Stenhousemuir 2 v 0 Clyde
Played at Ochilview Park on Saturday, 25th July 2009 at 15:00
Stenhousemuir v Clyde
Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 25.07.09
MG Alba Challenge Cup First Round Att 603
Stenhousemuir 2 [O’Reilly 75, Dalziel 90] Clyde 0
The first competitive game of the season saw the Warriors come out victors against the Bully Wee. Clyde have had well documented troubles over the close season that saw them release their entire first team and therefore it was more or less a scratch team that took the field on Saturday. The exceptions being Scott Gair and Alan Lithgow who have signed short term contracts. With so many changes to the side Stenhousemuir were hoping to seek an advantage in the early stages of the game though they themselves had four new players, Chris McCluskey, Stephen Thomson, Pat Scullion and Craig O’Reilly all making their debut. [Kevin Bradley was to do the same later in the game]. Stenhousemuir set up in similar fashion to the play-off games but there was to be more emphasis on the passing side of the game and although not as sharp in their play as manager John Coughlin would have expected there were hints that this could pay dividends this season. The game started brightly for the Warriors as they pressurised the Clyde goal and they almost took the lead in the first minute when a Scullion freekick was just missed at the back post by Gary Thom. Two minutes later Chris McLeod bulleted a header from a Scullion corner just over. This was followed shortly afterwards by a Scott Dalziel though on target was a comfortable save for Jordan Allan. Clyde gradually came into the game and more of the play took place in the Warriors end of the pitch but the home side used this to good effect in the 22nd minute when they made a swift counter attack that only ended when Robert Love lost control inside the box. After this however it was Clyde who had the better of the play and an Alan McFadden long range effort dipped just too late for the Bully Wee fans. This was followed in the 29th minute by a Paul McLeod freekick that was saved by McCluskey. Clyde could have taken the lead in the 39th minute when Jay Lang snatched a shot wide from 12 yards under pressure from Gary Thom. In the last minute of the half Craig O’Reilly had a double attempt to open the scoring for the home side but the second effort was deflected just wide of the target.
The second half continued in the same fashion as the first with neither keeper really being called into action. It took until the 59th minute of the game before either way really tested and McCluskey was alert to tip over a Jay Lang freekick. In the 64th minute Stephen Thomson became the only player from either side to be cautioned after he pulled back a Clyde player’s jersey after being caught out trying to usher the ball out for a goal kick only to see the ball strike a corner flag.
Both sides made substitutions, Cylde as the legs looked to have gone in some players, whilst Stenhousemuir’s seemed more positive in theirs as they sought to get fresh impetus to the attack. This had the desired effect and after Kevin Motion and Kevin Bradley were involved in a move that saw two efforts blocked the ball fell to O’Reilly 12 yards out and the ex-Clyde player composed himself before firing past Allan and into the net. A couple of minutes later Scott Dalziel fired just over. After this Clyde struggled to get back into the game though another long range effort by Lang came close. As they pushed up they always looked vulnerable to the counter attack and so it proved when Dalziel finished the game as a contest in the last minute with a fine strike to secure victory for the Warriors.
Stenhousemuir – McCluskey, Lyle, S.Thomson [b64], Thom, Smith, McLeod, Love [Bradley 70], Scullion, Dalziel, Brand [Motion 70] AND o’Reilly. Subs not used – Molloy, Stirling and Bennett
Clyde – Allan, Park, Halliday, Gair, Lithgow, J.Boyle [Stevenson 65], Stewart, Lang, Sawyers, McLeod [Howarth 74] and McFadden [C.Boyle 60]. Subs not used - Casey and Tennent.
Referee – Brian Colvin
Assistants – Neil McLennan and Alistair Kerr
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