Clyde were denied a winning start to their pre-season campaign by a late equaliser against a spirited East Kilbride side. The match, played at K Park in front of 271 spectators, was not your average friendly with both sides starting the game at a frantic pace.
Clyde settled the quicker of the two sides with new signing Archie Campbell coming close early on after his clever movement beat the East Kilbride offside trap. Play was then stopped for several minutes after a nasty head clash saw the hosts’ Gary Graham floored and forced to retire from proceedings.
The visitors continued on the ascendancy after the stoppage and soon found themselves ahead through new signing Scott Linton. The ball broke to Linton on the edge of the box, after East Kilbride failed to clear their lines, and he calmly drilled past keeper Alan Greer. The goal was Linton’s first for the Bully Wee since his summer switch from Dumbarton.
Archie Campbell was presented with a guilt-edged chance late on in the first half but he failed to connect with Steven Brisbane’s excellent cross and the teams went into the break with just one goal separating them.
The home side started the second half with much more intent, clearly buoyed on from some encouraging words during the interval. It was the visitors, however, who had all the early chances.
First, Archie Campbell saw his strike well saved from Greer. Sean Higgins then had two opportunities from almost identical free-kicks. His first, following a foul on Brisbane, rattled the outside of the left-hand post with his second effort rippling the opposite side-netting.
New signing Michael Bolochoweckyj looked to pick up a somewhat innocuous injury while defending against the pacey threat of Craig Hastings but Clyde boss Barry Ferguson was quick to play-down the knock. “Michael should be alright in a week or two. I don’t see any problems there.”
Scott Linton, who only ever scored one for Dumbarton, was soon given the chance to take his Clyde tally to two. Good work from young Scott Ferguson found Linton alone at the back post but his shot was deflected high and wide by a backtracking defender.
And the Bully Wee were made to pay for their attacking profligacy in injury time when Michael Giblin’s whipped corner was headed in at the back-stick by Mark Blakey. Ironically, it was the man of the moment Linton who failed to keep the ball out as it went in off the bar.
Clyde looked to tire late on but Ferguson was once again quick to talk down any negativity post match, insisting that his players had been through a tough week of training prior to the game.
“They’ve been worked hard this week and were a bit leggy late on”, Ferguson conceded. “We’re still in the middle of pre-season. It’s not about results, it’s about everyone getting minutes.”