Celtic B 2 Cowdenbeath 2

TWO goals in the closing minutes denied the Blue Brazil a winning start to their Lowland League season on Saturday, writes Andy Mullen.

Leading for most of the game at the Excelsior Stadium, Cowden were playing a full-time side for the second time in the week and it caught up with them at the death.

The Central Park part-timers had given St Mirren a real run for their money in last Tuesday's Viaplay Cup and were close to an upset against the young Celts before losing two goals in the last three minutes.

Cowden boss, Calum Elliot, was dealt a pre-match blow when Dougie Hill was withdrawn from the side ahead of kick-off due to an injury he sustained in the warm-up.

Central Fife Times: Dougie Hill suffered an injury in the warm-up and couldn't start the match against Celtic B. Dougie Hill suffered an injury in the warm-up and couldn't start the match against Celtic B. (Image: David Wardle)

Lucas Berry was drafted in from the bench and, despite the upheaval, they got off to a dream start when they went in front inside two minutes.

Aiden McLaughin swung in a corner and Gregor JORDAN headed home at the back post.

And it got even better two minutes later, when Ewan MacPHERSON latched onto a mistake by Daniel Kelly and ran through to find himself one-on-one with ‘keeper, Josh Clarke.

The Cowden striker kept his head and coolly slotted the ball into the net.

Jordan came close again with a header, from another corner, which went over the bar while a shot from Berry was well held by Clarke.

With 20 minutes gone Celtic’s Daniel Kelly fired an effort just too high but back came the Fife side.

Berry spotted Clarke off his line and attempted an ambitious lob from the centre circle which dropped just off target.

The young Hoops opened the second-half strongly as they fought to get back into the game and within five minutes Ben Quinn saw a shot cannon back off the post.

Just short of the hour mark MacPherson held off Lenny Agbairie, in the box, but he couldn't find the net with his angled drive.

With 15 minutes to go Jamie Docherty came close to getting a third goal but his shot was off target and they were made to pay.

Celtic B pulled a goal back with just three minutes left on the clock when Mitchell FRAME hooked the ball high into the net following a corner.

Worse was to follow for Cowden, in the 90th minute, when a cross fell to sub Corey Thomson and he laid the ball off for MacKenzie CARSE to slot home from eight yards and snatch a share of the points.

CELTIC B: Clarke, Dede, Frame (Bonnar 90), Agbaire, Robertson, Kelly, Davidson, Carse, Dobbie (Thomson 52), Summers, Quinn (Ure 72).

Subs not used: Morrison, Osagie and Hale.

COWDENBEATH: Hepburn, Walker, Rodden, Jordan, McNab, Butterworth (Duncan 82), McDonald, MacPherson (Jack 64), McLaughlin, Docherty, Berry (Chalmers 53).

Subs not used: Blair and Smith.

REFEREE: Ross Clark.