The destination for this weekend was Cumbernauld for our first visit to Broadwood, current home of Clyde FC. In the last few months, club officials have been in talks about the possibility of uprooting to potentially share grounds with Rutherglen Glencairn or East Kilbride Thistle, though no definitive timescales have been disclosed for this.
We have managed to get complimentary tickets for the game and have had to put a lot of preparation into organising this trip in advance as the wife is working, child care requires to be arranged and I have also arranged to meet a good friend of mine pre-match, who lives literally two minutes away from the ground!
The parking options are limited and with kick off approaching and tickets still to be collected we had no option but to just chance getting parked outside the main stand! As we slowed down and approached the awaiting steward he asked if we were VIP or hospitality, we said yes, he let us in, job done!
I took a couple of pictures, got the tickets and naturally headed to the first turnstyle. An older female employee taking in the money asked us “are you’s Montrose fans?”. We paused indecisively and before telling her we were just wanting in to see the game she said “yeez cannae come in here this is for Montrose fans only”, so that was us told!
After finally getting in right on 3pm we headed up the stairs to get a seat and stopped just before we reached the top as it was eerily silent. I suggested it might be a minutes silence taking place for Remembrance Sunday, so after a few seconds we decided to head up before looking at each other confused, as the game was actually underway! A fortnight ago there were over 7,700 in this very stadium for a Live televised match, today however was more realistic with 468 diehards in attendance.
The first half just seemed to go past pretty uneventfully in what were quite difficult, wet playing conditions, with both sides having half chances but both lacking a decent final ball and a cutting edge up front.
Not long after the re-start, Montrose had a great chance to take the lead when a cross from the left was incredibly headed wide by Alan Campbell when it seemed easier to score. It was an absolute sitter but it did seem to spur the away side on and minutes later they took the lead. Montrose were getting a fair bit of change from the Clyde right back and when another cross from the left bye line fell to McLeish just inside the penalty box, his shot crept into the bottom corner with the aid of a slight deflection. The Clyde defence was static and the goalkeeper, Jamie Barclay looked a bit unsighted and maybe saw the shot late.
The goal got the home fans fired up anyway and locals of all ages let the Manager, Jim Duffy know exactly what they felt with an outpouring of really abusive language and thinly veiled threats! They questioned everything from Duffy’s managerial credentials, the team selection to the tactics and lack of substitutions.
Clyde did make a change in a reaction to going a goal behind, but it was the double change with fifteen minutes left that was to prove significant when only two minutes after coming on, Pat Scullion equalised. From a corner on the right hand side the big utility player rose highest and his powerful looping header dropped over Montrose keeper, David Crawford. However the lead only lasted three minutes and when a cross came in this time from the right hand side, two Clyde defenders got in each others way and the ball broke to Jamie Winter twenty yards out and his fine right foot volley flew into the bottom left hand corner.
Clyde’s best and last opportunity to equalise fell to Kevin Watt who was put through on the keeper in the last seconds of the game, but as the angle narrowed and under pressure from two defenders he lifted his shot just over the bar when he may have gone for power. The game ended in a 2-1 win for Montrose and the tannoy announcer’s voice drowned out the hostility being directed at the home Manager!
This wasn’t the best of games to watch if i’m honest, but we enjoyed other aspects of the visit. One of the boys turned to us during the first half and said “I wonder why more people don’t come out and support the the team?” basing this query on some of the lavish looking housing near Broadwood. By full time we got our answer, it is quite clear, somewhat unfortunately, that people don’t want to pay their money to watch this level of football.
The stadium is impressive, with three decent sized stands and a leisure centre looking building behind the right hand side goal. The facilities are very good and is a venue fitting of a higher standard of football. I never knew the club were now using a modern all purpose astro pitch which i’m assuming will generate more income with other local sides also getting use of it.
The supporters clearly have high expectations for their team on the pitch but with little experienced professionals in the side, may have to accept that the current crop of young players are as it’s good as it’s going to get just now and get behind them. Easier for me to say right enough i’m not watching it week in week out!