A lacklustre Clyde were unable to overcome the absence of David Goodwillie as they went down 2-0 to Edinburgh City at Broadwood.
Goals in an eight-minute second-half spell enabled the capital side to gain all three points.
And while it’s debatable to what extent the Bully Wee missed Goodwillie - who was attending the birth of his child - there’s little doubt James McDonaugh’s side were worthy winners.
City have been touted as dark horses in the promotion stakes and showed why in the early stages.
Shepherd poked a decent opportunity over the top after latching onto a Raymond Grant headed back pass to Blair Currie fell short.
The Edinburgh side then won a free- kick 30 yards out but Craig Thomson’s effort trundled through to Currie who collected safely.
Clyde's first notable goal attempt was a 13th minute Kevin Nicoll strike from 25 yards which Callum Antell turned away at full stretch low to his left.
But City continued to look the more likely side.
Shepherd’s cute near post flick - after Graham Taylor had skinned Barry Cuddihy on the left - wasn’t powerful enough to trouble Currie.
Handling then squandered a couple of good openings, heading tamely wide after Thomson’s cross found him unmarked six yards out and then directing a weak shot straight at Currie when a loose ball broke to him 16 yards out.
Clyde gradually looked like they were getting a foothold in the match and superb skill from Chris McStay almost brought them the opener on the half hour.
The Clyde man dinked the ball over - and then ran round to collect - two City defenders in quick succession.
But although he then managed to steer his shot past Antell, Thomson got back to clear just before the line.
The Bully Wee faithful might have expected that to herald an upturn in their side’s fortunes. Sadly, it was as good as their afternoon would get.
After the break Clyde had Currie to thank for keeping them level when Handling burst through the home defence and unleashed a fierce strike which Currie tipped over at full stretch.
John Rankin came close for Clyde on the hour with a 25-yard piledriver which whizzed just wide.
But a minute later City were in front. A neat passing move opened up the Bully Wee defence and set up Shepherd to slide the ball low past Currie.
Eight minutes later Clyde had a mountain to climb as the visitors doubled their lead.
Blair Henderson collected a Taylor pass, muscled his way through the Clyde rearguard and again the helpless Currie was left with no chance.
Clyde never looked likely to get back into the game after that; in fact City looked more likely to add top their lead than to have it pegged back.
Robbie McIntyre was allowed to meander his way through but elected to pass to Shepherd, who is offside, instead of shooting for goal.
Henderson then headed wide when a Thomson cross found him unmarked six yards out with just Currie to beat.
Lennon's side tried to push forward and salvage something from the match, but were almost caught out on the counter attack in the final minute, Currie diving full-length to divert out a Handling to safety.