People keep telling me we're on a bad run at the moment. Well, if this is a bad run then I hope it continues a while yet. Not only were the ghosts of a nearly nine year hoodoo at Broadwood laid to rest this afternoon, but that's now one defeat in seven league games and only two goals conceded in that spell. Not bad for a 'relegation haunted' team!
Iain Scott made three changes to the team that drew 0-0 with Airdrie last weekend. Brian McColligan returned from suspension and showed exactly how much we miss him when he's not there. That meant Eric Paton dropping back into right back with Gary Wood the unfortunate one to miss out. Brian McLaughlin's flu meant a rare start for Stephen Payne and after showing well as a sub last weekend David McNiven got his first league start since mid November in place of Jaconelli. In addition, Colin Scott returned to the squad after injury but had to make do with a spot on the bench. For the home side Darren Sheridan returned from injury and scourge of the Queens Ian Harty was passed fit to play.
Clyde were the first to create a chance after seven minutes when Mensing found himself with a shooting opportunity from 18 yards out after exchanging passes with Harty but he shot wide left and high. Seven minutes later, a superb pass from Alex Burns gave Harty himself the chance to turn inside Paton and shoot but for once he got it all wrong and sclaffed the ball well wide of target. Queens however were playing some nice football even early on and almost produced a goal of their own when Lyle released McNiven down the left and he turned inside before curling a shot towards the top right corner from 20 yards which Halliwell tipped over spectacularly. A few minutes later Payne hit a decent strike from 25 yards after good work by English but this one was straight at the Clyde keeper and easily saved.
On 29 minutes Stuart Balmer picked up the game's first booking for somewhat cynically grabbing Bowey round the neck to prevent him joining a three on two breakaway. Two minutes after that Tommy English's free kick from the left side was intended as a cross but almost went straight into the goal. Halliwell though was there to catch on the line. On 33 minutes though Clyde came so close to grabbing the lead. Gilhaney found himself with time and space in the penalty area to shoot and seemed to have beaten Barnard but Tommy English arrived to block the ball before it could go into the net. Shortly after that Lyle was booked for a flare up with Gilhaney.
On 36 minutes McColligan forced a low save out of Halliwell with a 20 yard effort and a minute later Derek Lyle slashed a gilt-edged chance wide from about the penalty spot after Bowey's shot was blocked into his path by a defender. A few minutes later it was Paton's turn to shoot narrowly over as Queens continued to dominate play. Never-the-less, Clyde were still very much in the contest and on 42 minutes Gilhaney pulled the ball back from the bye-line and forced to Thomson to clear over his own bar. On the stroke of half-time Alex Burns exchanged passes with Harty and forced a decent save out of Barnard from 15 yards.
The second half saw Clyde start like a train. Jim Thomson was booked for pulling down Gilhaney as he tried to break into the penalty area on a run from halfway. The resulting free kick was fiercely struck by Bollan low and superbly parried by Barnard before McNiven was sharp enough to complete the clearance. On 53 minutes the home side came even closer. A superbly timed run by Jimmy Gibson beat the offside trap and left him clean through on goal. He rounded Barnard but forced himself wide and, though he had time to stand on the ball and simply walk it into the empty net if he'd wanted, the youngster tried to tuck the ball home from an acute angle only to hit the side netting giving Queens a huge let-off.
Just before the hour mark Bowey made the bye-line and cut back for McNiven but from six yards out he scooped the ball well over the bar. Back up the other end and Gilhaney seemed to be in the clear. He was caught by the defence but laid the ball off neatly to Harty who tricked past Thomson and had a clear shot from ten yards out but again Barnard came to the rescue blocking with his legs. It was end to end stuff though and, on 65 minutes, McNiven was presented with the ball by Balmer and advanced to the edge of the box before shooting low for the right corner of goal. Halliwell got there but could only fumble the ball wide for a corner. Billy Reid then made his first change with Graeme Jones introduced for Stuart Balmer.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 69th minute. Tommy English scampered forward down the left side and crossed looking for McNiven in the six yard box. The ball was just too high for the front man though and seemed to be destined to run out for a goal kick. Derek Lyle however had not given it up and retrieved the ball before it could run out of play. His immediate cross back into the danger area found McNiven at the back post climbing above his marker to head home. That immediately saw both managers make a change with Gary Arbuckle replacing Alex Burns for Clyde and Iain Scott sending on Gary Wood for Eric Paton in a bid to tighten things up. A few minutes later Reid completed his changes when Craig Bryson replaced Jimmy Gibson.
On 79 minutes came the first of two enormous escapes for Queens. A long ball forward was flicked on by Jones for Harty to run behind the Queens defence. Though Barnard made a fine save at the striker's feet initially, Harty was able to gather the rebound and hammer it into the net only to turn round and see a very, very late offside decision given against him. It will be interesting to see if Scotsport's cameras caught this tomorrow but I was pretty close to in line with it and it never even occurred to me there might be an offside!
With four minutes to play Willie Gibson replaced Steve Bowey but a minute later came the second let-off for Queens. Again it was that man Harty involved. He got in behind the defence again and seemed sure to equalise only to be caught by a tackle from behind in the box by Wood. He still got his shot off though and Barnard made an excellent block and then also saved a follow up effort. Harty though was furious he hadn't earned a penalty and let Hugh Dallas know it. I have to say it looked a foul to me. In the final minute Willie Gibson could have clinched the points when he broke clear but his first shot was parried by Halliwell and the rebound beat the keeper only to be cleared off the line by Malone. Derek Lyle was standing unmarked in the six yard box though and a pass to him would surely have meant a goal. However, the final whistle went before Clyde could mount another attack so it matter not.
With Partick Thistle, Ross County and Hamilton Accies all drawing today the crucial win moves Queens eight points clear of the drop with seven games to go so all in all a good day. The important thing now is to make sure the job is finished in the next two league games at Hamilton and at home to Thistle so there is no pressure in the final month.