Albion Rovers 0 Clyde 3 : Santas celebrate

Clyde matched the weather in a dark aftenroon in Coatbridge, but maintain the form in-keeping with the season.

Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 4:49 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd December 2018, 10:51 am
The Santas who celebrated

Early goals from David Goodwillie and John Rankin were enough to kill the game as a contest and the only surprise is that the Bully Wee goal difference isn't significantly enhanced after their first half performance.

The scoring duo also hit the woodwork while Rovers' goalkeeper PJ Morrison denied Barry Cuddihy and Jack Boyle before the break.

Sub Ally Love returned to haunt his old club with a late header that sent a squad of Santas celebrating on the pitch.

Clyde won comfortably.

The rain poured but it was Danny Lennon's side who were flooding forward for the duration of the storm at Cliftonhill. The deluge didn't let up until the break but after it, Clyde disappointed and Rovers improved slightly, but not enough.

On this performance, the Wee Rovers' stay in the SPFL senior ranks looks a foregone conclusion.

However Clyde will need to be even more clinical and see teams off with the sport of aplomb they battered the home side with in the first half if they want to make serious impressions on the top placings.

Danny Lennon. Picture Alan Murray

Third is not to be sniffed at but Danny Lennon's squad has capabilities of giving Peterhead and Edinburgh City more to think about at the top of the table.

They Kevin Harper's team a torrid time in the rain-lashed first half with Goodwillie's movement bewildering the backline.

He ran onto Jack Boyle's thump forward and rounded PJ Morrison in the ninth minute and tucked the Bully Wee's first away and sent them on sailing to victory.

And sailing would have been handy as the rain soaked the pitch which cut-up and affected the game in he second half, even denying Goodwillie a personal second when he lost his footing in an identical move.

The celebrating Santas of the Clyde away support.

But by that stage the tie was never in doubt, indeed after 15 minutes the writing was on the wall as Goodwillie struck the post with a shot on the angle that bobbled on the surface before hitting the woodwork and bouncing to safety.

Just moments later though the second did pass PJ Morrison when Goodwillie and Rankin played a one-two on the edge of the box and the former Manchester United and Falkirk man hooked the Bully Wee's second into the top corner from the edge of the area.

It was again the veteran duo who combined as Clyde went close again, this time Goodwillie was wiped out by Barry Eley and the subsequent free-kick cannoned off the crossbar from Rankin.

It was all Clyde. Rovers breached the Clyde backline once and were too surprised by their advances to pull the trigger.

Barry Cuddihy was denied a wonderful goal by a good stop by PJ Morrison in what turned out to be a double save when he blocked Jack Boyle's rebound close in.

The right-back juggled the ball on the right wing and beat three men before the surface affected his control. Undeterred he slid on bravely to win the ball from Eley 12 yards out and thumped an effort at goal that was beaten out and then the follow-up was repelled too.

The weather eased and so too did Danny Lennon's men. Kevin Harper's half-time team-talk instilled a little more fight in his side and they attacked more frequently in the opening five minutes of the second period than they'd managed, or even considered, in the first half.

The sum total of that was two corners but no goals and the late header from sub Ally Love saw the Santa-suited Clyde fans behind the goal pouring onto the park to celebrate with their team, also in red.