David Goodwillie hat-trick earns 10-man Clyde comeback point against Stranraer

Stranraer's Jordan Allan can't believe it as David Goodwillie celebrates his third goal (pic: Craig Black Photography)
Stranraer's Jordan Allan can't believe it as David Goodwillie celebrates his third goal (pic: Craig Black Photography)

Fans at Broadwood were entertained by the sounds of Blur blasting out 'It Really,Really, Really Could Happen" at half-time in the Clyde's opening fixture of 2020 against Stranraer.

With the Bully Wee a man and two goals down, the Clyde DJ's choice of music seemed optimistic, to say the least.

Fast forward 45 remarkable minutes and it HAD happened as their side snatched, if not victory, then at least an unlikely draw from the jaws of defeat.

And while Clyde celebrated what seemed like a victory, Stranraer were left to ponder just exactly how it had happened.

The Stair Park side, bottom of the league, looked to have a precious victory in the bag only for David Goodwillie to come up with a second-half treble which brought his tally against the Blues at Broadwood this season to EIGHT in two games.

The opening stages of the game were fairy even, both sides having threatening moments with Stranraer perhaps just holding the edge.

But the game took a significant twist on 20 minutes when Clyde were reduced to 10 men, Barry Cuddihy red-carded for a last-man challenge on Andy Stirking.

Perhaps in a portent of things to come, Goodwillie almost gave Clyde the lead when his shot, via slight deflection off Adam Cummins, thudded against the outside of Max Currie's left-hand post.

But the initiative was with Stranraer. New signing Ryan Stevenson showed all his experience and quality as he dropped off to find pockets of space and pull the Stranraer strings.

And the visitors were rewarded on 32 minutes when he started the move which saw Stirling's shot stopped but deflected into the path of Cameron Elliott who headed home from close range.

Ex-Stranraer kereper David Mitchell did well to keep out efforts from Stirling and Stevenson.

But he was beaten again three minutes from the break as Jordan Allan bundled the ball home following an almighty stramash in the Bully Wee box.

Clyde began the second half with Darren Smith on for Chris Johnston and the substitute threatened with a 52nd minute kept out by a terrific block from Cummins.

But a minute later Clyde were back in the game as Goodwillie latched onto a long ball over the Stranraer defence and calmly lobbed the advancing Currie.

Stranraer reacted to that like a rabbit caught in a car's headlights, and by the hour mark their advantage had evaporated thanks to more Goodwillie brilliance.

The Clyde skipper's driving run through the heart of the Stranraer defence ended when he was impeded by Robertson just inside the box. Goodwille duly rammed the penal;ty low past Currie and it was game on.

Goodwillie somehow failed to put Clyde in front when he had an effort turned round the post by Currie, seeming so far offside that everyone in the stadium, including Goodwillie, stopped anticipating a flag which didn't come.

But, strangely, Stranraer were having their best spell of the second half after being pegged back to level terms and Robertson fired over from a good position 12 yards out.

Both sides were pushing for the win and only a superb Currie double save denied Tony Wallace and Goodwillie.

And it looked as if the visitors would return south with the win after all as they regained the lead nine minutes from time, Elliott heading home after Mitchell had failed to collect an Allan corner.

Incredibly it was all square again just two minutes later as Mark Lamont launched a ball into the box and Goodwillie - for reasons best known to the Stranraer defenders - was left unmarked to guide a header past Currie for his hat-trick.

In the end it would be churlish to deny Clyde some kind of reward for battling back from a man and two goals down - but Stranraer boss Stevie Farrell was left to wonder exactly how it had happened.