COWDEN gave the Lowland League leaders a real run for their money but Rangers' youngsters held on for the three points.

Mikey Cunningham had given the Blue Brazil the lead but the visitors responded and led at half-time through Charlie Lindsay and Connor Allan.

Prior to Allan's winner, a bad tackle by veteran Cowdenbeath defender Iain Davidson led to a flash point where the centre-back was sent packing along with Rangers’ Johnly Yfeko, who needlessly got involved in the situation by swinging a punch.

It was a key moment which sucked the life out of the game and there were few chances for either side in the second half.

The first half saw some fine football from both sides, with Lucas Berry and Stuart Love competing well for Cowden in the midfield, and Dan Watt and Sam Newman posing real problems for the Glasgow side.

The Blue Brazil could easily have scored more than the single goal they got in the first period, but as the pace drained out of the picture in the second period, chances really dried up.

Rangers booked the wind and in the third minute Zak Lovelace found Robbie Ure in the six-yard box, but he was crowded out by the Cowden defence.

Then in six minutes Scott Sinclair and Mikey Cunningham combined to set up Watt 10 yards out, but Jack Harkness put in a brave tackle to block the striker’s low shot.

Five minutes later Cowden grabbed the lead as Newman’s left wing cross was perfect for Cunningham to blast the ball into the net from seven yards range.

Soon after Cunningham went close again, with an angled ten-yard shot, which brought out a fingertip save from Jacob Pazikas.

But in 25 minutes the equaliser came, when Cowden gave the ball away carelessly and Zak Lovelace’s first time 12-yard shot was brilliantly blocked by Danny Farrell, but Charlie Lindsay, following up, knocked in the rebound.

A minute from the break there was drama, when Davidson pulled down Lovelace, and in the aftermath Johnly Yfeko swung a punch in the defender’s direction.

It led to referee, Iain Sneddon, sending off both the Cowden defender and the Rangers player.

And two minutes into time added on at the break, the visitors took the lead when, from a corner, Connor Allan headed past Farrell.

The game resumed after the break with both sides making changes, David Struthers replacing Cunningham for the Blues, but things were much less hectic, and in the first 15 minutes there were few openings for either side.

However, in 71 minutes Struthers broke clear of the Rangers defence and only a brave save from Jacob Pazikas kept the ball out.

Cowden kept working hard to get a leveller and in time added on sub Sean Slaven was unlucky to see his flick go inches wide from a corner.