Cowdenbeath 1, Stirling Albion 0.

Ladbrokes League 2


COWDEN’S League 2 campaign is up and running but they made hard work of it against Stirling on Saturday.

The Blues huffed and puffed for much of the game, at Central Park, without creating that many good chances but they did score a fine goal and then missed a penalty, so it could have been a fairly comfortable win nonetheless.

In the first-half especially, their passing was poor, although things definitely picked up after the break and the introduction of Graham Taylor gave them a bit of bite going forward.

Cowden had midfielder Archie Thomas back along with Harvey Swann and they both made good contribution’s.

Kyle Miller worked hard also, but Robbie Buchanan was not at his best, although his commitment could not be questioned, although he also missed the penalty.

Up front Kris Renton and David Cox posed Albion problems and the former scored a good goal and could have had a second.

At the back, Craig Barr, Jamie Pyper and Jamie Todd had to be on the alert against a lively attack and the former’s contribution was particularly solid. Kevin Dabrowski was again very effective using punched clearances to clear his lines on several occasions.

Stirling made a good start to the game and forced two fruitless corners and then in 12 minutes Dylan Mackin flicked the ball on to Cammy Thomson but the diving Kevin Dabrowski denied the midfielder.

However, within three minutes at the other end Jordan Allan was pulled down on the edge of the Albion box but Cox hit his left foot shot from the free-kick just too high.

In 21 minutes Stirling forced another opening when Thomson sent over a good cross and Mackin’s header flew wide.

In 27 minutes Cowden threatened, when Allan took a Buchanan pass but before he could get his shot away Kyle Banner blasted the ball past his own goal for a corner and from the set piece Renton’s header drifted inches wide.

Stirling came close in 33 minutes when Danny Jardine sent the ball over and Hawke shot inches wide from 12 yards.

Cowdenbeath were not creating a great deal in the Albion defensive area but five minutes from the break Buchanan’s cross was blocked at the expense of a corner and from Cox’s delivery Pyper headed well wide.

Then a minute from the break Renton and Cox combined and from the latter’s cross Buchanan’s 14 yard shot took a deflection and Blair Currie dived to stop the ball on his line.

Stirling went close two minutes into the second period when Hawke’s header was deflected wide by Todd.

But Cowdenbeath took the lead in 50 minutes when Pyper’s low cross from was perfect for RENTON and he coolly slotted the ball into the net from five yards out.

However, at the other end within two minutes, Mackin saw his header blocked inside the six yard box by a packed home defence.

Cowden had Graham Taylor on for Allan by this stage and he was trying hard to give the home attack width.

Cowden had another golden chance in 73 minutes when Buchanan was pulled down in the box but Currie was equal to the task and saved the midfielder’s weakish spot kick and within two minutes at the other end Dabrowski made a fantastic save from Stirling sub Daryl Duffy.

Albion’s Kyle Banner was red carded for a tough challenge five minutes from time which earned him a second yellow.

Cowdenbeath: Kevin Dabrowski (7); Jamie Pyper (6), Harvey Swann (7); Jamie Todd (6), Craig Barr (8), Kyle Miller (6); David Cox (6), Robbie Buchanan (6), Jordan Allan (5) (Graham Taylor 46 (6)), Archie Thomas (6), Kris Renton (7). Subs not used, Euan Valentine, Kyle Sneddon, Ross Pollock, Ryan Connelly, Jacob Glass and Mac Whyte.

Stirling Albion: Currie (7), Truesdale (6), Lowdon (6); Thomson (7) (Willis (68 (3)), Banner (6), McLean (6); Jardine (7), Nicoll (6), Mackin (7) (Duffy 58 (3)), Wilson (6), Hawke (7). Subs not used, Scott, Docherty, Wright, Peters and Binnie.

Referee- Peter Stuart (7).