Cowdenbeath 1, East Kilbride 2

Cowdenbeath were a bit unlucky to lose this home game against the Lowland League leaders on Saturday.

With a stronger side out for this one, after a skeleton unit was thumped 6-0 by Kilby the week before in the South Challenge Cup, the Blue Brazil were handicapped by being on the wrong end of some strange refereeing decisions, one of them being a red card given to goal scorer Ewan MacPherson just before the interval.

MacPherson was involved in a joust with an EK defender, with the whistler seeming to think the striker raised a hand to his opponent, but the Cowden team were infuriated by the dismissal and from the touchline it looked like the ref may have made a bad error.

From goalkeeper Josh Blair to left winger Jamie Docherty, Cowden were a match for the leaders and came close to getting a point, with a midfield trio of Robbie McNab, Aiden McLaughlin and Matty McDonald dominating possession for long spells.

Central Fife Times: Action from Cowdenbeath's narrow defeat against East Kilbride.Action from Cowdenbeath's narrow defeat against East Kilbride. (Image: David Wardle)

Cowden had the first shot in the opening minute when MacPherson’s low 18 yarder was held by Matt Connelly.

However, in five minutes East Kilbride showed their attacking threat with a sweeping move which saw Dylan MacDonald send a good cross into the home box and Tiwi Daramola sent his low flick inches wide.

Then in seven minutes the Blues took a shock lead. Andy Rodden’s corner was not dealt with by the Kilby defence and MacPherson's nine yard header squeezed past Connelly.

In 15 minutes a defence splitting pass sent Daramola clear, but a good challenge by Gregor Jordan, as the striker was poised to shoot, saw his fluffed effort held by Blair.

Then in 23 minutes Docherty made a fine run past two defenders and his low eight yard shot brought out a great save from Connelly.

Central Fife Times: Action from Cowdenbeath's narrow defeat against East Kilbride.Action from Cowdenbeath's narrow defeat against East Kilbride. (Image: David Wardle)

Four minutes from the break EK levelled when Aaron Arnott just got to a lob over the Cowden rearguard before Craig Donald, to force the ball over the line. Then within two minutes the Blues were reduced to ten men when MacPherson was given a straight red after the joust with a visiting defender on the halfway line.

Eleven minutes into the second period EK’s Calvin McGrory fired in a 25 yard free-kick, and it took a brave header from Jordan to deflect the ball away from the danger zone.

However, on the hour the league leaders went ahead when no home defender picked up Daramola at a corner, and his header flew into the corner of the net.

Seconds later Docherty was set up by McLaughlin 12 yards out, but he pulled his shot wide, then with 16 minutes to go a brave block by Ryan Lockie stopped a low Rodden 20 yarder.

Cowden kept at it and EK were by far the more relieved side at the full time whistle.

Cowdenbeath: Blair, G MacPherson, Rodden, Jordan (Chalmers 87), Donald, McNab, Butterworth, McDonald, E MacPherson, McLaughlin, Docherty (Healy 65). Subs not used – Jack, Tait, Turner, Berry and Hepburn (gk).

East Kilbride: Connelly, McDonald, Lockie, McGrory, Flanagan (Balde 70), MacDonald, Daramola, Robertson (Stirling 76), Arnott, Morrison, Thomson. Subs not used – Ferguson, Samson, McGowan, Biggar and Cowie (gk).

Referee: Daniel Graves.

Attendance: 231.