Cowdenbeath 1, Rangers 3.

William Hill Scottish Cup 4th Round


RANGERS survived a spirited Cowdenbeath second-half fight-back to get through to round five of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

The Glasgow side were three up at half-time, at Central Park last night, but lost their way after the break and Cowden put them under a lot of pressure and were unlucky to score only once.

The Blue Brazil had been a bit tentative in the first period but after the break they poured forward and spent 45 minutes posing the Rangers defence a lot of problems.

David Cox was a constant threat to the 'Gers and could have had more than his one strike while Kris Renton worked really hard for an hour, and after that Jordan Allan and Matt Henvey caused real trouble with their blistering pace.

If there was to be a complaint about Cowden it would be that a couple of the Rangers' goals came from a little bit of slackness.

But losing experienced left-back, Jason Talbot with a knee injury after only 15 minutes did not help that at all, although his replacement Harvey Swann coped well with having to come into a game against Premiership opposition from the bench.

Fraser Mullen worked hard on the right flank and Jamie Pyper and Robbie Deas did well at subduing former England star Jermain Defoe and Daniel Candeias.

In midfield Blair Malcolm, Kyle Miller, Gary Fraser and Robbie Buchanan worked hard and started to stamp their authority on the game in the second period.

All in all a performance Cowden fans could be proud of against the team which is second top of the Premiership.

Cowden boss Gary Bollan was happy with the way his team tackled the challenge.

“When you are playing against quality players you have to be alert and he were caught out a couple of times and lost maybe a couple of avoidable goals,” he said.

“But we kept working hard though and it was great to a goal back early in the second period and we managed to pose more than a few problems for Rangers for spells in the second-half.”

Rangers opened aggressively but good work by Deas cleared the danger when Daniel Candeias sent through a pass for Kyle Rafferty.

However, in 12 minutes later Rangers took the lead. The home midfield failed to close down Andy HALLIDAY and the midfielder cracked a curling 25 yarder low past Dave McGurn.

The home team receive another blow in 15 minutes when experienced defender Talbot limped off with teenager Swann replacing him and in 26 minutes the visitors stretched their lead when the home defence failed to clear a corner and Lassana COULIBALY was lying handy to hook the ball high into the net from ten yards out.

Cowdenbeath had a spell of pressure which saw Renton and Cox get in shots but Gareth McAuley was alert to the danger and blocked both efforts.

But in time added on at the break a fine pass from Halliday sent Kyle LAFFERTY clean through and he cleverly shot past the stranded McGurn.

But within two minutes of the second period the Blue Brazil pulled one back. Renton was pulled down by McAuley and when Swann’s penalty kick was blocked by Wes Foderingham COX followed up to blast the ball into the net.

In 64 minutes the Fifers almost got another when 'keeper Wes Foderingham blasted the ball off sub Jordan Allan and the ball rolled agonisingly past the post, then Kyle Miller’s lob was inches wide as the visitors struggled to make an impact.

Cowden had the ball in the net again with 18 minutes left but Allan was just off-side when he swept the ball home.

Rangers had to wait until the 84th minute to get a good shot in with sub Glen Middleton firing a 20 yarder inches wide but after that Henvey went through on a Miller pass and Foderingham made a good save.

All in all not a bad performance at all by Cowdenbeath over the 90 minutes.

Cowdenbeath: Dave McGurn (7); Fraser Mullen (7), Jason Talbot (4) (Harvey Swann 15 (7)); Jamie Pyper (7), Robbie Deas (7), Kyle Miller (7); David Cox (9), Blair Malcolm (7) (Jordan Allan (4) 58)), Kris Renton (7) (Matt Henvey 58 (4)), Gary Fraser (8), Robbie Buchanan (7). Subs not used, Jordyn Sheerin, Martin Scott, Kyle Sneddon, and Ryan Goodfellow.

Rangers: Foderingham (6); Flanagan (7), McAuley (7); Katic (6), Coulibaly (7) (Middleton 66 (4)), Halliday (8); Jack (7), Davis (7), Lafferty (7), Defoe (6), Candeias (8) (Houston 85 (3)). Subs not used, Arfield, Kent, Worrall, Morelos and McGregor.

Referee-Craig Thomson (7).