Spartans 1 Cowdenbeath 0

THE Blue Brazil could only watch and wonder what might have been after Spartans lifted the Lowland League trophy and secured a shot at the senior ranks, writes Andy Mullen.

The champions won it thanks to a late goal and will now have the chance of climbing into Scottish League Two, the division Cowden dropped out of last season and hoped to return to.

They were a long way off fulfilling that mission, the result confirmed that they will finish the campaign in a distant 15th position, but at least they made Spartans work for the win they wanted at Ainslie Park.

For the visit to the capital interim manager, Colin Jack, made three changes to the side which had narrowly lost to Civil Service Strollers the previous week.

Sam Newman was ineligible to play against his parent club, while both Dan Watt and Jack Garrad dropped to the bench.

MacKenzie Lemon returned to the starting line up, along with Stuart Love, who had missed the previous two games due to suspension, along with top scorer Scott Sinclair.

The hosts had former Central Parkers, Harvey Swann and Mikey Herd, on their bench.

The match proved to be a midfield battle, with neither goalkeeper overworked, and the only real chance in the first half came when Cammy Russell found Jamie Dishington and he fired a shot across the face of the Cowden goal and narrowly past the post.

Most of the action was contained to the main stand where the Spartans young Ultras livened things up with their drum and chanting!

Six minutes into the second half a free kick from Cowden’s Scott Walker found Lemon at the back post but the ball was eventually scrambled away for a corner.

The match had a goalless feel to it, but with 17 minutes remaining Blair HENDERSON broke the deadlock.

A long punt from Blair Carswell was headed into his path by Tapping and the veteran striker slotted the ball past Danny Farrell from close range.

Spartans almost grabbed a second goal when sub Sean Brown, who had got the winning goal at Central Park in October, tried his luck with an angled drive but goalie parried the ball to safety.

He would have hoped for a different ending but at the final whistle Cowdenbeath director David Allan, in his role as a member of the Lowland League board, presented the trophy to the victorious capital side.

Cowdenbeath: Farrell, Walker, Lemon, Davidson, Young, Ritchie, Cunningham (Williamson 80), Love (Garrad 80), Sinclair, Berry (Black 69), Murray (Watt 83).

Subs not used: Robinson and Struthers.

Spartans: Carswell, Watson, Allan, Waugh, Tapping, Armstrong, Dishington, Jones, (Brown 65), Henderson, White, Russell.

Subs not used: Meek, Woods, McFarland, Swann, Herd and Allan.