Cowdenbeath 3, Cove Rangers 2.

Ladbrokes League 2 Play-off second leg


A SUPERB second-half performance saw Cowdenbeath keep their place in the Scottish League.

Opponents Cove completely fell out of the game, at Central Park on Saturday, and should have been more heavily beaten and in the end they ended with only eight players

The first period saw Cowdenbeath struggle despite scoring in the opening minutes. But after the break the midfield took command and Cove went for the physical approach to try and stop them and a string of dismissals followed.

Kyle Miller, Brad Smith and Blair Malcolm started to run the game and the Aberdeenshire side did not have the class to compete with them.

Cowden got the best possible start. In six minutes Robbie Buchanan was making ground in the Rangers box and Jamie Masson pulled him down and Harvey SWANN made an expert job of the penalty kick.

But the lead lasted only three minutes. With the home defence claiming offside, from Darry Kelly’s long throw, Mitch MEGGINSON did not bother waiting and headed the ball over Dave McGurn to square things.

Then in 21 minutes they took the lead when Paul McManus was the provider with a ball to the back post and MEGGINSON was lurking to clip the ball high into the net.

The Rangers were making all the running and Eric Watson saw his close in header parried by McGurn as the hosts struggled to pose many problems for them and there were another couple of chances for Megginson but he was unable to convert.

Cowden levelled in 49 minutes. The Blues were awarded a free-kick on the left hand side of the Cove defence and SWANN’s angled left foot drive was missed by the visiting defence and the ball rolled all the way into the net with McKenzie and his defenders watching.

Cowden started to boss play and Jordyn Sheerin and David Cox both got into good positions without getting a telling shot away.

Then in 70 minutes the home side took the lead. McKenzie made a hash of a clearance under pressure from Sheerin and with the ‘keeper out of his goal Brad SMITH took Kyle Miller’s pass and fired a 35 yarder into the empty net.

Cowden could have scored more as Cove were put under a lot of pressure and then as the clocked ticked down they had McManus, Watson and Scott Ross red carded for misdemeanours and their boss John Sheran was sent to the stand, as was home manager Gary Bollan after a spat between the dug outs, but it was Cowdenbeath’s day and the second-half performance made it thoroughly deserved .

Cowdenbeath: Dave McGurn (7); Fraser Mullen (6), Harvey Swann (8); Jamie Pyper (7), Bryan Gilfillan (7) (Brandon Luke 90 (2)), Kyle Miller (7) (Scott Rumsby 89 (2)); David Cox (6) (Ben Reilly 68 (3)), Blair Malcolm (6), Jordyn Sheerin (7), Brad Smith (5), Robbie Buchanan (6). Subs not used, Jordan Hornby, Mark Fotheringham, Cammy Muirhead and Blair Penman.

Cove Rangers: McKenzie (6); Redford (6) (Lawrie 74 (3)), Milne (7); Ross (6), Watson (6), Kelly (7); Stott (7), Scully (6), Megginson (7), McManus (6), Masson (6) (Smith 60 (3)). Subs not used, Robertson, Strachan, Park and McCafferty.

Referee-Steven Kirkland (6).