July 4, 2021
NL Cup final
Ally Love 19
Rob Jones 45
David Goodwillie 89
Clyde lifted the NL Cup after a 3-0 victory over Airdrie in a match which felt more like a pre-season friendly than a cup final.
With both sides winning their semi-final ties yesterday, managers Ian Murray and Danny Lennon took the opportunity to make changes, running the rule over a number of trialists and indulging in the standard pre-season flurry of substitutions.
The Diamonds started with four trialists, with the Bully Wee naming one-time Airdrie trialist Conrad Balatoni alongside former Diamond Jonathan Page at the centre of defence.
Ex-Falkirk man Morgaro Gomis started well in the middle of the park for Clyde, but his fifth-minute shot was wide of Max Currie’s goal.
Jordan Allan got on the end of a clever through ball four minutes later, but the striker slipped as he attempted to tee up a team-mate.
Craig Watson was playing in a more advanced role on the right, and did well to drive into the box after 13 minutes only to fire his shot was well over the bar.
Ross Cunningham tested Currie on 18 minutes, but the Diamonds goalkeeper was equal to the striker’s powerful drive.
Currie had no such luck a minute later as former Albion Rovers winger Ally Love drove in from the left hand side and slammed an angled shot into the net for the opener.
Airdrie were mostly reducing their hosts to shots from distance, and Love and Aaron Splaine both tried their luck as the half wore on.
The Diamonds had a penalty claim four minutes before the break as Allan went down as he shot, but with his effort deflected behind, referee Barry Cook was satisfied to award a corner kick.
Clyde doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time, Currie and Airdrie’s trialist defender getting in each others way as Clyde pressured, and former Dumbarton striker Rob Jones was on hand to despatch a backheeled effort over the line.
The numerous substitution began at the break, with Airdrie introducing another trialist alongside Dylan Easton.
The former Kelty midfielder made an instant impression, firing just wide of goal after shuffling away from his marker.
Scott Agnew was next to have a go for the Diamonds, Clyde’s trialist keeper saving the midfield man’s curling effort.
Cunningham shot over for the hosts before Airdrie resumed their spell of pressure, the home goalkeeper saving well on three occasions before the hour-mark.
Clyde rang the changes on the hour mark with no fewer than five substitutes taking to the field.
The Bully Wee’s keeper did well again, denying Easton after a slick passing move turned defence into attack for the Diamonds on 63 minutes.
Sam Wardrop replaced Watson for Airdrie and had two attempts on goal within five minutes of coming on, the first flying over the bar before the second was saved.
Clyde captain David Goodwillie came on for the final ten minutes, and found the net with a minute remaining, deftly chipping the ball over substitute keeper Jay Cantley.
It was a more positive second half performance from the Diamonds, who created chances but were unable to find a way past Clyde’s trialist goalkeeper, and it was Danny Lennon’s men who lifted the trophy on their home patch for the second successive year.
Stuart Mathie at Broadwood Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.