Clyde’s recent reivival came to an abrupt end when they went down 1-0 at home to League 2 strugglers East Stirlingshire at Broadwood on Tuesday night.
After four straight wins Barry Ferguson’s side went into the game as strong favourites, knowing that a fifth successive victory would reinforce their promotion credentials.
But it was bottom-of-the-table ’Shire who took the honours thanks to David McKenna’s goal barely two minutes into the encounter.
The visitors dispelled any notion that they were prepared to accept the League 2 wooden spoon in an open and end-to-end game with near things for both teams.
The ultimately decisive goal came when Thomas Orr raced down the flank before providing the ball for McKenna to shoot home from inside the box.
It took the home team some time to recover from the early setback but Scott Linton flashed a shot across the face of goal and wide after 15 minutes and not long after Richie Barnard was forced into a comfortable save.
Around the half hour point Shire produced a flurry of attacks which might have extended the lead further.
First Neil McCabe produced a shot from the edge of the box which Marc Waters in the Clyde goal did brilliantly to fingertip over the bar.
From the resulting corner Chris Townsley’s header looked netbound but was cleared off the line and less than a minute later McCabe’s shot squeezed past the outside of the post and wide.
Clyde responded and Barnard made a top-class flying save from a Sean Higgins effort and, with the last kick of the opening half, David Marsh hit the Shire post with his shot.
There was more desperate defending for the visitors just after the break when Chris Smith’s effort after a corner was blocked on the goal line and the ensuring stramash saw Shire players throw themselves at the ball to stop it crossing the line.
Shire got some success in the wide areas and Michael McMullin three times hit dangerous balls into the Clyde box; the first was sent wide by McKenna, the second just eluded Russell’s outstretched boot and the last saw an attempted overhead kick by Orr fly wide.
Clyde manager Barry Ferguson threw on veteran defender Marvin Andrews as an offensive battering ram as the Bully Wee tried to find a more direct route to goal.
But that only seemed to make the Shire defensive task easier and they were able to look more comfortable the longer the game went on.
Their weak link, though, was at corner kicks and twice late on they were fortunate to see the ball drift wide of target when the Clyde big men were given free headers from the flag kicks.
That said, Shire’s offensive corners caused a threat too and when Clyde failed to clear one Townsley almost picked up the pieces but his effort was wide of target.