Clyde 4 Elgin 1: McNiff at the double as Bully Wee win again

Martin McNiff was on target twice for Clyde against ElginMartin McNiff was on target twice for Clyde against Elgin
Martin McNiff was on target twice for Clyde against Elgin
It was more set-piece delight for Clyde on Saturday as they swept aside Elgin City 4-1 in an action-packed League Two encounter.

The sides were separated by just two points going into the Broadwood clash, but the hosts showed an early sign of their intent inside the opening minute when David Goodwillie’s overhead kick flashed just over the bar following a Barry Cuddihy cross.

But the Moray men failed to heed the warning and fell behind after just 16 minutes thanks to an increasingly familiar source.

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Bully Wee centre-back Martin McNiff secured last week’s win over Albion Rovers with a strike from a corner kick and repeated the trick to open the scoring when he rose to head an inswinging Chris McStay delivery past Elgin keeper Kyle Gourlay.

The lead was nearly doubled seconds later when Goodwillie broke free down the left hand side, only for his low shot to be blocked by Gourlay.

However, the home side’s pressure soon paid off on 37 minutes when McNiff turned provider to play a long ball over the visitors’ defence for Goodwillie, who raced through on goal and slid a low shot under the legs of the advancing goalkeeper.

And the home crowd were soon on their feet again just three minutes later, when another teasing corner from Ally Love was planted home by the head of an unmarked McNiff.

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The away side looked shell-shocked, but were given a lifeline on the stroke of half-time.

Clyde keeper Blair Currie misjudged Elgin full back Jordan Lowdon’s swirling free kick delivery, which bounced over the keeper’s head and over the goal line before he was able to claw it back to safety.

Elgin took heart from the goal and started the second half on the front foot, with Rabin Omar striking the bar with a thunderous effort from around 30 yards, before Brian Cameron’s flicked header was palmed away by Currie.

But the game was to take a decisive twist in the 62nd minute when Omar was sent off by ref Craig Napier for a second booking following a sliding challenge on McStay.

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Goodwillie missed a golden chance to add a fourth as he hit the crossbar, but the goal eventually arrived on 66 minutes when Goodwillie seized on slack passing in the Elgin defence and squared the ball for Karim Belmokhtar, who slammed the ball home at the second attempt.

There was still time for Goodwillie to miss a couple of golden chances to extend the lead even further, firstly shooting wide after good work to beat an Elgin defender, before being denied by the offside flag in stoppage time.