Clyde complete pre-season work ahead of Killie opener

Celebrations for Clyde after Peter MacDonald fires them in front.
Celebrations for Clyde after Peter MacDonald fires them in front.

Another season gets under way for the Bully Wee on Saturday when Clyde take on Kilmarnock in their Betfred Cup opener at Broadwood.

The match against Killie is the first of four group matches Barry Ferguson’s side will face in the revamped League Cup format.

It’s the first competitive match between the sides since a League Cup second round clash at Broadwood in August 2000 which Kilmarnock edged 2-1 after extra-time, Ally McCoist grabbing the winner after Freddy Dindeleux had cancelled out Andy Kane’s opener for Clyde.

After Saturday’s match against a Killie side who only escaped relegation from the Premiership in a play-off last season, Clyde travel to face Morton on Tuesday, before further matches against Berwick Rangers at home on Saturday, July 23, and Albion Rovers away on Tuesday, July 26.

Clyde completed their preparations for the new season with a hard-fought and entertaining 2-2 draw against Celtic’s under-20 development side.

Barry Ferguson’s side were twice ahead but two equalisers, the second in stoppage time, earned the visitors a draw at Broadwood on Saturday.

New signing Peter MacDonald was given a start in attack and the experienced former Rangers, St Johnstone, Dundee and Morton striker gave a glimpse of what he can bring to Broadwood with the opening goal in 19 minutes, beating ’keeper Conor Hazard with a sharp finish from inside the box.

But a familiar face brought the visitors level before the break as former Clyde loan player Aidan McIlduff let fly from long range with a terrific strike.

Martin McNiff hit the Celtic bar with a header and after the break Clyde ’keeper John Gibson did well to stop Jack Aitchison putting Celts in front.

Clyde regained the lead through another of their summer signings, Dylan Easton shooting in off the post after a fine run.

But Clyde’s hopes of ending their pre-season schedule with a win were dashed in injury time when a mistake by Gibson allowed Innes Murray the chance to stab the ball home.

The draw followed defeat at the hands of Dunfermline Athletic at Broadwood last Tuesday when the Bully Wee again conceded a late goal.

Clyde created openings in the first half and Pars ’keeper Cammy Gill did well to save from Easton after a Scott Linton break created the opportunity.

Gill came to his side’s rescue again before the break, doing well to keep out David Marsh’s powerful header from a Linton cross.

After the break Clyde continued to keep last season’s League One champions at bay, while also looking dangerous on the counter attack.

Gibson pulled off a fine save to keep the scoresheet blank before Matty Flynn came close to putting Clyde ahead with a shot which was only just too high.

But with just three minutes left the Fifers broke the deadlock as James Thomas set up Kieran Lafferty to beat Gibson with a low finish.

As he prepares for the new season and another assault on promotion, Ferguson said he was delighted with the addition of MacDonald to his list of summer signings.

He told the club website: “He’s played and scored goals at the highest level in Scotland and not only that, he’s a good character and a good man to have in the dressing room.

“I’ve known him for a long time, since he was a youngster at Rangers and kept in contact with him over the years. When he became available I couldn’t pass up on the chance to bring in someone of his quality.”