real ease.

The, by now, ritual attack down the Clyde left wing was paying dividends and it was down this wing where Clyde were to get their third goal. A corner on the Clyde right was delivered right on top of Paul Rudden. He failed to jump, instead leaving it for a Clyde player to rise unchallenged to head at goal. Again Roy looked to have it covered but somehow he lost it and Pat Keogh composed himself before walking the ball into the net.

The referee was now to come under spotlight. How he failed to spot Broadfoot’s clumsy foul on Keogh as he broke into the box is beyond me. That was bad enough, but he also gave a bewildering set of decisions against both sides failing to book a Clyde defender for an assault on Gillies down the right wing, then he gave several throw ins the wrong way. Still he managed to top those stupid decisions when he completely missed a deliberate handball by Baker right in front of the home fans and the dugouts. This decision clearly infuriated Alan Kernaghan.

Somehow or other Clyde failed to score any more goals though they continued to attack St.Mirren down the left wing unchallenged, a fact that must surely concern every St.Mirren fan.

What totally bemused me was the way that Lappin and Ross seemed to continually switch positions during the game. Ross was definitely the better player in the wide position and was linking up well with Baker before being hauled back inside and St.Mirren would lose the way when Lappin was wide. There is a distinct lack of organisation at the club. Players do not seem to know what position they are playing in, particularly in midfield, and this is causing numerous problems for the players at the back who are being left exposed. There is no on field leadership and it looks for all the world as though there is no off field leadership either. Frankly you have to wonder if the players analyse their performances at all to learn where they are going wrong because if they are there is no sign of improvement at all.

Ach well, looking on the bright side, at least I’ll be too busy with business commitments to go back for a while. Thank Christ !

Stuart Dickson works for both Bizibee and The Penalty Box. Make an old git happy (him not me) and visit them.