Match Report


Cowdenbeath v Stenhousemuir at Central Park, Cowdenbeath on 03.04.10
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division                 Att 438
Cowdenbeath 1 [Wardlaw 71] Stenhousemuir 0
Cowdenbeath –Hay, Armstrong, Adamson, McGregor [b61], Winter [Mackay 90], Mbu, Fairbairn [Ramsay 76], Dempster [Stein 86], Wardlaw, Robertson and McBride [b30]. Subs not used – Bower and McQuade
Stenhousemuir –McCluskey, Gibb [Love 75], S.Thomson, McLeod [b33], Smith, Thom, Lyle, Molloy, Dalziel [Quinn 78], Diack and Motion [Scullion 81]. Subs not used – Stirling and Bennett
Referee – William Collum             Assistants – Tommy Johnston and Paul Wedlock
Both Cowdenbeath and Stenhousemuir went into this game without troubles to seek and were looking to get a victory to give their supporters some cheer. The home supporters this week had discovered that they may have to move away from Central Park due to breaches of licensing rules and with venues as far away as Edinburgh being mooted this could be the start of the death knell for the club, Stenhousemuir on the other hand have rather more mundane issues as a three game losing run prior to this game saw the Warriors slip precariously close to the relegation play-offs.
With the pitch struggling to recover from a midweek abandonment there was always going to be little flowing football on that surface and the game was not pretty to say the least and was more a war of attrition than anything else. This was in all honesty a fairly turgid affair and poor fare for the larger than normal crowd at Central Park and will hardly attract the casual supporter back to the game on a regular basis. The attendance of 438 was still not great but was the second highest seen at Central Park this season outside the Fife derbies and cup games.
The early stages of the game were primarily played in the Stenhousemuir half of the field but with the Warriors playing deep the Cowdenbeath players were unable to make inroads despite their territorial advantage. The nearest that anyone came to opening the scoring was actually Scott Gibb who shot just wide from the edge of the box after one of his long throws was not cleared properly and fell to him on the edge of the box. This was in the eighth minute and another three had elapsed before Cowden made their first clear chance when a Scott McBride cross was played back out to John Dempster 12 yards out but his effort was weak and comfortably saved.
After this the game went into torpor and it took until the half hour before there was any play of note. Scott Gibb made a strong run that ended abruptly with a foul from McBride who was cautioned for his action. Kevin Motion took the resultant free kick that David Hay pushed over the bar.  This was followed by a similar state of affairs three minutes later at the other end when Chris McLeod was booked and Fairbairn’s free kick was saved by Chris McCluskey. The game was slowly coming to life and Gary Thom had a chance to open the scoring when he was picked out by a Motion cross but he was unable to direct his header on target from close range.
The second half continued in similar fashion to the first with few opportunities at either end. Stenhousemuir’s main hope was always from set pieces but they were few and far between and in the main the home rearguard dealt with them comfortably. The nearest that the Warriors came was from another Gibb throw that was flicked on to Iain Diack whose header looked as if it might just drift wide but was cleared by John Armstrong about a yard out anyway.
Cowdenbeath looked as if they had missed a crucial chance to take the lead in the 70th minute when Gareth Wardlaw squandered the best opening of the game so far by heading a Jon Robertson cross wide. The Warriors however failed to take heed of that warning and within a minute the same players combined again this time though Wardlaw powered his header past McCluskey to put the Fifers into the lead. This effectively was the end of the game as there was no way back for Stenhousemuir as Cowdenbeath ran out winners and kept their title hopes alive.  
In the end Cowdenbeath especially for their territorial possession probably deserved the victory though with little goalmouth action a no score draw had looked to be the most likely result. The defeat, the fourth in a row, for Stenhousemuir was bad enough but the manner of it was worse. The side struggled throughout the game, and when the goal was scored a number of heads went down as players palpably lacked self belief in their ability to get back on level terms and this must be the most alarming aspect of the performance overall.  


Date Time League Season Full Time
April 3, 2010 3:00 pm SPFL Ladbrokes League 1 2009/2010 90'


Central Park Cowdenbeath


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoalsOutcome