Clyde 0 Queen’s Park 2
The Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Third Division
CLYDE utility man Iain Gray has thanked manager Jim Duffy for giving him a chance in the side, after being frozen out by the previous regime.
Despite his ability to play anywhere in defence Gray spent the vast majority of the first half of the season watching from the stand, until Duffy’s arrival saw him transformed into a holding midfielder.
Gray said: “It’s been a bit of an up and down season as I never played pre-season and although I did appear in the early cup games from then on on I didn’t get a fair chance.
“However, when the new manager came in he felt I had the attributes to play in midfield and I was so desperate to get on the pitch I was more than willing to give it a go and I think I’ve done okay.
“I have also had the odd game at full back, and some people have told me that my versatility might actually be my biggest weakness in cementing a place in the team, so now I am looking forward to next season I want to make myself first choice in one position and try and stay there.”
There is nothing to say at this stage that Gray will be doing that at Clyde, but with the manager pledging his future to the club, Gray would be delighted to follow suit.
He said; “I’m not sure what is happening at the moment, but Jim Duffy and Chic Charnley have been brilliant since they came in and were the ones who gave me my chance so with them staying I would be pleased to do the same.
“On Saturday against Queen’s Park I got the nod over Pat Scullion who has played in midfield for years and is really his natural position so that gives me a lot of confidence that I would continue to be part of the plans next season and if something can be fixed up that would be fine by me.”
Played in glorious spring sunshine, Clyde’s final home game of the season had an end-of-season feel to it despite the visitors still having an excellent chance of making the play-offs.
Duffy has been rotating his squad in recent weeks and Ricky Waddell was pushed up to left-wing from left-back and early on caused chaos.
It was he who robbed Paul McGinn, but his cross across the face of goal found no takers and then when he did find John Stewart three yards out the striker managed to knock his sliding volley wide of goal.
Queen’s Park recovered from the early onslaught and took the lead in 13 minutes as Jamie Longworth got ahead of Bryn Halliwell to glance a Martin McBride corner into the net.
Attempting to come back Stewart headed over while unmarked from six yards and then Adam strain tipped over a Ross McMillan header.
The Bully Wee continued to press but had to be careful at the other end as McBride came a foreshadowing on future events as Halliwell gathered his powerful shot at the second attempt.
At half-time Willie Sawyers replaced Jamie McCluskey who had been 50/50 for the game with a hamstring injury, but it was defender Alan Lithgow who had the first chance of the second half as his header was cleared a yard from the line by Andy Millen.
Longworth and Craig Smith both went close before McBride doubled the Spiders’ lead on 64 minutes with a well placed shot from 25 yards.
Clyde could still have got something from the game though as as late as three minutes from time Strain had to pull off a point blank save from Stewart’s header.
Then in the last minute Sawyers may have used his arm to knock the ball past Millen, but then one-on-one with strain he should have done batter than shooting wide.
Despite the defeat Clyde remain ninth in division three and can ensure they don’t finish bottom with a win away to Stranraer on Saturday.
CLYDE: Halliwell, Gray, McGowan, Lithgow, McMillan, Sweeney, Finlayson, Girvan (Stevenson 71), Stewart, McCluskey (Sawyers 46), Waddell (Cochrane 82).
QUEEN’S PARK: Strain, McGinn, Meggatt, Little, Millen, Capuano, McBride, Anderson, Daly, Longworth, Smith (Watt 72).
Referee; Craig Charleston.
News and Chronicle Man of the Match: Iain Gray.