Cowdenbeath 3, Annan Athletic 1.

Ladbrokes League 2


AFTER weathering a first-half storm Cowdenbeath took over this Central Park clash on Saturday and ran out comfortable winners.

In the first-half the three man defence of Chris Hamilton, Craig Barr and Jamie Todd did not get enough cover from the midfield area and it meant that Annan had a lot of the ball, and posed the hosts quite a few problems.

The towering Christian Nade asked the home side lots of questions and there had to be some good work by the back three, supported by Robbie Buchanan and Fraser Mullen at wing back, to keep the visitors out.

And just before the break the Blues came good and grabbed the lead, and although they lost the equaliser early in the second period, they then went into top gear and won the game with a bit to spare.

For young Connor Smith it was a great home debut for the Cowdenbeath lad, grabbing the all important second goal and he and Hamilton certainly showed a lot of energy and good play.

Kris Renton had a say in all three goals and was a menace to the Annan rearguard.

Annan started well and forced three corners in the opening minutes but Cowden managed to clear the danger, then in five minutes Nade had a shot for the visitors that deflected off Todd and flew over the home bar.

Soon after Tommy Muir got into a good position in seven minutes but his low 12 yarder was blocked by Barr.

Cowden really struggled to get into the game and in the first 15 minutes did not have a shot at goal.

Athletic threatened again in 23 minutes when Scott McLean’s 25 yard free kick was held by Kevin Dabrowski.

In 27 minutes Cowden’s Smith got into a good position 20 yards out and he turned well but a fine Euan Griffiths tackle denied the youngster.

Then two minutes later Renton got clear on the left and set up Mullen to send over a good cross but fine work by Steven Swinglehurst cleared the danger.

However, in 39 minutes Cowdenbeath went ahead. A fine pass from Renton set up BUCHANAN on the right hand side and he made his way into the box and fired a low shot wide of Aaran Taylor.

Then four minutes later Cox missed a great chance to double the lead when he headed a Buchanan cross over from only five yards out.

Three minutes after the interval McLean’s 30 yard free-kick flew just wide of Dabrowski’s right hand post.

But in 51 minutes Annan were level. NADE held off Barr’s challenge and turned to fire a low 10 yard shot into the net.

Then on the hour Muir fired a header from the centre of the box over but two minutes later Renton saw Taylor pull off a fine save from his low drive.

In 71 minutes the Blues went ahead again. Mullen’s corner was nudged on to SMITH by Renton and he wasted no time in hooking the ball past Taylor from eight yards out.

In 85 minutes Cowdenbeath got the key third. Renton’s shot hit McLean’s hand and after Taylor blocked MULLEN’s spot kick, the defender followed up to blast home to finish things off.

Cowdenbeath: Kevin Dabrowski (7); Fraser Mullen (7), Chris Hamilton (7); Jamie Todd (7), Craig Barr (7), Kyle Miller (7) (Mikey Herd 82 (2) (Kyle Sneddon 93 (2)); David Cox (6) (Graham Taylor 86 (2)), Robbie Buchanan (7), Connor Smith (7), Archie Thomas (7), Kris Renton (8). Subs not used, Euan Valentine, Jamie Pyper, Kyle Sneddon, Ryan Connelly and Mac Whyte.

Annan Athletic: Taylor (7); Douglas (6), Ballantyne (6) (Walker 74 (3)); Bradley (7), Griffiths (7) (Holt 74 (3)), Swinglehurst (6); McLean (7), Wilkie (6), Muir (7), McLear (6), Nade (7). Subs not used, Avci, Watson, Sonkur, Barr and Currie.

Referee-Graham (6).