Arbroath 0-1 Clyde: Early Smith goal leaves Lichties bottom

Photo - Graham H Black.
Photo - Graham H Black.

Chris Smith’s ninth minute goal gave Clyde a narrow 1-0 win over 10th-placed Arbroath on Saturday.

The Bully Wee capitalised on the hosts’ current propensity to concede early goals when Smith forced a header over the line despite Ricky Little’s attempts to clear it on the line.

Barry Ferguson’s side should have probably had a wider lead at half-time, but the one-goal margin kept the game within Arbroath’s reach.

Todd Lumsden reshuffled the pack at the break from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1 and the Gayfield outfit dominated the second period, shackling Clyde to their own penalty area for the most part.

But the cutting edge just wasn’t there as the visitors coped well with the waves of constant pressure.

Lumsden made three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Berwick Rangers the previous week as Andy Munro, David Gold and Jordan Lowdon made way for new signing Craig Watson, Bobby Linn and Jamie Clarke.

For Ferguson’s Clyde it was the solitary change, new acquisition Jon-Paul McGovern replacing Scott Ferguson.

Clyde had more of the ball in the opening stages and they opened the scoring inside 10 minutes as Smith’s header from a corner couldn’t be denied by Little on the line.

The hosts had a decent move just after going behind as Andy Ryan chased down a lost ball - the loanee crossed to Darren Ramsay who crossed to Jamie Clarke, but he headed well wide.

Ramsay was involved again soon after when he combined well with Bobby Linn in the middle of the park, but the young Rangers loan player couldn’t find Martin Grehan with the pass.

Grehan then had the ball in the net, but he was judged to be offside after getting the final touch on Ryan’s curled effort from outside the box.

John Gibson had to get low to turn aside a long range free kick from Ryan, but Arbroath couldn’t do anything from the corner.

Allan Fleming almost gifted Clyde a second when his clearance rebounded off of McGovern before Grehan just missed Ryan’s lovely cut-back across goal.

The hosts emerged from the tunnel for the second half with much more tempo about their play and they could have levelled when Grehan had a weak effort saved at the end of a very tidy attacking move.

Sean Higgins had a superb volley met with an equally good save by Fleming in Clyde’s best chance of a second.

Ryan and Ramsay combined twice with each forward having chances before Joao Victoria’s arrival off the bench added extra impetus to the Lichties attack.

The Portuguese striker fed Ryan inside the right channel, but his shot was blocked before Victoria tried to cut inside the six-yard box when a snapped shot looked the better option.

Arbroath kept Clyde camped in their own box but couldn’t force a leveller, and deep into injury time a chance arose that summed up the whole afternoon for the Lichties.

Watson got his head to a whipped corner and the ball hit the far post, before travelling across the line with a Bully Wee defender clearing it at the other post.

The referee blew for full-time seconds later, leaving Arbroath rooted to the bottom of the league with just one point from five games.

Clyde, meanwhile, moved into sixth on nine points.

Arbroath: Fleming; Wilson (Gold, 86), Watson, Little, Johnstone; Linn (Victoria, 66), Whatley, Clarke, Ramsay (Reid, 76); Ryan, Grehan

Clyde: Gibson, Bolochoweckyj, Marsh, Linton, McGovern, Smith, McLaughlin, Campbell (Ferguson, 68), Gormley, Higgins (McQueen 86)