SPFL 2: First half double whammy wins the day at Clyde

Posted on Monday, November 6th, 2023

The Spartans extended their unbeaten run to seven games at New Douglas Park after a hard fought victory over Clyde in the SPFL.

Gaffer Douglas Samuel kept his faith in the starting XI that defeated Brechin City seven days earlier in the Scottish Cup whilst Clyde looked to build on their Monday night victory in Musselburgh in the same competition.

With the clocks already having gone back, the pleasant afternoon sunshine started its descent behind the stand, housing 556 hardy souls as kick-off approached.

The opening stages were for the purists with Referee Kirkland’s whistle being exercised extensively with a plethora of petty fouls threatening to put paid to any dynamic displays of fast flowing football.

Clyde had a couple of decent corners on the bounce, one which required a fine double fisting by Jacques Heraghty before the goalie put in a few impromptu chin-ups on the bar as the resultant corner kick effort went over the top of his goal.

Rhys Armstrong had a chance from some 25 yards as Spartans were awarded a free-kick however despite the playmaker clearing the wall, the ball also flew over the crossbar too.

With the game entering the final five minutes of a fairly uneventful first half, the deadlock was broken – and it was a goal for the visitors.

Jordan Tapping went on a darting run to the bye-line.  He whipped in a tasty low cross that saw Blair Henderson nip in front of Stuart Carswell only for the shot to rattle the bar.  However, it was Cammy Russell who was first to react and swooped like a seagull on chips to send the ball home, off the underside of bar which was still feeling the aftershocks of being smacked by Hendo’s hit.

The half time team talks were to take a different shape with just two minutes to go.  A corner from Rhys Armstrong saw Ayrton Sonkur rush to the front post and whilst the ball eluded the Spartans defender, it bounced of the unsuspecting Stuart Carswell’s napper and into his own net.

It was almost a third moments later when Jamie Dishington’s touch in the box fell to Blair Henderson who found the net, but also the lino’s flag aloft.

HT: Clyde 0-2 The Spartans

The half time interval saw the surface well watered to offer that extra bit of zip.  It also offered the unfortunate souls involved in the crossbar challenge a mighty fine soaking too as the sprinklers popped up and offered a surprise!

Anyhoo, back to the game and Heraghty had to look sharp to get down low to deny a home side an opportunity to halve the deficit.

A corner for Clyde saw a looping header from Liam Scullion just drag itself away from the goal frame at the latest of stages as Spartans started to live on the edge.

On the hour mark another free kick for the North Edinburgh tourists gave Cammy Russell an opportunity to test out his range.  That wasn’t the concern and the accuracy was but a yard away from finding it’s intended destination.

Russell drew warm applause from the travelling Spartan Army faithful as he made way for Gavin Morrison with twenty to go.

Jacques Heraghty then required the magic sponge after he bravely dived at the feet of Fraser Malcolm at his near post as the Spartans goal frame lived a charmed life.

When Ayrton Sonkur stretched out his telescopic legs to win the ball in a 50-50 in the middle of his own half, the reaction of him and his colleagues was one of the surprise when the Ref blew for a foul. 

Ross Forbes floated in the free-kick box and Peter Grant was to be the beneficiary in the box, headed beyond Heraghty to set up a grandstand finale. Ok, ‘grandstand’ perhaps overselling it slight perhaps.

Spartans played some keep-ball before Jamie Dishington was put into acres of space up the line.  James Craigen found himself in the Clyde penalty area and on the end of the cross.  His first effort was punched back into his path however as he adjusted himself for the rebound, his shot was blocked and hoofed to safety.

A double change as the clock ticked every closer to the 90 saw Sean Brown and Sam Jones replace Henderson and Armstrong. 

One final aerial assault by the hosts resulted in the ball going high, wide and not overly handsomely beyond Heraghty’s sticks and with that, the game was done.

FT: Clyde FC 1-2 The Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Mikey Allan

Next Fixture

Date: Friday 17th May
Opponent: Dumbarton
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Play-Off Final 2nd Leg
Kick off: 7.30pm

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