A red card to the debuting Ryan Finnie was enough to derail Clyde’s second half fight back and consign the Bully Wee to a fourth straight league defeat at the hands of second-placed Arbroath.
The game started evenly, if slowly, with the first signs of life in the game coming just after the 20 minute mark.
Ewan McNeil chipped a lovely pass into the path of David Gormley and the big number nine found himself one on one with Ricky Gomes, but lost his composure at the crucial moment, smashing his effort over via the crossbar.
Four minutes later, the visitors took the lead, courtesy of Colin Hamilton. A goalmouth stramash followed an error from John Gibson in the Clyde goal, and the centre back found himself well placed to force the ball over the line.
Neither side was playing particularly well to this point, but Clyde did manage to create a couple of good chances before the break.
The best of these came right on half-time, when an outstanding cross from Martin McNiff on the left picked out Marc McKenzie at the far post. The winger, though, appeared to take his eye off the ball, and could only scuff his effort wide from eight yards.
The second half started with no personnel changes for either side, but Clyde had reverted to a flat 4-4-2, with Sean Higgins dropping deeper into the midfield. Arbroath were continuing to press hard, with their 4-4-2 often resembling more of a 4-2-4, and it took Clyde some time to settle into the half.
As the half wore on though, after weathering a brief Arbroath storm, the home side began to hit their stride.
And five minutes after the hour mark, it paid off, when Peter MacDonald rose to head home McNeil’s cross.
Directly after the equaliser, as alluded to by home manager Barry Ferguson after the match, it looked for a spell like there would only be one winner. Unfortunately, this spell lasted only five minutes, before Finnie was sent off with a second booking for kicking the ball away after conceding a foul.
And in the second part of a double bill of body blows for the home side, Bobby Linn directed the free kick straight towards the head of Ricky Little, who headed superbly past Gibson to claim a crucial three points for the visitors, and stretch Clyde’s poor run to seven matches without a win.