Stenhousemuir 5 v 4 Cowdenbeath

Played at Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir on Saturday, 23rd May 2009 at 15:00

SPFL Scottish League 1

Match Report

 

Stenhousemuir 0 Cowdenbeath 0 (Agg 0-0)(Stenhousemuir win 5-4 penalties)
 
 
It was only a few weeks ago that Stenhousemuir had slipped out of the play-offs and down to sixth in the league and were in danger of slipping further down the table to bring a dismal end to a season that promised so much in the first quarter. Since then however they have picked themselves up again and despite finishing fourth they managed to get into the play-offs with a game to spare. This was followed by a more comfortable aggregate win over Queens Park than the score suggested and as a consequence they met Cowdenbeath in the final to decide who would go up to the Second Division
 
The first leg had ended goalless and this meant that both teams had plenty to play for in the return fixture at Ochilview. With the game being the only senior game to kick off at 3pm and the importance of the outcome it brought out a very respectable crowd of 1,530 that was the largest attendance for a league match at Ochilview since a league decider against Brechin City in 1999.
 
Both teams were forced into changes from the first leg after Chris McLeod and Darren McGregor had been sent off though it was not a dirty match by any stretch of the imagination. Stenhousemuir brought back John Ovenstone for McLeod and Robert Love started for Alan Brazil. Cowdenbeath made a couple of changes with Joe Mbu and John Robertson replacing McGregor and Scott Linton.   
 
The first game saw few chances at either end with defences on top but on a wider pitch at Ochilview there was more space to exploit . The game started brightly and Craig Molloy had David Hay scrambling with a first time effort from 30 yards but luckily for the keeper went just past. In the 9th minute a throughball by Iain Diack to Scott Dalziel looked promising but the striker’s touch took him wide and although he managed to make room for a shot it went wide of the mark. Cowdenbeath had a Paul McQuade effort blocked by Thom a couple of minutes later. Neither keeper was really tested though until the 33rd minute when Hay was alert enough to stop Diack scoring after a Love shot was deflected into his path. A quick break by Cowdenbeath after Mbu had won possession ended with a fine save by Scott Bennett from Mark Ramsay after McQuade had threaded the ball behind the home defence.
 
The second half was five minutes old before the closest that any team came to scoring in regulation time when John Ovenstone blasted an effort off the crossbar when a Kevin Motion corner was not cleared. McQuade was the main threat for the Fifers and and tested Bennett again this time with a header following an overlapping run and cross by Mark Baxter.
 
As the game progressed it seemed likely that it would go into extra time as no one seemed to be able to penetrate the opposition defence and it was no surprise when the referee blew for full time with there being no scoring.
 
Iain Diack had the best chance for the Warriors in the 101th when he swivelled and shot from 12 yards out but had too much elevation on the ball and it went well over. As the legs tired it was the visitors who ended strongly and Bennett came to the home sides rescue saving from John Gemmell and Mark Ramsay before the end.
 
The final whistle blew with the aggregate score still 0-0 after 210 minutes and then the penalties commenced. Cowdenbeath took the first one and scored through John Gemmell and this was countered by Willie Lyle. The second penalties for either side were scored by Derek Fleming and Alan Brazil. The third set saw Jay Stein have his effort saved by Scott Bennett and Iain Thomson put Stenhousemuir ahead for the first time in the tie. Mark Baxter and Alan Reid both scored and when Joe Mbu converted Cowdens fifth it was all down to Andy Brand if the Warriors were going to be promotion and he did not let anyone down with the pressure kick sending the ball into the net to set off wild scenes of jubilation in the home ranks.
 
It will have been a sore one for Cowdenbeath to take as they had taken over from Stenhousemuir at the top of the table in January until the second last game of the season but it is possible that they may be promoted as a threat of being another Gretna looms over the heads of several clubs.
 
This day however belonged to everyone at Stenhousemuir and hopefully will stop the constant sniping of ‘you don’t want to go up’ that supporters and officials of the club have had to endure since they were relegated to the Third Division. The jubilant scenes at the end if witnessed by some of the doubters would put that talk to an end for once and for all.      
 
Stenhousemuir – Bennett, Lyle [b94], Ovenstone, Thom, Smith, Reid, Love [Thomson 64], Molloy [b96], Dalziel [Brand 112], Diack [b58] and Motion [Brazil 64]. Subs not used – Stirling and Renton
 
Cowdenbeath – Hay, Baxter, Mbu, Robertson [b109], Armstrong [b114], Shields [Fleming 119], Ramsay, McQuade [Tomana 93], Gemmell, Dempster [Ferguson 95] and Stein. Subs not used – Linton and Jackson
 
Referee – Stevie O’Reilly                             
 
                                 Assistants – Charlie Smith and Gary Kirkwood

Match Highlights

© The Scottish Football League

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