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East Fife

East Fife 2Cowdenbeath FC 2

Date: 16th January 2010 Kick off: 3:00pm
Competition: Irn-Bru 2nd Division Referee: John McKendrick
Venue: Bayview Stadium Attendance: 864
Man of the Match:

A brace from Gareth Wardlaw, saw Cowden fight back twice to earn a point at New Bayview and stretch their unbeaten run to 11 league games.

After a month out of action both players and supporters were delighted to find that the Methil pitch was in excellent condition after the ‘big freeze’ and East Fife’s biggest crowd of the season welcomed the teams for the first derby game of the new decade.

There were three changes to the side which had beaten Stenhousemuir in their last outing.

Kenny Adamson started a two game suspension while Dene Droudge and Mark Ramsay dropped down to the bench.

John Armstrong, Craig Winter and Paul McQuade all returned to the side after injuries.

In a lively opening the hosts had a good chance to opening the scoring in the first minute when Young headed over a Linn cross from close range.

At the other end a slip by Muir allowed McQuade through on goal but he delayed too long and the chance was gone.

The Fife took the lead on 15 minutes when a cross by Young saw Smart send in a header which was scooped away by Hay but BOBBY LINN was on hand to slot the ball home from point blank range.

McBride came close to an equaliser when he sent in a ferocious drive which keeper Brown did well to push wide.

Just past the half hour the equaliser eventually came when Gareth WARDLAW rifled a shot past Brown into the bottom corner of the home net.

Soon after Winter fired in a 25 yard shot which was heading for the top corner but Brown managed to claw the ball to safety.

Two minutes from the interval McCunnie was brought down in the box by Linton but thankfully for us the home sides top scorer McManus missed the first penalty of his career as he blasted the ball wide of the target.

The second half opened with Wardlaw twice shooting wide of the target before the home sides Watson saw a shot come off the inside of the post.

Midway through the second half Brown was once again the home hero when he pulled off a magnificent save from Baxter’s deflected long range effort.

With nine minutes to go the home side restored their lead when McManus sent over a cross to the back post which was headed home by LLOYD YOUNG.

However Cowden’s never say die attitude ensured a vital point when with just three minutes to go WARDLAW got the ball at the edge of the box and curled a 20 yard shot into the bottom corner.

As the clock wound down the drama continued when the ball flew across the face of the Cowden goal but thankfully McManus was unable to get a touch.

Danny Lennon spoke to the Blue Brazil Online after the game:

"That was a fantastic game of football to watch and a share of the points was probably the fair result in the end."

"It was a great relief to play again after such a long lay-off and you could see both teams were a wee bit rusty. But credit to both teams for serving up a real derby game.

"I was pleased with our movement and creativity but we did not defend as a team to the standards we have set this season. It was unusual for us to concede so many scoring opportunities but we will work hard to rectify that.

"Psychologically it was an important point and it puts all the pressure on Stirling Albion to win their game in hand."

"Finally, thanks to the fans for supporting the team in such big numbers. The backing you gave the boys was absolutely tremendous and a credit to Cowdenbeath Football Club."

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Cowdenbeath FC