Clyde grab first win and end Falkirk unbeaten record

Mark Lamont celebrates after grabbing what proved to be the winning goal against Falkirk (pic: Michael Gillen)
Mark Lamont celebrates after grabbing what proved to be the winning goal against Falkirk (pic: Michael Gillen)

Clyde got their season up and running with a pulsating victory over title favourites Falkirk at Broadwood.

It was hard fought, it was tetchy at times, it was nervy at others.

But when the final whistle sounded at a sun-kissed Broadwood the beaming smiles of the Bully Wee faithful were as wide as the league table-length gulf which had separated the sides at the start of play.

Falkirk and their large travelling support arrived top of the table and confident of staying there. And for substantial periods of the first half they looked likely to get their wish.

Charlie Telfer should have done better than fire wide after Declan McManus dispossessed a dithering Martin McNiff inside the box.

A Margaro Gomis strike whistled inches off target, after taking a slight nick off McNiff on the way.

And ex-Bairn David Mitchell denied his old side by diving low to turn a Telfer 25-yarder round the post and doing likewise to keep out a powerful Gregor Buchanan header.

But it was far from a total rearguard action from Denny Lennon's side who could only muster four fit substitutes, one of them a keeper.

They defended manfully when they had to. But they attacked with vigour and purpose when the chance arose.

Just after the half-hour mark the perseverance of Ally Love in refusing to let the ball cross the byeline engineered an opening for David Goodwillie who was thwarted by a terrific block from Lewis Toshney

But three minutes later they got the breakthrough on 34 minutes with, hardly suprisingly, Goodwille at the heart of it.

Mark Lamont played the ball forward to his skipper who twisted and turned to hold off Paul Dixon before laying the ball back into the path of Lamont who swept it home from 10 yards.

Just before half-time another chance for the visitors fell to Louis Longridge, but he blazed it high and wide.

Falkirk boss Ray McKinnon was obviously far from happy with his side and made a double change at half-time, hooking Longridge and Michael Tidser and replacing them with Aidan Connolly and Ross McLean.

There was more urgency about Falkirk at the start of the second period, but after a while it fizzled out.

The Bairns huffed and they puffed, but rarely looked as if they possessed the tools required to blow the Clyde house down.

Craig Howie, Martin McNiff and the immense Scott Rumbsy gobbled up just every high ball Falkirk threw in and just in front Ray Grant and Alex Petkov hussled and harried in protection of their defence.

Indeed while Clyde held their shape, Falkirk seemed to lose their and as the half wore on a second Clyde goal looked just every bit as likely as a Falkirk equaliser.

Goodwillie, ever the willing outlet for his defence, outmuscled Buchanan only for his ball across goal to find no takers and then forced a terrific save from Cammy Bell with a spectacular overhead kick.

At the other end Connolly drove a shot straight at Mitchell before all Clyde's hard work was almost undone when Falkirk squandered a glorious to level in stoppage time.

McManus looked certain to score when through one on one with Mitchell but the keeper raced from his line to save the day with a fine block.