Millen backs Bully Wee recovery

05/03/11. John Devlin.  GLASGOW, Hampden Park - Queens Park v Clyde.
05/03/11. John Devlin. GLASGOW, Hampden Park - Queens Park v Clyde.

Queen’s Park 4 Clyde 0

The Irn-Bru Scottish League Division Three

Former Clyde midfielder Andy Millen believes the Bully Wee will turn things around despite their fall from grace in the seven years since he left the club.

Millen left Broadwood in 2004 to become assistant manager of St Mirren as he began to wind down his career, but continued to play in the SPL until the age of 42 and in January answered an emergency plea from Queen’s Park to pull on the boots on at 45.

He found himself in the centre of defence for the Hampden club on Saturday as he helped thrash his old club 4-0.

Millen said: “I had three good years at Clyde at a time when we were top of the league and challenging for the first division title.

“Since then there has been a gradual decline as they have slipped down the division to the position they find themselves now, but they have good people in charge so I’m sure they’ll can turn things around.

“After I left Clyde I never imagined I’d still be playing seven years later, but Gardner Speirs asked me to help out for one game and so far that has become seven.

“However, I am under no illusions as it could end tomorrow. Once Queen’s get some players back I’m sure they will be in the team and when this current run ends that will really be me done.

“I’ve been unemployed since being sacked by Hamilton and have to get back into full-time football.”

Millen has helped add steel and experience to a young but impressively talented Queen’s Park side who proved to have far too much at Hampden on Saturday as the Bully Wee put in their worst performance since Jim Duffy took the managerial hotseat.

The away side were reeling from losing 3-1 at Stranraer last Tuesday but saw Bryn Halliwell, Ross McMillan, Charlie Miller and Ryan MacBeth return from injury and actually started the brighter as Miller fashioned an opening for himself after less than a minute.

However, the hosts then took control and were ahead in 14 minutes as David Murray’s blistering pace saw him latch onto a clever Jamie Longworth backheel and fire past Halliwell.

Three minutes later he doubled the advantage as he pace got him away from Gavin Brown and his shot deflected in off Neil McGowan.

Murray was then only denied a hat-trick in 22 minutes as Ally Park somehow caught the winger as he sped clear into the box with a brilliant tackle.

On the half-hour mark Murray then almost turned provider as Ian Watt fired his cutback just over. At this point Brown looking like he’d had enough went off with a groin injury leaving Iain Gray to take his chances with the speed demon.

Then four minutes from the break it was 3-0 as referee Craig Charleston ignored a foul on Kevin Finlayson and allowed play to continue which ended when Watt cut inside McGowan and curled a delicious left-footed shot into the corner of the net.

At half-time Paul Mulrooney replaced Pat Scullion to add fresh legs to the Clyde midfield and when MacBeth tested Adam Strain with a low shot it looked like they might find a way back into the game.

However, those hopes were dashed on 50 minutes as David Anderson completed a brilliant dribble into the box by laying off to Longworth who slotted in effortlessly.

MacBeth looked like Clyde’s best hope of getting a consolation and his one-two with John Stewart gave him a sight of goal, which Strain quickly snuffed out.

Then a mishit shot on the edge of the area by MacBeth fell nicely for Ricky Waddell, but Paul Gallacher was quick to block.

The day ended even worse for the Bully Wee as they ended the game with ten men when Ally Park limped off with a hamstring injury five minutes from time.

Clyde had no time to feel sorry for themselves as the ominous sight of the Queen’s Park black and white hoops loomed back into view when the sides met at Broadwood last night (Tuesday) before a basement battle at home to East Stirling on Saturday.

QUEEN’S PARK: Strain, McGinn, Gallacher, Little, Millen, Capuano, McBride, Anderson, Watt (Lachlan 80), Longworth (Smith 70), Murray (Daly 70).

CLYDE: Halliwell, Brown (Gray 31), McGowan, Park, McMillan, Scullion (Mulrooney 46), Finlayson, Miller (Thomson 80), Stewart, MacBeth, Waddell.

Referee: Craig Charleston.

Attendance: 1,148.

News & Chronicle Man of the Match: Bryn Halliwell.