Cowdenbeath 1, Stenhousemuir 1.

League 2

THE only real winner, at Central Park, on Saturday, was the fierce gale which made life so difficult for the players of both sides.

Cowden looked like they were going to hold on to win the game when an uncharacteristic error by Ross Sinclair handed Stenny a leveller.

However, the Blue Brazil, still short of so many regulars, were better than Stenny for most of the game and had they got the second goal, from several chances they created after getting the opener, they could have gone on to win by a comfortable margin.

It was a shame for Sinclair, who had played well up to that point in very difficult conditions for goalkeepers, with a fierce wind combining with heavy showers, making good handling tricky.

Cowden had Cian Kavanagh fit and in for the suspended David Cox, and the teenage striker played well throughout his 84 minutes on the pitch creating the goal and linking play up well.

Again the Blues’ defence was very solid, with Graham Hay and Jamie Todd working well with Fraser Mullen and Ross Clarke, especially in the first period against the gale.

Craig Barr again slotted into the midfield with Kyle Miller and Robbie Buchanan, and the trio ensured that for long spells the home side were in charge while Kavanagh linked up well with Brad Smith and Graham Taylor, to pose Stenny plenty of problems even against the wind.

Cowden faced the fierce conditions in the first 45 minutes, but made a bright start.

In the second minute they went close when Mullen’s free-kick was perfect for Barr and his header crept inches wide.

In seven minutes Stenny used the wind well and Tommy Muir had a chance but he blazed over from only 12 yards, and then former Cowden striker, Greg Spence, headed over.

At the other end Barr’s lovely pass set up Smith and his low shot was blocked on the edge of the six yard box.

On the half hour, from another Stenny corner, Andy Munro fired an angled header just wide of Sinclair’s left hand post as the visitors maintained the pressure.

Two minutes later Kavanagh fed Taylor just inside the Stenny box, but a superb Munro tackle stopped the winger in his tracks.

As the clock moved towards the interval whistlem, Stenny upped the pressure but good work by Sinclair mopped up the danger as Spence and Muir found good positions in the home box.

Cowdenbeath started the second period positively and a pass from Barr teed up Kavanagh but he did not make a good connection and ‘keeper Patrick Martin mopped up the danger in his six yard box.

In 54 minutes the visitors won a free-kick 30 yards out and Callum Tapping tested Sinclair, but six minutes later Cowden went ahead.

Sinclair’s long clearance started the trouble for the visitors and SMITH gathered Kavanagh’s pass and held off two challenges before firing a six yard shot past the ‘keeper.

Then two minutes later the attacking midfielder got a space 20 yards out and his fierce shot went inches wide before he tried his luck from an angled free-kick 19 yards out, which went narrowly past the same upright.

Stenhousemuir made a double substitution with Mark McGuigan and Cammy Graham entering the fray, but it was the Fifers who came close to a second goal when Kavanagh’s angled drive went wide.

However, with just five minutes left Stenny levelled, when Sinclair dropped a cross in the high wind and sub Cammy GRAHAM fired home the loose ball from five yards.

In time added on sub Ollie Hamilton had a chance to win it for the Blues when he got free in the box, but his angled drive hit the Stenny side net.

Cowdenbeath: Ross Sinclair (6); Fraser Mullen (7), Ross Clarke (7); Jamie Todd (7), Craig Barr (8), Kyle Miller (7); Graham Taylor (7), Graham Hay (7) Cian Kavanagh (7) (Ollie Hamilton 84 (2)), Brad Smith (7), Robbie Buchanan (7). Subs not used, Harvey Swann, Jacob Glass, Lewis Owens, Mikey Herd, Craig Easton and Mac Whyte.

Stenhousemuir: Martin (7); Tiffoney (6), Munro (7); Little (6), Yeats (6), Halleran (6) ( Graham 70 (3)); Blair (6), Tapping (7), Muir (6) (McGuigan 68 (3)), Spence (7) (Hodge 82 (2)), Erskine (6). Subs not used, McQueen, Brown, Grigor and Watters.

Referee-Calum Scott (7).