Cowdenbeath 1 Cumbernauld Colts 0

IT WASN'T pretty but Cowden ground out three points from Saturday’s game with Cumbernauld to climb above their opponents in the Lowland League table.

After playing well for no reward against the likes of Berwick Rangers and Caledonian Braves, the Blue Brazil claimed victory with a distinctly below par showing.

That's football and you won't hear Maurice Ross complaining. They won ugly but, credit where it's due, they kept working for it and claimed the all important goal in the closing stages.

Defensively Cowdenbeath – goalkeeper Jack Ruddy apart – looked a little rattled at times but they never gave in and threw bodies on the line to block everything the Colts could throw at them.

With one goal always looking likely to settle this one, it was the Blue Brazil sub David Struthers who climbed off the bench to win it with a fine strike, to give the team their fifth victory of the season.

The midfield duo of Jack Garrad and Dean Ritchie struggled for control but sheer doggedness helped them repel Cumbernauld, who threatened inside four minutes.

A cross from Cole McIntyre bounced kindly for Willie Mortimer who couldn't quite improvise a goal and kneed the ball over the bar.

Cowden thought they'd scored in 16 minutes when Aiden Gilmartin blasted the ball off away defender Callum Home and it flew over ‘keeper Ryan Adamson, who was on the edge of his box.

Excruciatingly for the Blues the ball slowly rolled towards the goal and only a mad dash by the goalie gave him time to smother it on the line.

Ruddy made a fine finger tip save to stop Ewan MacPherson's header and just minutes from the break, at the other end, a delivery from Layton Bisland found Sam Newman but, from only five yards out, he glanced a header wide.

There was still time for McIntyre to nod just past the post as Colts finished the first half strongly.

And they kept at it after the break, MacPherson forcing a top stop from Ruddy. Jacob Comerford then flashed a low ball across the Blues’ six yard box but Craig Holmes failed to get a touch.

Cowden got back into the game with a chip from 20 yards by sub Stuart Love going just over the bar.

In the 70th minute MacPherson was allowed too much space and went clean through but his shot was weak and Ruddy gathered. The Blues raced to the other end and Love pulled the trigger, only for a brave block by Cameron Dickson to keep him out.

It looked like the match would finish goalless but with seven minutes to go Cowden went ahead when a good move down the left, involving Scott Sinclair and Newman, saw STRUTHERS fire a fierce drive into the bottom corner of the net.

Colts piled forward in search of an equaliser but the Blues held on for the points.

Cowdenbeath: Jack Ruddy (8); Layton Bisland (6) (Ewan Thomson 70 (3)), Jordan Armstrong (7), Iain Davidson (7), Daniel Martins (5) (Alfie Robinson 52 (6)), Aiden Gilmartin (6) (Stuart Love 46 (6)), Dean Ritchie (6), Jack Garrad (6) (David Struthers 70 (5)), Carlos Taylor (6) (Scott Sinclair (52 (4)), Sean Slaven (6), Sam Newman (7).

Subs not used, Mackenzie Lemon and Danny Farrell (gk).

Goal: Struthers (83).

Cumbernauld Colts: Adamson (7); McIntyre (6), Dickson (7), Home (6), O’Neill (6), MacPherson (7), Mortimer (6) (G Holmes 75 (3)), C Holmes (6), Munro (6), Ewan (6) (Tade 83 (2)), Comerford (6).

Subs not used, Hunter, McFarlane, Ballam, McNight and McLellan (gk).

Referee: Alex Shepherd (6).

Attendance: 146