Sep 24 2008 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
FRUSTRATION and anger, disappointment and dejection.
Welcome to New Broomfield at teatime on Saturday when reality barged through the door and made its burly presence felt.
This was an afternoon which saw nothing go right for Airdrie, a day that probably left everyone amongst the home support suffering from all of the above.
Paul Lovering’s straight red card in the 10th minute was bad enough. But then Diamonds fans witnessed Simon Lynch limp off injured, the Bully Wee open the scoring and eventually make it 2-0 in the second half.
All of this took place amid a backdrop of an Airdrie performance which failed to set the heather on fire in a game that saw referee Brian Winter dish out eight bookings, six of them to Clyde.
But let’s start at the beginning with Lovering’s dismissal. No-one seemed to know what it was for at the time, although speculation was rife in the press box. Mr Winter’s attention was first drawn to the matter by linesman Andy McWilliam.
Some light needed to be shed on the issue and it was Diamonds gaffer Kenny Black who revealed his skipper may have seen red as a result of raising his hands or punching a Clyde opponent in the back.
“If that’s the case, he deserves all he gets,” said the manager. “He’s an experienced player, the captain. He’s let himself and the rest of his team-mates down.
“The linesman is standing in close vicinity and isn’t going to raise his flag for no reason – the referee isn’t going to send him off for no reason. He has a job to do. Whether we felt he did or didn’t do well, he has got that spot on.”
But Black wasn’t going to stand and blame Lovering’s ejection for Airdrie’s loss with the gaffer admitting his side just didn’t get started once the action got under way.
He added: “To be fair, even at 11 v 11 after the first ten minutes, they looked the likelier team to win the game.
“They completely dominated from start to finish once it was 11 v 10 and I have no complaints. Even when we have won games, I haven’t been entirely happy as you have got to keep them on their toes.”
Black never allows himself to get too carried away with victories and by the same token, refuses to get overly downbeat when his side feel the wrong end of the stick.
And after watching a poor 90 minutes devoid of imagination and invention, you would have been hard-pushed to criticise the boss for this particular outlook.
“What this result does is bring a sense of reality to the situation. We have no divine right to win games,” he said.
“I had heard all sorts of things like if results go well we could have been a point off the top but we are not good enough for that. We have to go out and work hard every week if we are going to achieve what we want to achieve.
“We won’t forget about this result. We deserved nothing and the scoreline reflects that.”
After Black held his briefing, the sad sight of Lynch hobbling out of the ground caught the eye with the manager confirming he had suffered a knee injury while trying to retrieve possession.
He was replaced in the 23rd minute and five minutes later Clyde took the lead. Ricky Waddell cut inside from the left, danced into the box and fired a low shot into the far corner of the net.
Stephen Robertson’s goal led a charmed life for the remainder of the first half. Pat Clarke headed just over in the 36th minute, he came even closer when he nodded a Billy Gibson cross off the bar as half-time approached.
Airdrie were unable to cause problems with the Bully Wee defence enjoying a comfortable day at the office. Even when Steven McDougall partnered Paul Di Giacomo in attack following the break, they still struggled to deliver any kind of blow.
Visiting substitute Ruari MacLennan inflicted a fatal wound in the 59th minute. He picked up a loose ball outside the box and drilled a shot through a busy penalty area and past Robertson.
The Diamonds chased shadows for the rest of the game with Clyde stroking the ball around confidently, safe in the knowledge that three important points had been secured.
Some home fans gave Mr Winter pelters at the end but it’s too easy to take pot-shots at the man in the middle and blame him for all the world’s woes.
Responsibility rests, ultimately, with the players and with the bottom two of Ross County and Morton losing at the weekend, Airdrie’s group missed a golden opportunity to turn the screw.
And that was Saturday’s most frustrating and disappointing moment all rolled into one.
Advertiser man of the match (3pts) - Stephen McKenna. Did well when forced to play at centre-half. David Nixon (2pts), Stephen Robertson (1pt).
Moment of the match: Paul Lovering’s sending-off was a huge turning point in the game.
Airdrie: Robertson, Smyth, Donnelly, Nixon, Lovering, McDougall (Noble 68), McDonald (Cardle 71), McKenna, McLaughlin, Lynch (Brown 23), Di Giacomo. Subs not used: Smith, Hollis(gk).
Booked: Smyth, Nixon. Sent-off: Lovering.
Clyde: Cherrie, Lowing, Higgins (MacLennan 45), McGregor, Ohnesorge, McKay (Trouten 80), Kettlewell, Gibson, Waddell, Clarke, Gemmill (McSwegan 45). Subs not used: Brown, Hutton(gk).
Booked: Ohnesorge, McGregor, Kettlewell, Gibson, Clarke, Gemmill.
Referee: Brian Winter.