Coughlin: ‘Quick goals made it an uphill battle’

CoughJohn Coughlin was left to bemoan the loss of two quick first half goals as a spirited second half comeback wasn’t enough to take anything from the Scottish League Two match against Clyde on Saturday.

A penalty from Scott Linton following Brian Martin’s handball preceded John Gemmell’s debut goal for the Bully Wee less than 60 seconds later, with Ewan McNeil’s stunning strike 20 minutes from time not enough as the ‘Gers rallied to the death for an equaliser.

“I thought we were very leggy,” said Coughlin, referencing the ‘Gers’ first home win since October 3 against Annan Athletic last Tuesday. “It was up to me to make the call in terms of whether to bring in fresh players but I felt as though, with the players we had, we could’ve imposed ourselves on the game. That obviously backfired on us on Saturday but many a game has been won in hindsight.”

“The biggest blow though was conceding the two goals in such quick succession. The penalty was a needless one to give away and that was compounded by the second goal so soon after. It gave us such an uphill battle, especially when you’re playing away from home against such a physically strong team.”

But Coughlin admitted there were positive to take from the match, including a second half performance in which substitutes Dylan Stevenson and Finn Graham had a significant influence on the game .

“We came out in the second half, huffed and puffed a wee bit, but then the substitutions really livened us up and gave us an opportunity to get back into the match. In the end, I thought the young Clyde goalkeeper earned his money with some excellent saves to deny us getting something.

“On the whole, our second half performance was really good, but unfortunately we didn’t get the positive out of it which was to get something from the match, and that’s what matters most.”