Clyde lose to Montrose and suffer first home defeat in almost a year

Clyde just couldn't find a way through the Montrose defence (pic: Craig Black Photography)
Clyde just couldn't find a way through the Montrose defence (pic: Craig Black Photography)

Clyde fans have been able to savour some fair old footballing feasts under Danny Lennon over the past couple of years. But Saturday's match with Montrose was a hard one to swallow.

In fact it was about as appetising as flat beer and stale bread as the Bully Wee suffered their first home league defeat since Peterhead beat them last October.

Montrose arrived at Broadwood as the bottom side in the league. They didn't look it.

Clyde were on a five-game unbeaten run which made them one of the form sides in League One. They didn't look it either.

Despite their lowly position Montrose went into the match boosted by their first win of the season against Peterhead the previous week, and it showed. They were confident, assured, solid at the back and lively up front.

Clyde, by contrast, seemed flat, subdued, uncharacteristically uncertain.

It would be too simplistic to put their malaise down to the absence of the suspended David Goodwillie. They naturally missed him, but they didn't have him at Dumbarton last week either and still produced the required result and performance.

Early on Ally Love and Chris Johnston combined to open up the Montrose defence and force a corner which Andrew Shreeves scrambled clear after a fumble by keeper Aaron Lennox.

And late in the half Darren Smith did have the ball in the net, bundling home after Lennox spilled a Love header.

But the offside flag was up. And that, from a Clyde point of view, was just about that.

A goal seemed far more likely to come at the other end.

Graham Webster volleyed over when a Liam Callaghan cross found him in good position and then inadvertently blocked a Callaghan shot.

Lyons headed from a Callaghan cross before one of Montrose's Cammy Ballantynes then flashed a shot just wide of the far post.

The breakthrough was coming and duly arrived in the 42nd minute when the other Cammy Ballantyne was fouled inside the box by Martin McNiff.

There was little doubt about the award and Webster was equally emphatic as he rammed the spot kick beyond David Mitchell's reach.

If that wasn't enough to give Lennon food for thought in preparing his half-time team talk, seconds arrived in first half stoppage time.

The first Cammy Ballantyne fired over a super low cross which Clyde couldn't cut out and Joel MacBeath slid in to knock the ball over the line.

Given they were chasing the game, Clyde naturally had most of the running in the second half. But while there was the expected amount of huffing and puffing, they rarely looked like blowing the Montrose house down.

Visiting keeper Lennox was rarely tested and had not been for a couple of terrific saves from his Clyde counterpart Mitchell to deny Ballantyne and Callaghan, the home side might have been further behind.

Yes, Clyde might have had a penalty, maybe even two, but Montrose were worthy winners and even a straight red card deservedly shown to substitute Martin Rennie two minutes from time for an elbow on home defender Craig Howie couldn't take the shine off their afternoon.