GORDON MOFFAT is used to thinking on his feet and reacting quickly.

The Clydebank manager, who will lead his side out against Clyde in the third round of the Scottish Cup today, is well-versed in watching on from the sidelines and having to formulate plans in real-time as unexpected issues arise.

It proved to be a handy skill-set earlier this month when in the dead of night his wife, Jill, gave him a gentle nudge to rouse him from his slumber. After years of delivering success on the park for the Bankies, Moffat found himself having to deliver off of it.

“My second daughter was due at the end of October but it ended up spilling into November and she arrived on the ninth,” he explained. “I ended up delivering her myself which wasn’t part of the plan but everything happened so quickly that night.

“I was on the phone to a call handler on 999 and I quickly realised I was going to have to deal with the situation before the ambulance got here. It’s not something I’ll be repeating but it was certainly an experience!

“It was so quick that I never even had time to think about it. With my first daughter, Georgie, the labour was about eighteen hours and I think the labour for Millie was under an hour.

“For me it was even less because Jillie didn’t want to wake me. She woke me up at 3:40 to say she had a few cramps and then by 4:05 I was holding Millie. It was a bit of a whirlwind and I hadn’t really woke up. The ambulance arrived shortly after and took over, making sure everything was fine.”


It’s already been a memorable month for the family and Moffat hopes to add to that this afternoon at Holm Park. After dispatching fourth-tier Elgin City in the previous round via a replay, the challenge facing the Bankies has once again been ratcheted up as they prepare to host League One’s Clyde in their first run in the Scottish Cup in two decades.

As a club that ply their trade in the WoSFL – the sixth tier of Scottish football – the deck is firmly stacked against Moffat and his players in Yoker today. But after pulling off an upset in the previous round, the Clydebank boss admits the mood in the camp is high going into the Bankies’ biggest game in 20 years.

“There’s a good buzz around the club again,” he said. “The good thing is the guys have a wee bit of experience from the last round so we kind of know what to expect.

“The main thing is to take the experience from the Elgin game. A lot of them haven’t played players at that level. You look at the quality Elgin have – they’ve got a sprinkling of guys that have played in the Premiership.

“There are a few things that are different that we’ve spoken about. Their movement in the game itself – it’s different to our level. It means we can get right into the game.”

As Moffat alludes to, settling into the contest against Danny Lennon’s side is of utmost importance to Clydebank. In the initial game with Elgin, a 1-1 draw at Holm Park, the home contingent were slow out of the traps as the League Two club gained the upper hand early on. But thanks to some tinkering from the touchline, the Bankies hauled themselves level before eliminating Elgin in the Highlands the following weekend with a 2-1 victory in the replay.

“It took us 25 minutes to settle in the first tie,” Moffat recalled. “I think it was a combination of things. We gambled a little bit with the system because I felt if we could get the upper hand in the first game, we could have caught Elgin on the hop a wee bit.

“The way it panned out they started very well and to be fair to them, they were really good at moving the ball from side to side. It caused us an issue so we had to adjust quickly, which we did in the first half.

“I think the other part of it is that there was a wee bit of nerves; all the build-up got on top of them a bit. I’ve said to the players since that they deserve credit for sorting it out quickly. We grew into it and I thought in the second half we were the better team.”

It would be perfectly understandable if Moffat’s charges felt the burden of history on their shoulders. After two decades of fighting tooth and nail to re-join the pyramid following the club’s financial collapse at the turn of the century, Clydebank were finally back in the Scottish Cup proper.

Their very inclusion in the tournament was a victory of sorts – and the wins over first Dalkeith and then Elgin have provided the cherry on top of what was always going to be a significant and occasionally emotional cup campaign, regardless of how matters transpired on the park.

“Even if we had gone out in the first round against Dalkeith, it still would have been a huge season for the club just being back in it,” Moffat explains. “I think we saw that that day when we beat Dalkeith.

“Coming off the pitch, Grace [McGibbon] – the club chair – and others had some tears. I think that brought it home for some players in terms of how much it meant. A lot of years went into that, a lot of fighting and hard work to get us to that point.

“Grace said that – I think she considered the Elgin game as a bit of a bonus. The fact that we put Elgin out and we now have another jump in class for us – I think you can call it a cup run now.

“With Grace and the board, you can see it means so much to them. I think the boys now understand that. Even up in Elgin in the replay, they dug that wee bit deeper because they knew what it meant to people.”


Moffat is under no illusions about the scale of the task facing his players this afternoon. With Clyde boasting players with Premiership experience under their belts in the squad, the Clydebank boss admits that he will have to rely on one or two opponents having an afternoon to forget.

David Goodwillie, formerly of Dundee United, is the Bully Wee’s most obvious threat but Moffat has a talismanic forward of his own hoping to set the cats amongst the pigeons: 29-year-old club captain Nicky Little.

“Nicky has obviously been a great player for the club, he’s scored over 100 goals,” Moffat points out. “He’s been away at one point and now he’s back and I hope he ends his career here.

“When I came in here I knew about Nicky from playing against him and playing against my teams. I made Nicky club captain as I felt he had the qualities to do that. That’s the bit people don’t see – obviously he’s great on the pitch and even if he’s not having a great game, his numbers in terms of running and things like that are incredible at times.

“When you’re playing against guys like Goodwillie, I can do as much as I want but if he clicks on the day he’s very hard to stop. But in terms of our approach, it’s very similar for me and the players in terms of the Elgin game.

“We’ve done a lot of homework and spent a lot of time at Elgin sussing out their strengths and weaknesses. We’ve done all the same stuff to prepare for Clyde and I’m sure they’ll have done the same.

“Goodwillie has played at the very top level in Scotland and he’s got the quality to really hurt teams right through this country – not just our level. I think he can harm any team when he’s on his game. We’ll do as much as we can, rely on him having an off-day and see where that takes us.”