Clyde grab injury-time winner to defeat Annan Athletic

Match winner John Rankin (pic by Craig Black Photography)
Match winner John Rankin (pic by Craig Black Photography)

A goal by John Rankin in the second minute of stoppage time gave Clyde a dramatic win over Annan Athletic at Broadwood.

It looked as if the match was for a goalless draw, despite the best efforts of both sides to break the deadlock.

But when Karim Belmokhtar's long throw-in into the box was knocked on, it fell perfectly for Rankin to smash home a right-foot volley which gave visiting keeper Alex Mitchell.

It was cruel on Annan, but over the piece Clyde just about did enough to win on day. However players from both sides deserve credit for their efforts in the freezing rain.

There was plenty of endeavour and movement right from the kick-off; perhaps no-one wanted to stay standing for too long in the bitter conditions.

Annan looked the more likely early on as it took Clyde a while to grow into the game and Aidan Smith fired a decent effort just wide of the diving Blair Currie's left hand post.

The Bully Wee's first chance fell to David Goodwillie who found space inside the box but couldn't get his shot past Alex Mitchell who diverted it for a corner at his near post.

Clyde should have scored on 32 minutes after Goodwillie's terrific ball into the danger area was spilled by Mitchell. Rankin couldn't direct the loose ball on target and it broke to Barry Cuddihy who blazed over from six yards.

As the home side assumed control Rankin tried his luck from 25 yards with decent left foot strike which wasn't far over and Mitchell did well to beat away a thumping strike from Mark Lamont.

Just before the break Jack Boyle created an opening for himself with some fine play on the left, but his shot fizzed just wide of the far post and the sides went in at the break with the game still goalless.

Clyde pushed forward after the break and Boyle's fierce strike from the edge of the box flashed inches over.

Lamont then opened up the Annan defence with a superb pass to Cuddihy, but the ball got stuck under the Clyde full-back's feet and he couldn't get it into the danger area.

Kevin Nicoll had a tame volley easily collected by Mitchell and Scott Rumsby got on the end of a Lamont corner only for the ball to come off an Annan player, onto the top of the bar and over but still the breakthrough eluded Clyde.

Annan weren't out of things though and Currie had to dive full-length to his left to keep out fine long-range shot from Kyle Bradley.

Goodwillie did have the ball in the Annan net on 71 minutes, but was denied by the assistant's flag and Lamont then crashed a piledriver from the edge of the box inches wide with the diving Mitchell beaten.

As the game drifted towards a conclusion there were a couple of nervy moments for the home support.

Tony Wallace gets on the end of a Ryan Sinnamon corner but his header drifts wide and Currie then showed good reactions to keep out a Max Wright volley.

When Mitchell just managed to block a Goodwillie effort with his feet in the last minute of normal time it looked as if that was that.

But then Rankin pounced to deliver an early Christmas present for the Bully Wee faithful with his dramatic winner.