10-man Clyde book play-off place with last gasp win over Annan

Martin McNiff gets Clyde's winner (pic by Craig Black Photography)
Martin McNiff gets Clyde's winner (pic by Craig Black Photography)

Ten-man Clyde secured a dramatic win which guaranteed them a play-off place and closed the gap on leaders Peterhead to six points.

MartinMcNiff’s stoppage time header kept their title hopes alive ahead of the Bue Toon’s visit to Broadwood in two weeks’ time following Blair Currie’s controversial red card.

Danny Lennon’s side dominated the game for large spells, and they almost had the lead in the opening minutes.

Captain David Goodwillie made the most of a seemingly innocuous cross from Martin McNiff on the left, but couldn’t quite squeeze the ball over the line during the resulting goal-mouth scramble.

Home keeper Currie was forced into a decent save on 17 minutes, when Chris Johnston fired a low effort on target after a Steven Swinglehurst cross evaded everyone, shortly before the Annan defender was called into action with a superb recovery challenge to deny Goodwillie a one-on-one.

As dangerous as Goodwillie was proving to be in the early stages, the ball just didn’t seem to be going in for him. The striker had no less than four stabs at goal in the same phase of play midway through the first half, but a combination of bad luck and desperate defending somehow kept the scores level.

As the first 45 wore on, Clyde’s profligacy in front of goal threatened to be their undoing, as Johnston capitalised on some defensive confusion from a long ball forward, racing through on goal before dragging a left-footed effort narrowly wide of Currie’s far post.

After a cagey, even start to the second period, the breakthrough finally came for Clyde via one of the game’s rare moments of quality.

With 25 minutes remaining, Mark Lamont took over after some persistent work from substitute Scott Banks down the left, cutting inside to beat two players and fire past Mitchell into the bottom corner.

Currie controversially saw red for an off-the-wall incident with seven minutes remaining, allowing Tony Wallace to step up and convert the resulting penalty past substitute stopper Kieran Hughes, and that looked to have been enough to secure a point for the visitors.

That was until Martin McNiff popped up with an emphatic header into the roof of the net deep into stoppage time, sparking wild celebrations among the home support and players alike.