Clyde 2 - 4 Morton

Clyde 2 - MacLennan (44), Gemmill (45)
Morton 4 - Paartalu (32), Russell (70), Wake (86, 90)

Att: 1165

Morton's super subs Iain Russell and Brian Wake won us a crucial three points at Broadwood last night after Billy Gibson's red card rocked Clyde.

In an adventurous move Davie Irons went with the same team that beat Dunfermline 2-1 on Saturday. This also meant sticking with a 3-5-2 formation - something I didn't think he would do away from home.

Morton made the brighter start and could've taken the lead early on however Jim McAlister passed up two decent chances. On both occasions he arrived at the back post to get on the end of crosses from the right but failed to properly connect with either of them and they both ended up going straight at David Hutton in the Clyde goal who collected with ease.

We took the lead our play merited in the 32nd minute. Erik Paartalu - back in the team for the last two matches after a fairly lengthy spell on the bench - strode on to Kevin Finlayson's pass inside and curled a sublime effort into Hutton's top right-hand corner with the inside of his left foot. An absolutely stunning finishing that seemed to energise Paartalu and give him much needed confidence for the rest of the match.

We weren't exactly playing a scintillating brand of football but it was pleasing to see that we weren't just resorting to long aimless punts all the time. A real indicator of this new style of play was evident when Alex Walker pushed down the left, looked up and was about to clip a long ball down the line when he suddenly paused, had a think (maybe about his manager's instructions or Dougie Rae's programme notes) and pushed on with the ball down the line. We were mixing it up by sometimes getting the ball forward quickly but also slowing the play down and trying to build up some momentum by passing the ball around probing for gaps. The team really deserves credit for this because the weather was so bad and the pitch so drenched (see picture below) that, for once, they could've been forgiven for resorting to long balls.

However, for all our positive play and domination we went in 2-1 down at half-time after some crazy defending saw us concede two goals in the last minute of the half. For the first Walker skinned one Clyde attacker but was dispossessed by a second, Ruari MacLennan, who drove on and slotted past Cuthbert to equalise. This really was calamitous defending by Walker who stood with his head in his hands as Clyde celebrated. About 40 seconds later it was two. The shell-shocked Ton defence allowed Gregory Tade to get down the left and the former Stranraer man whipped over a near post cross which an unmarked Scott Gemill arrived right on time to head past Cuthbert with ease.

Brian Wake replaced Grady at half-time. Grady appeared to be knackered after about 20 mins and it looks to me as if he has been rushed back to first team action too soon.

In the second half we took the game to Clyde from the off but I really couldn't see us scoring (in fact I could see us getting caught out on the counter, which we almost did on three occasions but on each occasion the Clyde through ball, past a static Ton defence, was overweighted) that was until Billy Gibson was sent-off for a second bookable offence when he tripped Allan Jenkins - who was a real driving force and immense all night - to end another of his marauding runs. The red card proved to be the games turning point as Irons went for the kill by putting Iain Russell on for Ryan McGuffie and going to a 3-4-3 formation.

The Clyde defence were all over the place as Russell and Jenkins drove at them time and again and it was through these two that we equalised in the 70th minute. Jenkins chased down a lost cause, harried a couple of defenders and disposessed former Morton target Stuart Kettlewell. He then squared the ball to Russell who side footed past Hutton from around the penalty spot, 2-2.

The goal that put us in the lead was similar. Russell came in from the right, headered past a defender to Masterton whose low strike deflected off of Wake and flew into the net past a wrong footed Hutton.

Wake wrapped up the win when he collected a Russell pass inside the box, took a touch to compose himself and swivelled to hook a shot across Hutton into the far corner. The sort of finish that makes you wonder which player the real Wakey is. Is he the slow, ponderous, leaden footed striker or the deadly penalty box predator who saved us from relegation last season and who, despite lots of criticism, is still our top scorer with 10 goals in all competitions this season.

This was a well deserved win in horrendous conditions. Credit to the manager for his substitutions, the players for their effort, desire and attempts to play decent football - and to Billy Gibson for throwing us an all important life line.

Morton (3-5-2):

1. Cuthbert - 7
2. McManus - 7
3. Walker - 6
4. Paartalu - 8
5. Greacen (c) - 8
6. Jenkins - 9 (16. Masterton - 79 mins)
7. Finlayson - 7
8. McGuffie - 6 (14. Russell - 65 mins)
9. Weatherson - 8
10. Grady - 6 (12. Wake - 46 mins)
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

15. Smith
20. Cannon

Booked: Jenkins, Weatherson

McManus Greacen Walker
Finlayson McGuffie Jenkins McAlister
Weatherson Grady

70 mins onwards

Greacen McManus Walker
Finlayson Paartalu Jenkins McAlister
Russell Weatherson Wake

Clyde: Hutton, Brown, Ruari MacLennan, Higgins, Gibson, Lithgow, Kettlewell (Trouten 86), Tade, Gemmill (Wilson 86), Stevenson (O'Reilly 88), McLaren.

Subs Not Used: McSwegan, Cherrie.

Booked: Gibson
Sent-Off: Gibson (61)

My man of the match: Allan Jenkins

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC match report

The Greenock Telegraph - match report

The Scottish Sun - match report

The Daily Record - match report

clydefc.co.uk - match report

Tontastic pictures

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