Clyde confirm championship credentials with Annan win

Barry Ferguson saw his side strengthen their title bid with victory at Annan
Barry Ferguson saw his side strengthen their title bid with victory at Annan

Clyde moved to within a point of leaders Annan after a thoroughly deserved win in their Boxing Day top-of-the-table clash at Galabank.

Backed by a large, enthusiastic travelling support the visitors started very positively and were rewarded after only six minutes when Scott Linton’s glorious 18-yard strike flew into the bottom corner of the net.

Clyde keeper John Gibson saves during his side's win at Annan. (Pic by Alan Watson)

Clyde keeper John Gibson saves during his side's win at Annan. (Pic by Alan Watson)

It was a goal fit to win any game and it was just the spur that Clyde needed to push forward.

And they were further rewarded in the 19th minute when Scott McLaughlin picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and finished with another well directed strike past Jordan Hart in the Annan goal.

Annan had never really threatened the Clyde goal in the opening 20 minutes but in the 21st minute they were back in the match when Rabin Omar was fouled on the edge of the penalty box.

Peter Weatherson eyed up the opportunity and his stunning low free-kick was bent around the Clyde wall and into the corner of the net past ’keeper John Gibson.

But the home side’s hopes were then dealt a severe blow when Weatherson was red-carded for using an elbow on Michael Bolochoweckyj.

After the break Annan started the second half more positively and Martin McNiff’s 51st minute cross went across the face of the goal begging for a touch.

At the other end David Gormley then set up Scott McLaughlin who was denied a goal by a brilliant Hart save when he pushed his netbound shot round the post. The Annan defence dealt with the resulting two immediate corner kicks, but from the third corner David Marsh connected with McLaughlin’s near post kick to head the ball into the top corner of the net and restore Clyde’s two-goal cushion.

Annan brought on Smart Osadolor and the substitute’s his header in the 71st minute went narrowly past the post.

At the other end Scott Ferguson almost made it 4-1 but his header from Linton’s cross struck the upright.

Annan finished with a flurry and Matty Flynn tested Gibson before Osadolor scored a late goal with a low shot from 16 yards.

But Clyde weren’t to be denied and while it has been Annan who have topped this division for the past three months, on this showing Clyde are real contenders to lift the title.

Next up for Barry Ferguson’s side is a ‘Glasgow derby’ match against fourth-placed Queen’s Park at Broadwood on Saturday.

The Clyde boss was delighted with both the win and the support from the travelling Clyde fans.

He said: “On behalf of all of the staff and the players, I’d like to thank the fans for their support. It was different class.

“The turnout was superb on a horrible day and the backing that they gave to the team is really appreciated by all of us, especially the players of course.”