Betfred Cup: COWDENBEATH 0 DUNFERMLINE 3: 23/07/16
Allan Johnston made two changes from the team that defeated Arbroath 3-0 - Jason Talbot and Kallum Higginbotham in for Lewis Martin and Rhys McCabe. Cowdenbeath made three changes from the side beaten at Tannadice on Tuesday night. Liam Fox brought in Burton O`Brien, Craig Johnston, and new signing Brian Ross. Out went Shaun Rutherford, Kris Renton and Lewis Moore.
A second minute free kick taken short by Higginbotham to Gavin Reilly didn`t work out with the on loan Hearts man`s cross from the right hit into the sidenetting. The same pair created the next threat again looking lively around the box but it was the seventh minute when the Pars tested the keeper. Nat Wedderburn leapt to play the ball to Michael Moffat about 25 yards out but the lay off saw, Talbot run in on the left side to smash his shot at keeper David McGurn.
Four minutes on and McGurn dropped to hold a low cross from Joe Cardle after Wedderburn had fed Moffat yet again. Cowdenbeath did try and get forward as much as they could with Kris Turner robbing the ball off Cardle on half way to pick out Johnston on the left but the Pars defence was not troubled by his cross.
A Higginbotham switch to Cardle on the far left in 19 minutes led to a fantastic cross that Moffat met with a glancing header but McGurn got down to pull off a quite magnificent save. Six minutes later Kyle Miller caught Ryan Williamson on the back and he require physio Kenny Murray`s attentions before returning.
It was Miller who got away a 25 yard strike in 28 minutes that hit some part of Lee Ashcroft instigating claims for a penalty. There were a couple of headers out of the Pars box by Talbot and Richards-Everton before on the half hour Geggan lobbed a ball into the left side of the home box for Moffat to crash on target but again McGurn came to Cowdenbeath`s rescue.
With the interval just five minutes Dean Brett`s cross from the right was diverted away from danger by an acrobatic Williamson and at the other end the travelling support roasted the stand side linesman for a tight offside decision against Reilly.
In 42 minutes McGurn touched a Cardle blast wide right after Geggan had picked out Moffat to set up Joe. From the corner Ashcroft`s header was cleared off the line by Fraser Mullen and the Pars finished strongly but there was no route through the resolute Cowdenbeath defence who clearly had a desire to prevent the flood gates opening like they had done against Dundee United.
Half time: Cowdenbeath 0 Dunfermline 0
Cowdenbeath continued to put up a solid defence until Andy GEGGAN made the breakthrough in 57 minutes. Cardle won a free kick on the edge of the box and after Rhys McCabe replaced Nat Wedderburn it was Higginbotham who took charge of the setpiece drilling it wide right off the Cowden wall. When the corner was played in the Pars captain met it on the near corner of the six yard area to hit through McGurn to bulge the net. 0-1
It was midway through the second half Geggan was fouled on the edge of the centre circle. Higginbotham sent the free kick deep into the opposition box where Lee ASHCROFT connected to send the ball into the left side of McGurn`s net. 0-2
Paul McMullan and Lewis Spence immediately replaced Kallum Higginbotham and Joe Cardle. The two subs combined well in 77 minutes McMullan gaining ground to the edge of the box before slipping the ball to the overlapping Spence and his cross looked good for Reilly at the near post but put off by pressing defenders he failed to find the net.
Sub Cammy Muirhead forced a Cowden corner in 80 minutes but Geggan headed that away setting up a counterattack that found Moffat on the right. Moff switched the ball to Spence on the left but unluckily he hit his 20 yard effort just outside the left upright.
Next it was Cowdenbeath to have a close thing, Greg Ross cutting the ball across the face of the Pars goal and Muirhead failing to net at the far post.
A McCabe free kick was lofted high in from the right touchline targeting Richards- Everton but Sives got his head on it to hand the Pars an 85th minute corner on the left. McMullan crossed and Ashcroft`s header was chested down by Brett to Reily in front of him. The striker picked out GEGGAN to the right and he drilled a low shot in at the far post. 0-3
The Betfred Man of the Match was deservedly presented to Andy Geggan who made all the difference to the scoreline. A comfortable win for the Pars in the end but as usual it was a difficult match at Central Park.
COWDENBEATH: David McGurn (c), Dean Brett, Gerry McLauchlan, Craig Sives, Greg Ross: Burton O`Brien (Cammy Muirhead 73), Fraser Mullen, Chris Turner (David Robertson 70), Kyle Miller. Craig Johnston, Brian Ross.
SUBS NOT USED: Harvey Swann, Rory George, Jordan Leslie, Charlie Denton
YELLOW CARD: Turner (64), Robertson (88)
DUNFERMLINE: David Hutton: Ryan Williamson, Lee Ashcroft, Ben Richards-Everton, Jason Talbot: Kallum Higginbotham (Lewis Spence 71), Andy Geggan (c), Nat Wedderburn (Rhys McCabe 56), Joe Cardle (Paul McMullan 71): Michael Moffat, Gavin Reilly.
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Martin, James Thomas, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Geggan (57, 85), Ashcroft (69)
REFEREE: Colin Steven
WEATHER: Overcast 18C
NEXT MATCH: Betfred Cup (home) v Inverness Caley Thistle
Tuesday 26th July 2016, kick off 7.45pm at East End Park.