Arbroath 4-1 Cowdenbeath
M.Scott (5) S.Rumsby (90+3)
L.Henderson (54 og)
Ruthless Arbroath ease past Cowdenbeath
Match report by Theo Kyriacou
Arbroath recorded a 4-1 win other Cowdenbeath in a game in which the result never was in doubt from start to finish. Arbroath were clinical in their finishing and were aided by some very poor defending and goalkeeping from the visitors. As Forfar drew 0-0 at home to local rivals Montrose, the result closes the gap to the table topping Loons to six points.
Dick Campbell made 3 changes to the side that drew 1-1 at home to Stirling Albion last week. Gomes remained in goal. The back four was made up of Malin at right-back, who came in for Gold, Sukar returned at left-back and Hamilton partnered Little at centre-back. In midfield, McCord played on the right-wing, Linn on the left and Hodge played alongside Whatley in midfield. Up front, Doris partnered Scott, who came in for Prunty.
Arbroath named seven substitutes: Omar Kader, Josh Skelly, Bryan Prunty, Eddie Ferns, Donald McCallum, Matty Smyth and Cammy Gill.
Arbroath, right from the start, were extremely dominate in possession and they took an early lead in the 5th minute with the first real chance of the match. Doris hustled and harassed Henderson into giving away possession near the edge of Cowdenbeath’s box. The ball fell to Linn who slipped it into the path of the unmarked Scott, who calmly slotted the ball past Sneddon to give Arbroath the lead.
However, Cowdenbeath had the chance to level the game only seconds later after a moment of stupidity from Gomes. The Arbroath goalkeeper tried to shield the ball out of play but was dispossessed by Renton. Renton chipped the ball into the penalty area where it was met by Buchannan. However, Gomes’ blushes were saved by Little who reacted superbly to clear the ball off the line. It was a moment of madness from Gomes and his mistake really should’ve been punished by the visitors.
Steven Doris is a player who always gives his all during a game and he did superbly to create a chance out of nothing. Doris put the ball round McLauchlan and managed to advance all the way to the box where he saw his shot blocked and cleared.
A second goal for Arbroath always seemed likely and, after a superb piece of defending by Mullen to deny McCord from scoring from close range, they managed to score a second and what a beautifully worked goal it was. Malin played a great ball down the channel to Linn. Linn did extremely well to keep the ball in and also to cross first time into the box. Linn’s cross was superb and it was met by Doris who, with a brilliant deft touch, doubled Arbroath’s lead.
Arbroath had been the dominate side but Cowdenbeath missed a glorious chance to pull a goal back in first half added time. Carrick was played in on goal and, after a piece of miscommunication between Hamilton and Gomes, the Arbroath keeper was left stranded in no man’s land on the edge of the box. However, the on-loan Livingston striker chipped the ball high and wide of the crossbar. He really should’ve scored.
Half Time – Arbroath 2-0 Cowdenbeath
Even though Arbroath were completely in control throughout the whole match, Cowdenbeath squandered a few really big chances. The first chance of the half fell to the visitors when Mullen’s corner fell nicely for Henderson, who was standing near the penalty spot. However, he fired his shot high over the bar.
Henderson though did manage to score moments later, just in the wrong net. It really was a moment of madness from the youngster, who is on-loan from Falkirk. Henderson, who had no one near him, diverted Sukar’s hopeful cross into the box into his own net to make the score 3-0 to Arbroath.
Arbroath then had an immediate chance to make it four. Hodge and McCord combined well from a corner and McCord’s clipped ball into the box was headed goal wards by Hamilton but Sneddon made a great save to deny the centre back from scoring.
O’Brien came on in place of Moore for the visitors and Skelly replaced Hodge for Arbroath.
Skelly had an immediate impact and saw his cross deflected onto the bar. Unfortunately for him, there were no Arbroath shirts in the box waiting for the rebound and the ball was cleared to safety.
McCallum replaced Scott for Arbroath and Muirhead replaced Renton for Cowdenbeath.
Ricky Gomes in the Arbroath goal was having a bit of a nightmare in goal but, fortunately for him, he wasn’t made to pay for his errors. Gomes spilled Buchanan’s feeble first effort into the middle of the penalty area, into the path of Carrick. However, Carrick was inches away from connecting with the ball and it was another chance that went begging for the visitors.
In football, the team who doesn’t take their chances is normally made to pay and that is exactly what happened when moments later Arbroath made it four and there was a lot of fortune behind it. Whatley played the ball to Malin on the edge of the area who sent a speculative volley towards the goal. However, unfortunately for Sneddon, he got it all wrong and he managed to drop the ball into his own net. Even though it was fortuitous, it was a great moment for Malin who had had a superb game at right-back.
Arbroath then made their final substitution as Smyth replaced McCord.
McCallum was then unlucky to not record his first goal for Arbroath. Skelly did brilliantly to beat Henderson and his cut back was perfect for McCallum, who was standing unmarked in the centre of the goal. However, the forward completely miscued his shot and the ball was cleared by the Cowdenbeath defence.
However, there was to be no clean sheet for the Red Lichties as Cowdenbeath scored with virtually the last kick of the game. Mullen floated a free kick into the box, where the ball was knocked down into the path of Rumsby, who fired the ball past Gomes.
Full Time – Arbroath 4-1 Cowdenbeath
It was a deserved victory for the home side and it was a game in which they didn’t really ever have to break sweat in. Arbroath did play some great football throughout the game, in particular the first half, and can be delighted with the fact that they were much more ruthless in front of goal. Arbroath travel to 3rd placed Elgin city next time around and know that a win there can help both cement their position in the play-offs and can help to pile more pressure on the leaders Forfar.