Four-in-a-row but it was close
Published: 14 Mar 2012 08:000 comments
EAST FIFE 0, COWDENBEATH 1.
Barrs Irn Bru Second Division
Although they have picked up 12 points from their derby clashes with the Methilmen, all but one of the games have been very tight.
And this was one of these as the New Bayview side, with Gordon Durie confirmed as manager before the game, battled for every ball against a Blue Brazil who know they cannot afford to drop points in the run-in with Arbroath shadowing them.
Yet again this victory was built on really solid defensive work. Thomas Flynn produced a couple of top notch saves at key times while back in action, David Cowan, and Kenny Adamson were very solid at full-back.
Joe Mbu and John Armstrong were effective at keeping tabs on the East Fife strike force of Steven Hislop and Ryan Wallace and it meant that the home side had to work really hard to create good chances.
In midfield Scott Linton was preferred in the attacking link role and he, Jon Robertson and Gary Fisher won enough good possession to ensure Cowdenbeath had opportunities.
Greg Stewart was recalled for this one and twice came close to adding to his account.
East Fife were clearly out to impress their new boss and Hislop hit the side netting before Darren Smith got space on the edge of the Cowden box but fired over.
Cowden threatened from a couple of free-kicks with Mbu and Armstrong posing problems but in 25 minutes Mbu slipped and Hislop got clear but he opted to shoot from outside the box and he completely missed the target.
On the half hour Stewart used his good close control to get past three defenders and then saw Michale Brown make a fine diving save.
Adamson was next to have a go for Cowdenbeath with a fierce shot which Brown held.
Two minutes before the break Cowdenbeath went ahead. Darren McCormack's back-pass was misdirected and McKENZIE intercepted. His first shot was blocked by Brown but the little wide man coolly slotted the rebound.
The second period opened well for the home side and Wallace was given too much space in front of Flynn but his shot was straight at the 'keeper from the edge of the penalty area. Fisher had a chance at the other end but his finish was way too high and then on the hour Neil Janczyk fired over a fine cross which Hislop met but he sent his finish well wide.
Thomas O'Brien was subbed for Fisher as Cowden worked hard to regain the initiative.
Lewis Coult was then sent on for Stewart and his trickery saw his force a save from Brown, but in the closing moments East Fife tried to up the tempo. Bobby Linn, who had been relatively quiet, tried his luck from well out which went wide and then Wallace's header ws held by Flynn.
Cowden closed ranks in the closing minutes and top drawer defensive work ensured the three points Cowdenbeath needed.
East Fife: Brown; Durie, Cook; White, McCormack, Janczyk (Martin 70), Linn, Smith, Hislop (Dalziel 67) Wallace, Sloan. Subs not used, Campbell, Gordon and Collier.
Cowdenbeath: Flynn; Cowan (Ramsay 69); Fisher (O'Brien 64), Armstrong, Mbu; McKenzie, Robertson, Linton, Stewart (Coult 67), Lyle.Subs not used, Cameron and Wilson.
Referee-John McKendrick. .