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Cowdenbeath FC

Cowdenbeath FC 1Stirling Albion 2

Date: 26th September 2009 Kick off: 4:00pm
Competition: Irn-Bru 2nd Division Referee: Thomas Robertson
Venue: Central Park Attendance: 451
Man of the Match: Craig Winter

Despite having a dream start with a goal in the opening five minutes from Scott McBride Cowden saw their four game unbeaten run come to an end against the league leaders at Central Park with former loanee David McKenna and Martin Grehan scoring in the Binos comeback to extend their lead at the top of the table.

After the previous week's convincing win at Dumarton Danny Lennon fielded an unchanged starting line up while Allan Moore made one change to his side with on loan Dundee United youngster Ross McCord taking over from Stewart Devine.

Cowden, looking for their first home league win over the Binos in almost six years, made a blistering start to the game and took the lead in five minutes when Robertson set up Scott McBRIDE who turned in the box to fire home a powerful low shot for his fifth goal of the season.

Sixty seconds later the on loan Par almost made it two when he headed just wide of the target following a Fairbairn cross, the early home pressure continued and Adamson came close with a 20 yard shot after a poor clearance from the Albion defence.

The visitors first real chance on goal came after 14 minutes when McKenna fired a shot just over the bar from 18 yards.

Two minutes later however they were back on level terms when a long kick out by Hogarth found Grehan who flicked the ball into the path of David McKENNA who ran through the Cowden defence and fired a right footed shot past Hay from 14 yards.

Midway through the first half Robertson made space down the right but his cross-cum shot flew just wide of the goal and soon after a deep free kick from Stein reached Wardlaw but the big strikers header was held by Hogarth.

On the half hour Stirling almost took the lead when a curning shot from O'Neill came off the bar. At the other end a curling 20 yard shot from Robertson was deflected for a corner.

Two minutes from the interval Martin GREHAN got the deciding goal when Forsyth sent a free kick into the Cowden box and the striker was on hand to send a looping header into the corner of the Cowden net.
The second half opened with Fairbairn sending in a free kick which brought out a good save from Hoggarth and ten minutes later Stein saw a 35 yard free kick whistle just past the post.

Just short of the hour McKenna broke through from the right but his shot was held by Hay. Soon after a Stein corner was met by Wardlaw who shot just over the bar. Hay then did well to turn a Gibson shot round the post as the visitors looked for a killer third goal.

With 13 minutes to go we had two good chances to grab an equaliser when firstly a Mbu shot took a deflection for a corner which Stein fired in and was headed just wide by Mbu at the back post.

Danny Lennon spoke to the Blue Brazil Online after the game:

"We couldn't have got off to a better start on Saturday and I thought the boys were fantastic in the opening 15 minutes or so. They followed the game plan perfectly and McBride scored a great goal to get us off to a flyer. We were well in control at that stage and looked good for a second goal.

"However, a bad defensive error on our part gave Stirling a way back into the game which was very disappointing. We were visibly affected by the equaliser and the defending at the 2nd goal was also poor. Our defending at the free kick was naive and you cant give a player of Grehan's quality a free header. To be fair to the boys I asked them to defend better as a team at the break and we were much more solid in the 2nd half.

"I knew we would have a lot of the ball in the 2nd half and we introduced Mark Ramsay to give us more attacking options but we were unable to break Stirling down.

"It was very disappointing to lose the game but there were many positives to take away from the game. We played some very good football during the opening spell and although our overall performance was maybe not up to recent high standards, the boys work rate was first class and we did not look out of place against a very good established 2nd division team.

"We will dust ourselves down, work hard at training again this week and prepare ourselves in the correct manner for the visit to Stenhousemuir on Saturday."

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Stirling Albion