Match Report - By Steven Mew
Despite a spirited second half comeback from two goals down, 10-man City succumbed to a last minute winner at Central Park yesterday afternoon.
With Sean Docherty and Murray Mackintosh missing through injury, Andy Kirk was forced into changes with Iain Davidson returning from suspension for his first competitive start to captain the side. Also making their first starts were Marc Scott and recent loan signing Max Kucheriavyi.
In temperatures more suited for Cancun than Cowdenbeath, City had the best the opening exchanges as home custodian Cammy Gill pushed away efforts from Michael Paton and Luc Bollan within the first ten minutes.
Shortly after the quarter hour mark, Paton tried his luck with a free kick from 25 yards however his strike sailed harmlessly over.
Despite the intense heat, City were playing against a strong wind and it would have a major part to play as the home side opened the scoring on 26 minutes. A long ball upfield was misjudged by Iain Davidson and former City striker KRIS RENTON got in behind before composing himself and slotting low beyond Wills.
Barely a couple of minutes later Cowden were awarded a penalty after Luc Bollan had fouled Robbie Buchanan in the box. His namesake LIAM BUCHANAN doubled the home sides’ advantage, sending Jack Wills the wrong way from the spot.
Manager Andy Kirk made one change at the break as City looked to get back into the game, with Kieran Inglis replacing Luc Bollan.
Shortly before the hour mark, Kucheriavyi burst forward with the ball before laying it off for David Cox who fired a vicious strike over the crossbar.
Despite having the wind at their backs, City took a while to use this to their advantage and it was Cowdenbeath who came close to adding to their lead. Jack Wills made a fine to save to keep out a header from Liam Buchanan, and the same player would come close again a few minutes later when his strike inside the box was deflected wide by Gregor Jordan.
Midway through the second half, David Cox almost caught out the goalkeeper with an angled chip from 30 yards however Cammy Gill did well to tip over for a corner.
However, a minute later City halved the deficit. The impressive Kucheriavyi advanced forward before playing in GARRY WOOD who slammed the ball low past Gill.
With 20 minutes remaining, Evan Galasso replaced Marc Scott who had put in a fine shift down the left hand side.
City kept plugging away in search of an equaliser and it would arrive with quarter of an hour remaining. David Cox did supremely well to get goal-side of Robbie Buchanan inside the area before being bundled down.
Referee Dan McFarlane took a moment before eventually pointing to the spot – with KIERAN INGLIS confidently dispatching from 12 yards to restore parity.
City continued to have the upper hand with Garry Wood unlucky to see two efforts blocked before Kucheriavyi fired straight at the keeper from the edge of the box.
City’s hopes of grabbing a winner suffered a real blow six minutes from time when Iain Davidson was given his marching orders for a foul outside the box.
With the man advantage, Gary Bollan’s side pushed forward in search of a winner with Wills making a great stop to keep out a header from home skipper Craig Barr.
Just as it looked like the game was heading towards penalties, Cowdenbeath grabbed a late winner. A cross delivered deep into the box was met by the on-rushing KRIS RENTON who got in ahead of Wills to head home.
Overall, a cruel end to a game where City could consider themselves unfortunate not to get something from. Attention now turns to the final Premier Cup group fixture against Alloa Athletic at Glebe Park on Tuesday.