SFL v Cowdenbeath


Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division

Attendance: 2104, Kick Off: 3:00pm.

Referee: Mat Northcroft

For the trip to Central Park, Dunfermline were without the suspended Gary Mason but Andy Dowie moved into his midfield slot with Calum Woods returning at right back.┬ The only other change was new signing Jake Hyde in preference for Steven McDougall. The Cowdenbeath starting eleven showed one change Archie Campbell starting in place of Greig Stewart.

The home side kicked off playing towards the west end and into the wind, but the league leaders were soon troubling the Cowdenbeath defence.┬ Liam Buchanan forced a throw in level with the penalty spot and when Austin McCann sent over the cross to the back post Martin Hardie`s downward header was well shut out by David Hay at the base of his left hand post.

Two minutes later Buchanan won a corner off O`Brien but Cardle`s delivery was too strong and a goal kick resulted. The Pars kept up the pressure with Burke, Cardle and Hyde putting in crosses but with no real results.┬ On ten minutes a poor Woods clearance travelled to Stevie Crawford and his return was headed over the crossbar by Alex Keddie to give the Blue Brazil their first corner of the afternoon but that was not particularly well executed by Mark Ramsay.

Buchanan`s right footed shot on the end of a Chris Smith clearance flew over the bar from 16 yards and next after a neat chip from Hardie, Cardle sent his cross from the other side the same way. There was 20 minutes on the clock when Buchanan released Cardle down the left and his delivery to the near post found Hyde but he┬ was prevented from┬ turning and shooting.

Buchanan┬ was on target┬ just five minutes later with a low left footed shot from 10 yards but Craig Winter was quick to block. At the other end Campbell fed Crawford on the right side of the box and Woods headed behind for a corner and when that came in from the left Smith held easily.

A 28th minute Pars corner was headed over the crossbar to land on the roof of the net by Kevin Rutkiewicz. Play was far from flowing with the wind and the bumpy pitch creating problems for any player atempting to do much with the ball.┬ McKenzie`s 35th minute delivery was sent behind by Woods, Smith held the corner but booted the ball right out at the other end.

Cardle`s 38th minute cross was coming to Buchanan but Winter turned the ball behind for a corner.┬ Hay tipped that over his bar and when Cardle sent that in Burke`s on target shot was deflected away off Kenny Adamson.┬ Another corner in 42 still brought no joy as Rutkiewicz got nearest.

In 44 minutes a McCann cross was met by Hardie and his header came back off the left post and Buchanan then, with Hay on the deck ┬ headed the loose ball over the crossbar from close in.┬ Quite a miss.

Despite all their possession and the bulk of the territorial advantage Dunfermline failed to find the net.┬ There had been too many long speculative and ineffective balls aimed at the strikers┬ and so the teams changed around all square.

Half Time: Cowdenbeath 0 Dunfermline 0

Cardle and Buchanan got the second half underway, Cowdenbeath won the first corner but it was Dunfermline who continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock. Hyde fed Hardie the opportunity to cross from the right byeline┬ and although too strong Cardle did get in a return that Hay had to hold,.

The Pars were playing more football in the opening minutes of the second period and were unlucky when Cardle`s ball in from the right was hooked away from Buchanan on the edge of the six yard box. Pat Clarke replaced Jake Hyde in 55 as he joined fellow ex Cowden striker Buchanan upfront.

The hour mark was about to pass with Cowdenbeath`s five men across the back looking impossible to crack but then a long ball bounced nicely for BUCHANAN and the storyline changed. The Pars striker bravely won the ball as O`Brien challenged him on 18 yards and slotted past the advancing keeper. 1-0 to Dunfermline.

As the time ran down it was the Pars who kept the ball in front of the Cowdenbeath goal with Cardle and Hardie greatly involved. A 71 minute corner saw Buchanan closed out by Adamson.┬ A long throw gave the hosts some hope but their tall sub Lewis Coult launched his shot well over the bar.

Being a local derby there was no way the team in blue was going to give up and Scott Linton created a threat from a long throw and then a follow up cross. With thirteen minutes to go David Graham replaced Joe Cardle and the sub was close to a Clarke cross but that elusive second goal was proving difficult to come by.

With news of Raith Rovers drawing with Dundee and Falkirk 2-1 down to Morton the time was dragging. Linton was caught offside when Coult`s low cross travelled through the box as the Blue Brazil made the final minutes nervy. A right footed shot from Campbell was sent past the left goalpost in 89 minutes while at the other end McDougall played Graham into the box but his cross instead of a shot found nobody.

Dunfermline finished strongly though and collected the three points, a good result on such an impossible┬ playing surface.. Raith won 2-1 so the advantage at the top of the league remains two points.

COWDENBEATH: David Hay; Mark Baxter, Kenny Adamson, Craig Winter, Mark Ramsay (c), Marc McKenzie (Lewis Coult 66), Tom O`Brien, Jon Robertson, Scott Linton, Archie Campbell, Stevie Crawford.
SUBS: Lee Makel, Kyle Miller, Richard Vauls, Ludovic Roy (GK).

DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith;┬ Calum Woods,┬ Kevin Rutkiewicz, Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); Martin Hardie, Andy Dowie, Alex Burke,┬ Joe Cardle (David Graham, 77), Liam Buchanan (Steven McDougall,85), Jake Hyde (Pat Clarke 55), .
SUBS: Chris Higgins, Greg Paterson (GK).
SCORER: Buchanan (60)

WEATHER: Breezy 12C

NEXT MATCH: SFL First Division (home) ┬ v Queen of the South
Saturday 16th April 2011, kick off 3:00pm

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