SO Cowden find themselves where they did not want to be, in the Ladbrokes League 2 relegation play-offs, but they simply have to ensure they produce two of their best performances of the season over the next fortnight.

The first leg is on Saturday at East Kilbride and the return is at Central Park on Saturday May 20.

EK got through to the final by beating nine man Buckie Thistle 4-3 on aggregate on Saturday at home and of course Cowden met them in the Scottish Cup.

That ended in a 1-0 win for the visitors, if somewhat fortuitously as the Blues pounded their goal in the second-half but failed to score.

However, Cowden need to get goals in both legs but their record since new manager Gary Locke arrived will give the Blue Brazil fans hope.

They have lost just three times under the ex-Hearts manager’s stewardship and they will go into the play-offs as favourites.

The manager was disappointed that his side did not get the win at Elgin he wanted: “We created a number of good opportunities but we just could not get a goal.

“That was the most disappointing aspect of the game for there was some good approach play, but another shut-out was also a plus from it.

“Now we are in the play-offs our target is simple, win over the two legs and the club is still in League 2.”

He added: “East Kilbride have had a good season and have been winning regularly so their confidence levels will be high but over the past 11 games we have been playing well, even in the games we have lost, bar one, and could easily have got the points we needed.

“So we must look to carry on that form in to the two leg play-off.”

Looking at Saturday’s first leg game he said: “They will want to make an impact in the early stages so we will have to be wary of them and ensure that we do not give anything cheap away.

“But it is also important that we look to take chances for if we could get an early goal it will go a long way to deflating their challenge.”

The manager may have to do without Shaun Rutherford, whose appeal against his red card in the Forfar Athletic match will be heard at Hampden on Thursday.

Director David Allan will be arguing the case for Rutherford and is hopeful that the panel will look favourably on the evidence he will provide.

Meanwhile there were no injuries and no suspensions so the team will be pretty well unchanged.