Cowdenbeath 2, East Fife 0.

Betfred Cup Section A


COWDEN opened their Betfred Cup campaign with a highly encouraging win over their League 1 opponents.

A fine all round team effort ensured that the Blue Brazil were seldom stretched and the front line were always capable of adding to their tally, at Central Park on Saturday.

The first period saw Cowdenbeath have to defend well to keep the eager Methilmen out and it took some excellent work by Craig Barr, Jamie Todd and Jamie Pyper to ensure debutant ‘keeper Kevin Dabrowski was not overworked.

Archie Thomas was prominent alongside another first timer, Graham Taylor, and Kyle Miller in keeping the Blues’midfield working well.

Robbie Buchanan was also a good contributor as the Blues built from a solid defensive base.

David Cox and Kris Renton were constant dangers to East Fife and Renton’s fetching and carrying was a feature of the home performance and in the second period there were chances to put the game well out of sight including a penalty.

East Fife started brightly and with Danny Denholm causing problems they forced the first corner in five minutes but their skipper Craig Watson headed wide from the set piece.

However, two minutes later Cox crossed from the right and Renton’s shot was just inches wide but then within seconds, at the other end, Liam Watt fired in a shot just wide then Ryan Wallace’s curling header seemed to beat Dabrowski but also beat the ‘keeper’s far post.

In 12 minutes Cowden attacked and Barr got onto Jamie Pyper’s cross and the ball went wide with Brett Long struggling.

Then in 17 minutes Cowden went ahead. Cox held the ball up well and turned Chris Higgins before firing in an 18 yarder which hit the inside of the ‘keeper’s right hand post and ran along the line where BUCHANAN was lying handy to net.

Ten minutes later the Blue Brazil added to their lead. A cross was headed out and TAYLOR met it 20 yards out and his rocket shot gave Long no chance.

In the run-up to the break East Fife pressed hard and it took some good work by Barr, Todd and Pyper to block shots from Watt, Wallace and Stewart Murdoch.

East Fife went close six minutes into the second period when Wallace made a fine run across the face of the Cowdenbeath box and he got in a 16 yard drive which Drabowski saved well.

Some heavy tackling by the visiting defence stopped Taylor and Cox in promising positions at the expense of fouls which came to nothing.

Dabrowski fisted a corner over the bar surrounded by visiting players in 64 minutes but soon after Taylor sent over a fine cross and Buchanan latched onto it and his header from ten yards was well held by Long but at the other end Watson’s header from a Denholm cross was held by Dabrowski.

Five minutes from the end sub Jordan Allan was fouled in the box by Michael Dunlop but Long blocked Allan’s shot from the spot and then dived to stop the striker’s follow-up.

David Wardle's pictures carry the story of the game.

Cowdenbeath: Kevin Dabrowski (7); Fraser Mullen (7), Jamie Pyper (7); Jamie Todd (7), Craig Barr (8), Kyle Miller (7); David Cox (7) (Jordan Allan 81 (2)), Robbie Buchanan (7), Graham Taylor (7), Archie Thomas (7), Kris Renton (7) (Michael Herd 89 (2)). Subs not used, Euan Valentine, Kyle Sneddon, Ryan Connelly, Jordyn Sheerin and Ross Pollock.

East Fife: Long (7); Watson (7), Dunlop (6); Higgins (6), Slattery (6), Murdoch (7); Hunter (6) (Agnew 62 (3)), Watt (7) (Dowds 62 (3)), Wallace (7), Duggan (6), Denholm (7) (Smith 74 (3)) . Subs not used, Hart, Horsburgh, Laird and Allan.

Referee-David Dickinson (7).