Stranraer 4, Clyde 1
Stranraer blew away Clyde at a windy Stair Park on Tuesday night to secure a place in the last 16 of the William Hill’s Scottish Cup.
Conditions contrived to make the first half a drab, error-strewn affair. Andy Stirling – always a crowd pleaser – tried some runs at the visitors but Clyde defenders swarmed to break up play and elected to hit on the break.
Jamie Longworth, always alert for an opportunity, looked to add to his goal tally as he picked up a loose ball in the box. His shot was not cleanly hit but still had Rajovic scrambling as it bounced off the woodwork.
Sweeney clipped Mitchell’s post but as half-time approached Stranraer created their best move. Stirling picked up the ball deep, ran at the Clyde defence, cut inside and played the ball to Aitken who smashed it low and hard. Rajovic got down to his right to parry and with Longworth ready to pounce, a late interception from McQueen stopped the Blues’ top scorer adding to his tally.
The second half started in the same vein, Stranraer having the bulk of the play but Clyde thwarting them.
Then came the sucker punch. Totally against the run of play the Bully Wee took the lead with an impressive strike. Conditions played a part in McKeown giving possession to MacDonald, he passed to Watt who saw Mitchell was well off his line and proceeded to shoot over him into the net.
This reversal spurred the home team into action as they went in search of the goals that had eluded them. Stranraer fans did not have long to wait to see their favourites score for the 21st consecutive game as five minutes later it was all square.
Robertson played a great ball into the danger zone. Rajovic pushed the ball out but only to Andy Stirling who laid it back to the onrushing Docherty who rifled in his first goal for the club.
Straight from the restart Stranraer were back on the offensive. A Winter pass to Grehan was scrabbled out for a corner by Gray and from the corner Stranraer were in the lead. Aitken played the ball into the packed penalty box where it bounced about, the scramble saw the ball fall to Stirling at the edge of the box and although his shot was mis-hit it reached McKeown who swivelled and lashed it into the Clyde net.
It was waves of Stranraer attacks as they endeavoured to put the tie to bed, Clyde hanging on with the assistance of woodwork and crossbar. McKeown almost added to his own personal tally as he stretched every muscle at the back post to reach at deep Aitken cross but his knock back trundled across the face of goal.
It was Winter’s turn to hit the post as he connected well with a low shot. At this stage it was one-way traffic but there was always the threat that the visitors could strike on the break but with two minutes left the tie was secured when Longworth was put in on goal following a surging run by Docherty and he fired home from the left past a despairing Rajovic. In the dying embers of the game Grehan added the icing on the cake by making it four, rounding the keeper to slide home the goal and provide an extra cheer from the home faithful who now await Premiership high flyers Inverness Caley Thistle in the next round at Stair Park.
Stranraer: Mitchell, Robertson, Docherty, Rumsby, McKeown, Aitken, Borris (Winter 65), Gallagher, McKenna (Grehan 55), Longworth (Forde 89), Stirling. Subs: McGregor, Kinnaird, Bell, Fahey
Scorers: Docherty (60), McKeown (61), Longworth (88), Grehan (90+3)
Clyde: Rajovic, Brown, MacDonald, Frances, McQueen, Gray, McCluskey (Ferguson 68), Capuano (MacBeth 82), Daly, Sweeney (Scullion 76), Watt. Subs: Marsh, Dickie,
Scorer: Watt (55)
Referee: Alan Muir