David Goodwillie inspires Clyde fightback against league leaders Raith Rovers

Jamie Gullan fires Raith into a 2-0 lead, but Clyde fought back for a point. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Jamie Gullan fires Raith into a 2-0 lead, but Clyde fought back for a point. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Clyde 2 Raith Rovers 2

Star striker David Goodwillie struck twice as Clyde fought back from two goals down to earn a point against top of the table Raith Rovers.

Clyde celebrate after David Goodwillie finds the net against Raith Rovers (pic: Craig Black Photography)

Clyde celebrate after David Goodwillie finds the net against Raith Rovers (pic: Craig Black Photography)

Goals from Kieron Bowie and Jamie Gullan had Rovers firmly in control at the break, but the game completely changed in the second half, with both tactical and personnel changes from Danny Lennon putting the Bully Wee firmly on the front foot.

And by the time Raith were reduced to 10 men with 15 minutes remaining following a red card to defender Steven Anderson, the home side had already recovered the two-goal deficit through a double from man of the match Goodwillie.

In the end, the hosts were torn between relief at fighting back to earn a point, but also frustration at failing to capitalise on the extra man - and the momentum - to claim all three in the closing stages.

Rovers made a bright start with Bowie firing a couple of warning shots before opening the scoring in the 10th minute.

There was certainly some luck involved as his strike from just outside the box took a wicked deflection off a Clyde defender and looped over David Mitchell into the net.

The lead was doubled on the half hour mark when Gullan, on loan from Hibs, cut inside from the left and drilled a powerful effort low and hard past a motionless Mitchell from the edge of the D.

Clyde were effectively a one-man team in the first half, and Goodwillie, despite having to do it all on his own, still carried a threat, such is his quality at this level.

But almost all the traffic was heading in the opposite direction, with Dan Armstrong firing straight at Mitchell from inside the box, before John Baird passed up a chance, slicing a shot wide from just six yards.

Mitchell also had to make a point-blank save to deny Bowie a second as Raith finished the first half in firm control.

Lennon had made his first change five minutes before the break, replacing Alex Petkov with Mark Lamont, and another two substitutions at half-time, bringing on Chris Johnston and Ally Love for Chris McStay and Darren Smith, saw a much more aggressive, attack-minded Clyde team emerge for the second half.

They were back in the game on 54 minutes when the ball fell kindly for Goodwillie in the box to steer a low effort beyond McGurn from 12 yards, with Raith defender Iain Davidson booked for protesting that he was shoved in the build-up.

The Raith 'keeper made an incredible save just 60 seconds later, changing direction and diving full stretch to finger-tip a Goodwillie header past the post, and with Raith on the ropes, Clyde kept the pressure on.

The moment arrived on 69 minutes as Goodwillie ghosted in behind the Raith defence, latching onto a Lamont through ball to race clear and toe-poke the equaliser beyond McGurn.

With Goodwillie completely running the show, Clyde thoughts started to turn towards victory, particularly after a second yellow card for Anderson for crudely barging the striker off the ball as he sped towards goal.

The foul took place on the edge of the box, and Goodwillie blasted his free-kick straight into the arms of McGurn - either side of the 'keeper and he would have struggled to deal with the power.

If anything, the red card seemed to re-energise Rovers as they enjoyed their best moments of the second half in the time that remained.

With 10 minutes left, Dingwall stole possession deep in the Clyde half and set up Baird for a shooting chance in the box which Mitchell did well to block with his legs.

Bowie had an even better chance in the 87th minute, but having done the hard work by turning his man, driving past another into a clear shooting position just eight yards out, he blazed over the bar.

Baird also had the ball in the net - and was racing towards the away fans in celebration after heading past Mitchell - only to turn back and see the offside flag.

There were also chances at the other end, with Raith's jittery defence grateful for the offside flag on a couple of occasions, and for Barry Cuddihy firing high and wide after racing onto a Chris Johnston cross in the final minute.

A highly entertaining match ended with both sides left to regret their 45-minute performances, and a draw was the correct outcome.