MAURICE Ross still believes in the great escape and says his Blue Brazil team can avoid finishing bottom of the league after claiming a first away win of the season.

The victory at Stenhousemuir still leaves them nine points behind Albion Rovers and Elgin City, but the manager says if they can keep the momentum going they can catch the teams above them.

To do so they'll need to follow up that fine performance at Stenhousemuir, which married solid defensive work with midfield creativity and two well-taken goals, with another win against Stranraer at Central park on Saturday.

Blues boss Ross insisted: “We still have the future in our own hands and effectively we have 16 cup finals left between now and May.

“If we can keep showing the level of desire displayed at Stenny we can get the wins we need to get up with the pack.

“We have all the bottom half of the table teams to play twice so the opportunity to get important wins on the board is there.

“The only way we can move up the table is to string several performances like last Saturday’s together and our aim is to beat Stranraer this coming weekend to get back-to-back wins for the first time this season."

He continued: “Stranraer are a physical team who never give up but if we can produce the quality of football we displayed at Stenhousemuir we can win this game.

“We felt hard done by when we played at Stair Park in December, when after a poor first-half performance when we conceded two bad goals, we came right back into it and on another day could have had at least one penalty and at least drawn the game.”

Cowden will take confidence not only from the win at Ochilview, but the manner in which they claimed the three points.

Ross said: “It was as good a performance, to be truthful, of the same quality as the two games previous both of which we should really have taken points from as well.

“All sections of the team played well as a unit and linked well. We defended purposefully and moved forward with real intent and looked like scoring goals.

“The lads have a really good spirit about them and after scoring in the early minutes of the second-half they kept going forward creating good chances.”

The manager was also pleased with the way young Sam Denham performed after joining up on loan from St Johnstone.

The talented 19-year-old centre back has penned a deal until the end of the season from the Premiership club.

Denham started out in the youth system of Celtic before being transferred to Saints, and has had loan spells with Edinburgh City and Brechin City.

Ross thanked Saints boss Callum Davidson for the opportunity to bring the "tough tackling" teenager on board and pitched him straight into the team at Ochilview.

“Sam looked like he had never been away and I am looking for him to maintain that sort of form in the games ahead,” he added.

“Defending well was a team will be something which will be important for us to get the results we need in the weeks ahead.”

To accommodate Denham, Kane O’Connor was released by Cowden and he will now seek a full-time spot at a club.

Ross thanked O’Connor for his efforts for the club and wished him well for the future.

The manager, who indicated that new signing Andrew Barrowman will be fit for the trip to Albion Rovers in a fortnight, said that striker Kris Renton is close to returning to action.

He's also hoping to add a couple of new attacking players to the squad for the Stranraer game.