East Fife 2, Cowdenbeath 0.

A STUNNING strike from East Fife front man Ryan Wallace secured the win for the Methilmen in this opening Betfred Cup-tie for the sides last night.

Cowden had been right in the picture in this entertaining tie until with eight minutes to go the former Dunfermline front man unleashed a volley to tie up the win for the hosts.

Up until then it was anyone's game with perhaps Cowden being guilty of a couple of misses earlier in the match which could have turned it their way.

The League 1 side did pose quite a few problems going forward but really the Cowdenbeath rearguard was not overworked in the opening 45 minutes.

But after they went ahead in the 68th minute East Fife started to look more assured and in the end deserved to win the game.

Cowden had Ross Sinclair, Ross Clarke and Olly Hamilton making their competitive debuts and the Blues made a good start and Graham Taylor from within the East Fife box sent the ball over the crossbar from a good position in five minutes then home 'keeper Brett Long stopped a well-placed shot from Kris Renton just inside the East Fife box.

In 17 minutes Ryan Wallace broke into the Cowdenbeath box and from a tight angle hit a post but soon after Renton fired over the bar for the visitors after Stewart Murdoch gifted the Blues possession.

Wallace fed a through-ball to Scott Agnew who went racing into the Cowden box but Sinclair raced out to mop up the danger and at the break there were no goals.

The visitors made two changes early in the second period when Renton was replaced by Cian Kavanagh and Harvey Swann went on for Mikey Herd but the defences dominated until the 68th minute when a Jack HAMILTON header crept in to put the home side ahead.

There was more danger for the visitors when a Liam Watt effort was brilliantly saved by Sinclair but there was nothing the 'keeper could do with eight minutes to go when WALLACE met the ball first time and his opportunist effort gave he ;last line no chance.

East Fife: Long (7); Murdoch (6) (Watson 85 (2)), Dunlop (7); Higgins (7), Slattery (6), Dunsmore (5) (Denholm 41 (6); Davidson (7), Agnew (7) (Newton 85 (2)), Hamilton (7) (Smith 77 (3)), Wallace (8), Swanson (7) (Watt 77 (3)).

Cowdenbeath: Ross Sinclair (7); Fraser Mullen (6), Ross Clarke (7); Jamie Todd (6), Craig Barr (7), Kyle Miller (7); Graham Taylor (6), Robbie Buchannan (6), Kris Renton (Cian Kavanagh 51 (4), Mikey Herd (6) (Harvey Swann 55 (3), Olly Hamilton (6).