Cowdenbeath 6 Lanark United 0
South Challenge Cup Fourth Round

COWDENBEATH warmed up for their big Scottish Cup third round tie at Inverness with an impressive performance to reach the fifth round of the South Challenge Cup.

West of Scotland League Third Division side, Lanark United, started Saturday’s game at Central Park well, but never recovered from a first-half Cowden blitz which saw the Blues go in at the break four up.

In the second period, Cowdenbeath continued to dominate and created many good chances, but a mixture of slack finishing and good goalkeeping kept the home total to six.

In the opening half hour Lanark created a few good openings, and defended reasonably soundly, against a Cowden side who had Zac Butterworth playing in an attacking right back role, and Matty McDonald and Adam MacDonald joining Lucas Berry in the midfield engine room, with Mikey Cunningham and Ewan MacPherson joining Josh Jack, to pose issues for the visiting defence.

The longer the first period went on the more dangerous Cowden became, but ‘keeper Willie Muir produced some great saves to defy the hosts.

In the first minute Cunningham tested Muir with a header after McDonald sent the ball across the United box.

In eight minutes home ‘keeper, Josh Blair, had to dive to his left to keep out a good 18 yard shot from United midfielder, Fraser Allan, but with within seconds Cowden’s McDonald brought out a fine save from Muir with a snap shot from the edge of the box, then in 18 minutes Josh Jack’s 25 free-kick went inches wide, before MacDonald’s curling 20 yarder was held by Muir.

The Blues were having a good spell and took the lead in 34 minutes when a through ball let McDonald get clear of the home cover and he curled a 17 yarder wide of Muir.

Three minutes later Cowdenbeath’s Jack Tait raced down the left flank and sent over a perfect cross for JACK to fire home from six yards range, then a cross from the right went to Jack, and as he was preparing to shoot Callum Anderson pulled the front man down and Cunningham converted the spot-kick.

Cowden were firing on all cylinders now and a perfect glancing header from MacPherson flew over Muir into the net to make the break score 4-0.

Lanark started the second-half well and inside 60 seconds Ian Watt fired an 18 yarder inches wide, but in 50 minutes the Blues went further ahead. 

Jack was lying handy 12 yards out, when the ball broke to him off Butterworth, and his fierce shot flew into the bottom corner.

Cowden kept going looking for more goals, and on the hour sub Jamie Docherty’s shot was well saved by Muir, but seven minutes later Berry made it 6-0, when Cunningham sent the ball across the face of the Lanark goal for an easy conversion.

To their credit Lanark kept battling and defended bravely and created a couple of openings for themselves, but the Blues were comfortable winners of the tie.