Cowdenbeath 2 v 2 Stenhousemuir
Played at Central Park, Cowdenbeath. on Saturday, 30th July 2011 at 15:00
Scottish Communities League Cup
Cowdenbeath v Stenhousemuir at Central Park, Cowdenbeath on 30.07.11
Scottish Communities Cup First Round Att 293
Cowdenbeath 2 [Ramsay 28,40] Stenhousemuir 2 [Kean 4, Paton 52]
Stenhousemuir win 4-3 on penalties
Cowdenbeath – Bejaoui, Brett, Adamson, Cameron [b97], Mbu, Winter, Morton [Linton 79], Robertson, Ramsay, Stewart and Coult [McKenzie 72]. Subs not used – Armstrong, Milne and Flynn
Stenhousemuir –Brown [McCluskey h/t], Lyle, Dickson, Corrigan [b20], McMillan, McHale [Thomson 82], Ferguson [Plenderleith f/t], Rodgers, Kean, Paton and Murray. Subs not used – Hamilton and Quinn
Referee – John McKendrick Assistants – Colin Steven and Martin McCarthy
Stenhousemuir made two changes to the side that had lost to Partick the previous week. Ally Brown came in for Chris McCluskey as the manager intended to give both keepers as much game time as possible before the league campaign begins. The other change was an enforced one with Kevin McKinlay failing to get through the warm up and Sean Dickson took his place.
Stenhousemuir did not seem affected by the late change to their plans and took the lead in the 4th minute of the game. Stevie Murray proved to be stronger on the ball than Dean Brett and launched a high ball across goal that Youssef Bejaoui misjudged and Stewart Kean was in the right place to head home from a tight angle.
In the early stages of the game the Warriors were on top but gradually Cowdenbeath came into it and Brown was the busier keeper though most of his involvement was of a routine nature. Eventually though the home side drew level through a Mark Ramsay strike from close range that Brown managed to get a hand to but was unable to prevent it crossing the line
Stenhousemuir responded to this and Ross McMillan will feel that he should have done better when a Stevie Murray free kick was flicked into his path but the defender shot wide of the target. Both full backs, Dickson and Willie Lyle, then combined for the latter to head goalwards but the effort lacked pace and was comfortably saved.
In the 40th minute Brown Ferguson was caught by a tackle in midfield and lost the ball which was transferred quickly up to Ramsay and he shot past Brown to put Cowden into the lead.
At half time Stenhousemuir had to make another enforced change with Chris McCluskey replacing Brown. Once again the Warriors started brightly and they equalised in the 52nd minute when Andy Rodgers played a perfectly weighted pass into Eric Paton and he thrashed the ball high into the net. A few minutes later Rodgers went down in the box but the referee did not entertain his appeals for a penalty. In the 58th minute McCluskey showed his merit as a shot stopper when he did well to tip a Jon Robertson strike away from the top corner. Ross McMillan came close with an effort in the 83rd minute but he came even closer to scoring an own goal in the 90th minute when McCluskey had to tip a header over the bar to keep the game alive.
In extra time the home side were on top throughout and at times the Warriors rode their luck to keep in touch. This was especially true in the 98th minute when Greig Stewart held off Martyn Corrigan and drew out McCluskey before passing to Ramsay who looked as if he would complete his hat trick but with the goal gaping somehow shot wide of the target.
McCluskey saved Stenhousemuir in the 109th minute when he was alert to block an effort from Scott Linton who seemed well offside when the chance fell his way. The keeper then brought off an instinctive save to deny Marc McKenzie after a miss-hit effort by Linton rolled into his path. Stenhousemuir were relying on long balls to Grant Plenderleith to cause problems at the other end but with a lack of support for him it was always more likely that the best that Stenhousemuir could hope for was that the game went to penalties.
Eventually the whistle blew with the scores level and entered a penalty shoot out. The Warriors took first blood when Eric Paton scored and then Cowden missed their first attempt when Colin Cameron’s effort was saved by McCluskey. Stevie Murray, Andy Rodgers and Iain Thomson all then scored for Stenhousemuir as did Jon Robertson, Mark Ramsay and Marc McKenzie for Cowdenbeath. This meant that when Stewart Kean stepped up he had the chance to secure the tie for Stenhousemuir but his effort was saved by Bejaoui. This gave Cowden a lifeline but they were unable to take it when Greig Stewart shot wide of the target with the next kick and Stenhousemuir thus progressed to the second round.
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