Patience pays off for Robbo as 'Well reach last 16

Stephen Robinson on the touchline at Broadwood
Stephen Robinson on the touchline at Broadwood

It’s doubtful if iconic sitcom Dad’s Army is regarded as much of an influence of ‘Well boss Stephen Robinson and his tactics.

But his advice to his troops at half-time at Broadwood on Saturday - albeit no doubt delivered in a more measured fashion - was straight out of the Lance Corporal Jones textbook. Don’t panic.

Robinson was the happier manager in the end.

Robinson was the happier manager in the end.

There certainly was cause for concern among the Well faithful who saw their side’s early assurance start to wane as Clyde worked their way into the game and took the lead through David Goodwillie.

Their chances of emulating last season’s run to the final were under real threat as an early group stage exit loomed.

But Robinson always felt his side would earn their reward if they stuck to the plan, and so it proved.

They did leave it late though. Barely 15 minutes remained when Curtis Main levelled, heading home from virtually on the line after keeper Kieran Hughes touched the ball onto the bar as Clyde struggled to deal with Alex Rodriguez Gorrin’s corner.

Two minutes later Danny Johnson’s emphatic strike into the roof of the net had Well in front and in the final minute Conor Sammon’s expertly directed header wrapped it up.

Robinson was delighted with the character shown by his side, while admitting they could have played better and acknowledging that there were still improvements to come.

But he bridled at one hack’s post-match suggestion that “they hadn’t looked like scoring” when he spoke to the assembled media.

He said: “Well we had 19 shots. There weren’t many on target, I’ll give you that, but with 19 shots I’m not sure we didn’t look like scoring.

“Our quality in the final third wasn’t good and we didn’t hit the target often enough but we we were getting into decent areas without penetrating.

“At half-time we said we’re just going to have to be patient. The better teams will be patient and keep doing the simple things well and I think we do that.

“You have to give credit to the players as well, they’ve shown the patience and the quality in the last 20 minutes and we said to them it may take that long to break it down.

“We were positive with our substitutions, we couldn’t have gone any more attacking, and we got the result that we deserved in the end.

“There are no easy matches and you have to give credit to Clyde; they took their chance well with a great finish and had another couple of half-chances as well.

“We looked rusty at times, we looked like we’re still in the middle of pre-season - which we are because these games have taken the place of that.

“There were some good performances and the boys showed a lot of character in difficult conditions and it’s mission accomplished.”

Well’s progress to the last 16 - and an away tie with Premiership rivals Livingston - was down in so small measure to Elliott Frear.

The English winger was the most likely source of inspiration throughout.

He had Well’s best effort in the first half, a low strike which brought out a decent save from Hughes who turned it round the post.

And after the break a string of dangerous deliveries into the box had the Clyde defence under pressure with assists eventually coming with crosses for both the second and third goals.

“He’s a boy that any team that we play against always ask about,” said Robinson.

“What I’m looking for is the consistency from Elliott that he’s shown so far this season.

“He’s scored goals, he’s setting them up and he probably created five or six clear cut chances today, so he needs to continue doing that.”