KELTY HEARTS remain bottom of League One and without a point after three second half goals sent them to defeat at Clyde this afternoon.
Two efforts from Ross Cunningham, who made it five in three games for the Bully Wee, and one from substitute Euan Cameron condemned John Potter’s side to their third loss in as many games in League One.
The scoreline doesn’t truly reflect the tale of the match, in which Kelty were better side in the opening 45 minutes, but clinical finishing from the hosts, in a second half that saw them much improved, saw them move on to seven points.
For the New Central Park outfit, Dunfermline come calling next week in the first Fife derby of the season, and they’ll have to pick themselves up after what turned out to be a disappointing defeat.
In the first half, they had the best opportunities- Alfredo Agyeman guilty of spurning the best of them – but they couldn’t maintain those levels after half-time.
Through the week, Potter blostered his ranks by adding a trio of players, bringing in ex-Pars, Ayr United and Partick Thistle man, Steven Bell; midfielder Scott McGill, on loan from Hearts; and former Queen’s Park midfielder, Darren Lyon.
Although the experienced Bell was not in the squad, along with Kallum Higginbotham, who missed out again through injury, both Lyon and McGill were named on the bench.
There were two changes for the visitors, with Tam O’Ware missing out completely, and Finn Robson dropping to the bench, as Ross Philp and Robbie McNab came into the starting line-up.
Kelty were also boosted by the appearance of forward, Nathan Austin, on the bench, after he missed both the matches with FC Edinburgh and Alloa Athletic after picking up an injury during their final Premier Sports Cup match, at Livingston, on July 23.
The Bully Wee made two changes to the side that drew with Peterhead last weekend, as Erik Sula and Olly McDonald came in for Barry Cuddihy, who dropped to the bench, and Jordan Allan, who was banned after being sent off against the Blue Toon.
Clyde, with four points from two matches, sat just behind early pacesetters Airdrieonians and the Pars prior to kick off, whilst Kelty, after defeats to FC Edinburgh and Alloa Athletic, arrived at New Douglas Park in search of their first points since being promoted last season.
In the early stages, they certainly played like a team that were out to get them, and passed the ball around the lush artificial surface at New Douglas Park, where Clyde are playing after leaving Broadwood at the end of last season, with confidence.
They had the contest’s best moments inside the opening 15 minutes, the best of which fell for Alfredo Agyeman.
From what started as a Clyde corner, Joe Cardle led a brilliant break upfield, with Kelty working the ball wide left to Kyle Doherty.
Cardle continued his run upfield, and was picked out by his team-mate, before the experienced winger slipped Agyeman through on goal, only for Bully Wee keeper, Neil Parry, to deny him with a brilliant block.
Doherty, recently recruited after leaving Albion Rovers, flashed a header wide before Philp brought out a good save from Parry from the left-edge of the six yard box.
At the other end, however, Danny Lennon’s side served notice of the threat they pose with a fine move that saw Ross Cunningham slip in Ross Lyon, who was only denied by some fine goalkeeping by Darren Jamieson.
After the first water break of the afternoon, Kelty should have taken the lead just on the half hour mark.
Cardle again started the move, picking the ball up on the left, before slipping Doherty through.
The forward did ever so well to take it round Parry but, with the angle too tight to shoot, he pulled it back for Agyeman, but he blazed over from around six yards out.
He was almost in on goal again moments later, but Doherty’s attempt to find him was over-hit, before Lyon had another effort for Clyde, but it was a comfortable save for Jamieson from the edge of the box.
Kelty had another opportunity before the break, when McNab was unfortunate not to make contact with a fine Cardle cross, while Olly McDonald flashed an effort wide of the far post early in the second period for the Bully Wee.
At the other end, visiting captain, Michael Tidser, tested Parry with an audacious effort from range, but it was the hosts who took the lead.
Cunningham, who had scored three in his team’s opening two outings, controlled a ball over the top from Sula well and, with Jamieson advancing from his line, lifted a delicate lob over him from just inside the penalty area and in to the back of the net.
It was harsh on Kelty, who had been the better side until that point, and Potter reacted by sending McGill on for his debut, in place of McNab, and Austin on in place of Doherty.
They did, though, need to rely on Jamieson to keep them in it.
Morgaro Gomis, after picking up the ball after Philp tried to head forward but the ball flashed off the back of his head, flicked it away from an opponent and made his way into the box.
From the right-edge of the area, he unleashed a powerful drive, which the visiting keeper did well to push over the bar.
Lyon, who was introduced to the action by Potter with 20 minutes to go, did almost find a way through for Kelty from a Tidser corner, but he was unfortunate to flash his effort wide of target.
Then, as often happens, their opponents made them pay for their missed opportunities with a second goal with 10 minutes to go.
Clyde had been much improved since the break and their second goal, much like their first, was really well-worked.
Liam Scullion, who entered the fray at the same time as Cameron, set off on a tremendous run down the right, and left Lewis Martin trailing, before pulling it back for Gomis.
The experienced midfielder had the composure, and awareness, to lay the ball on to his left for Cameron, who made no mistake with a fine finish beyond Jamieson.
If that was bad enough, Clyde rubbed salt into Kelty’s wounds with three minutes left.
From a visiting corner, the home side broke forward and Cunningham, on the left, scampered into the area before finishing well beyond Jamieson, leaving Kelty rock bottom with three defeats from three.
Clyde: Parry, Lyon, Sula, McLean, P. Grant, R. Grant, Kennedy (Cuddihy 40 (Hendji 67)), Roberts (Scullion 67), Gomis (Rodden 88), Cunningham, McDonald (Cameron 67).
Subs not used: Rodden, Trialist.
Goal: Cunningham (53, 87), Cameron (80).
Kelty Hearts: Jamieson, Logan, Martin, Forster, McNab (McGill 55), Philp, Tidser, Barjonas, Cardle, Doherty (Austin 55), Agyeman (Lyon 70).
Subs not used: Reilly, Hill, Strang, Campbell, Cameron, Robson.
Booked: Cardle (26), Tidser (59).
Referee: Mike Roncone.