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2017/18 Season News

Fife Cup Final 2017


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Fife Cup Final 2017

PostedMay 4, 2017

There have been a number of occasions when the Fife Cup final has been a tepid affair. That was not the case when Cowdenbeath visited Raith Rovers on Wednesday for the 2017 final. Both sides fielded their under-20s with an allowance for the inclusion of some over-age players. This meant that Cowdenbeath could give a run out to Matthew Rooney who had been sidelined with injury. Rovers had won the Development League East title a week earlier and were keen to add more silverware to their collection. The Blue Brazil were equally determined to deny the favourites and lift the 135 year old trophy.
Cowdenbeath opened with quite a rush and went very close on a couple of occasions early doors. Over time though Raith Rovers worked their way into the ascendancy and pressed hard on the Cowdenbeath defence. Cowden goalkeeper Shaun Donoghue defied the eager Raith attack more than once and the woodwork also came to Cowden’s rescue – one shot from close range cannoning off the crossbar when it seemed easier to score.
The second half though followed a different pattern. In the 47th minute the ball bobbed around in the Raith penalty area. Goalkeeper Rory Brian’s attempt to punch clear was mistimed and although he then managed to block Charlie Denton’s header, Cowden substitute Trialist 2 (Connolly) knocked the ball into the net. Raith were then back on their heels as Cowden played with drive and confidence. In 54 minutes Cowdenbeath made it 2-0 with a stunning goal. Hamish Thomson hit a first time pass from the middle of his own half out to the left wing. Harvey Swann swooped onto the ball and first timed his pass across the edge of the box for Cameron Muirhead to crash the ball high into the net.
Cowden then played controlled football but with 8 minutes left Ryan Stevenson blasted home a 25 yarder which Donoghue touched but couldn’t keep out. Now the possibility of a penalty shoot-out galvanised the full-time Rovers players. The closing stages were indeed a test of character for Cowdenbeath as Rovers piled forward. Near the end, the Cowden boys showed their resolve – a last ditch tackle by Callum Watt saved the day as Rovers look poised to strike and Hamish Thomson got his head in the way of a piledriver. Then with the clock standing at 92 minutes, Cowden goalkeeper Donoghue went to take a goal kick – suddenly the stadium was plunged into darkness as the floodlights went out. Confusion reigned and then the players and officials gathered together as Rovers officials tried to restore illumination.
The referee indicated there were still two minutes to play and allowed 10 minutes for lighting to be restored. On expiry of that period, the referee abandoned the game and both teams reluctantly left the field. The abandonment was announced and the crowd began to disperse. Fife FA officials were in consultation inside the pavilion when suddenly the lighting was restored. The referee contacted the SFA and both teams agreed to go back out and play the last two minutes. The game was unabandoned! About 90% of the crowd had by now gone home so it was only a privileged few that saw the game’s conclusion. The Cowden youngsters played out the two minute coda without great incident and the final whistle signified that Cowdenbeath had won the Fife Cup for the 24th time.
At the close the trophy was presented to skipper Hamish Thomson by Cowdenbeath Director David Allan, just elected Chairman of the Fife FA a few days earlier. David said, ‘It has certainly been an exciting first week as Chairman, all the fun and games of the floodlight failure and then the privilege of presenting the trophy to my own team. The final was a great advert for Fife football and the young talent coming through. Raith Rovers showed their true mettle and ability as they fought back strongly in the latter stages whilst I thought our boys showed tremendous team-spirit, playing for the jersey with real verve. The winning goal in particular being a highlight. Well done to all the players and best wishes from all at Central Park to Raith Rovers in their efforts to retain their Championship place this weekend’.
Teams- Raith Rovers: Brian, Watson, Valentine, Berry, McDonald, McKay, Dall, Stevenson, Osei, Thorsen, Collins. Subs: McCann, Swanson, Smith, Trialist Q. Cowdenbeath: Donoghue, Watt, Kellichan, Thomson, Trialist 1, Turnbull, Denton, Key, Muirhead, Rooney, Swann. Subs: Trialist 2, Inglis, Trialist 3, McManus, George, Henderson.
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