East Kilbride 0, Cowdenbeath 0.
SPFL Pyramid Play-off first leg
A GOALLESS first leg so all to play for but it could have been a lot better for the Blue Brazil.
At the K-Park, on Saturday, Cowden had a golden chance to grab the advantage for this weekend’s second leg when the Blues were awarded a penalty with just four minutes to go but Kyle Miller failed from the spot.
It was Cowdenbeath’s sixth successive spot-kick miss and everyone is hoping it is not crucial to their chances of staying in league football.
There was no doubt Cowden looked dangerous throughout the game but EK defended solidly and and had some really good possession and goalkeeper Matt McGinley had a very solid 90 minutes.
At the other end Jamie Sneddon did likewise for Cowdenbeath while, without the suspended Shaun Rutherford, Gerry McLauchlan was recalled with David Syme slotting in at left-back and the changed line-up coped well.
In midfield Miller had another telling game and made a number of telling passes and with Fraser Mullen and Liam Henderson had the Blues making the most of the ball.
It meant that Kris Renton and Dale Carrick saw plenty of it but they found McGinley hard to beat.
East Kilbride made a bright start to the game and Sneddon had a couple of good clutches from crosses while at the other end Carrick fired in a shot following a set piece and McGinley saved well.
Craig McLeish was just inches wide with a drive in 14 minutes for EK, then Sean Winter blazed over for the home team.
Good chances were not many for either side and a goalless scoreline at the break was no surprise but in 56 minutes Winter saw a low shot blocked then soon after Mullen saw his 20 yarder go just over.
As the game went into its last quarter Adam Strachan saw his shot well saved by Sneddon then Lewis Moore fired over from a good position for the Blues.
With 13 minutes left Mullen saw his fierce shot saved by McGinlay and in 85 minutes as Cowden turned up the pressure, the EK ‘keeper made a brilliant save from Syme’s header.
A minute later Fabio Capuano as adjudged to have used a hand to chest the ball back to the ‘keeper and the referee rushed to the spot after speaking to his assistant. What a chance for the Blue Brazil but Miller’s shot was well saved by McGinley diving to his right.
Cowdenbeath kept looking for a goal and in the closing seconds forced two corners but the EK defence held on.
East Kilbride: McGinley (9); Capuano (6) (Stevenson 90 (2)), Russell (7); Proctor (7), Howie (7), Gibbons (6); Winter (7), McLeish (6), Woods (6) (McLean 90 (2)), Vitoria (7), Strachan (7). Subs not used, McLean, Kean, Hughes, Coll, McBride, McLaren and Kean.
Cowdenbeath: Jamie Sneddon (7); Jamie Pyper (7), David Syme (7); Gerry McLauchlan (7), Scott Rumsby (7), Kyle Miller (7); Lewis Moore (6), Fraser Mullen (8), Dale Carrick (6), Kris Renton (7), Liam Henderson (7) (Robbie Buchanan 82 (2)). Subs not used, Burton O’Brien, Matt Rooney, Cammy Muirhead, Craig Johnston and Dave McGurn.
Referee-Gavin Duncan (6).