Cowdenbeath 2, Gretna 2008 1.

A GOOD second-half performance gave Cowden full points against a team battling for the lives in the Lowland League.

Like many of the recent matches at Central Park, a gale-force wind dominated the proceedings and made good football at a premium.

But after losing a poor goal against the elements, the Blues upped their game in the second-half and scored two good goals to claim victory their first home victory since December.

Gretna came into the match needing points to avoid relegation from the division, and worked really hard, but the young Cowden players stepped up their performance after the break and were  worth the three points.

Central Fife Times: The match between Cowdenbeath and Gretna 2008 was a closely-contested affair.The match between Cowdenbeath and Gretna 2008 was a closely-contested affair. (Image: David Wardle)

Gretna booked the wind in the first period and in 15 minutes they forced a good save from Craig Hepburn with a low 12 yarder from skipper Robbie Ivison.

Cowdenbeath responded four minutes later, with a fine move which saw Andy Rodden get down the  left and his cross opened up the chance for Aiden McLaughlin but a brave clearance by Ronan Kearney kept the score level, and from the resultant corner Daryl Healy shot over from 14 yards.

The visitors went close again in 24 minutes, when a fierce wind assisted shot by Dean Brotherson just cleared the Cowden bar, but shortly after the home side came close again when from a cross from the left, Craig Donald head-flicked the ball on and Gregor Jordan nudged his effort just wide.

Six minutes from the interval Gretna took the lead when some slack play saw the hosts gifted possession to the visitors and Liam Short was given too much time to fire a 10 yard shot high into the net.

Three minutes into the second-half Cowden missed a glorious chance when a cut-back into the Gretna box set up Adam MacDonald, only 10 yards out but he shot straight at ‘keeper Vince Parker.

Then in 57 minutes Jordan fired wide after a corner deceived the Gretna defence, but in 64 minutes the equaliser arrived.

Zac Butterworth gathered a loose ball 30 yards out and beat-off two challenges and fired a low 14 yarder wide of Parker.

Central Fife Times: Manager Stevie Crawford with his match-winning skipper Robbie McNab.Manager Stevie Crawford with his match-winning skipper Robbie McNab. (Image: David Wardle)

Then with 15 minutes to go Cowden took the lead, when skipper Robbie McNab picked up a loose ball in midfield and advanced five yards before firing a 30 yarder into the top corner of the net.

It was a goal worthy of winning any match and ensured Cowden’s first home win in many months.

Cowdenbeath: Hepburn; MacDonald, Rodden, McNab, Donald, Jordan, Butterworth, McDonald, Healy, McLaughlin (G McPherson 76), Docherty (Trialist C 88). Subs not used - Berry, Trialist A, E MacPherson, Denham and Trialist B (gk).

Gretna 2008: Parker; Tait, Kearney, Jenkins, Bowman, Short, Ivison (Dos Santos 76), Cox, Brotherson (Nda Kouama 82), Meechan (Mulvanney 71), Bell. Subs not used - Austin, Gilfillan, Kirk and Boyes (gk).

Referee: Liam Duncan.

Attendance: 206.