Annan Athletic 1 Clyde 0
The Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Third Division
CLYDE captain Ross McMillan says his side don’t fear anyone as his side face a double header against league leaders Arbroath over the next week.
The Bully Wee were six points behind ninth placed Monstrose and seven behind East Stirling with three games in hand on both, prior to welcoming the former to Broadwood last night.
Although Clyde actually lost ground on Saturday as they followed up last week’s 2-0 win over Annan by returning to Galabank four days later, but an Ian Harty goal was enough to send the visitors home pointless.
McMillan said: “It was good to win the first game and we expected to get at least a point on Saturday, and I thought in the second half we were the better side.
“However, it just didn’t work out as even though Bryn Halliwell didn’t have a save to make the pitch was tricky to play on and just couldn’t quite break them down.
“It was even more disappointing when we got back to the dressing room and discovered both Montrose and East Stirling had won as we have now really got them in our sights.”
It is only a fortnight since Clyde drew with Abroath and going into the double header it is clear for McMillan familiarlity breeds contempt.
He said: “We seem to have had an awful lot of double headers and to be quite honest I’m sick of playing the same teams all the time.
“However, having drawn with them the last time and beaten the other title challengers Annan and Stranraer in recent weeks as well as drawing with Albion Rovers we have nothing to fear and on our day are more than a match for anyone.”
McMillan took over the armband as former Bully Wee boss Stuart Millar hastened Adam Strachan’s departure from the club, but revealed he was never tempted to follow the pair out of Broadwood despite interest from his old Junior side.
He said: “I am really enjoying the responsibility and I feel my own game has been lifted by it.
“I understand Largs contacted Clyde to check out if I was available, but I had no intentions of going back.
“Once I’ve started something I want to see it completed.”
Clyde boss Jim Duffy made to changes from the first Annan game as John Stewart and Ally Park came in for Willie Sawyers and Alex Gramovics.
Annan clearly felt hard done by in their defeat four days pervious and had the first chance as Aaron Muirhead headed a David Cox free kick just over.
At the other end Jack Steele chopped down Kevin Finlayson at the edge of the box, but Jamie McCluskey couldn’t recreate his free-kick heroics from the previous match as he shot tamely to Craig Summersgill’s arms.
However, John Sweeney caused the ‘keeper rather more panic as his speculative 25 yard shot curled out of his reach and just clipped the top of the netting.
Everyone associated with Clyde knows how deadly Ian Harty can be and he proved it again ten minutes from half time as he pounced on Steele’s mishit shot to stab into the net.
At half-time top scorer Marc McCusker was forced off with a groin injury and replaced with Sawyers as the Bully Wee started the half with more purpose, although neither Gavin Brown or Sweeney could test the ‘keeper from decent positions.
Right on the hour Clyde almost equalised in a near carbon copy of Annan’s goal. McCluskey’s free kick was deflected into the path of Park, but he lacked composure and could only toe poke the ball against the post,
Annan took heart from their lucky escape and tried to make the game safe and although Steele could only find the side netting and Harty had a shot blocked on the line by Brown they did just enough to hold onto all three points.
ANNAN ATHLETIC: Summersgill, Watson, Docherty, Neilson, Aitken, Steele, Muirhead, MacFarlane (Gilfillan 69), Harty, O’Connor, Cox (Sloan 77).
CLYDE: Halliwell, Brown, Waddell, Scullion, McMillan, Sweeney (Gramovics 69), Finlayson, Park (McGowan 86), McCusker (Sawyers 46), Stewart, McCluskey.
News and Chronicle Man of the Match: Ross McMillan.