SCOTTISH BETFRED CUP – Group C
Blue Brazil Too Much for Red Lichties
Arbroath 0-2 Cowdenbeath
Arbroath hosted Cowdenbeath on Matchday 4 of the Scottish Betfred Cup. Arbroath were beaten 3-0 away at Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath were also beaten by Dunfermline 3-0 at home. Both teams languished at the bottom of group C, with qualification almost impossible for the two sides.
Dick Campbell made two changes to the side that was beaten 3-0 by Dunfermline. Robbie Mutch was in goal for Arbroath. The back four was made up of Josh Thompson, who replaced the suspended Ricky little, at right back, Gary Phillips was at left back and Colin Hamilton and Michael Dunlop, who came in for Martin Scott, played together in central defence. Captain Mark Whatley and Ryan McCord partnered each other in central midfield with Omar Kader and Bobby Linn on the wings. Steven Dorris partnered Bryan Prunty up front.
Arbroath named 5 substitutes: David Gold, Gavin Mallin, Kane Hester, Liam Callaghan and Ricky Gomes.
Cowdenbeath kicked off the first half attacking the goal in which their section of fans were standing.
Cowdenbeath started the game on the front foot. Ross had a shot saved by Mutch and a great throughball by Miller created an opening for Todorov, but last-ditch defending by Hamilton prevented the striker from getting a shot away. Cowdenbeath kept the pressure up and after more great defending by Hamilton, and Rutherford blazing a shot over the bar, Cowdenbeath made the breakthrough. The goal came in the 13th minute and it was a very well worked goal. Rutherford, who was on the edge of the 18 yard box, clipped a ball towards Todorov, who used his strength to hold off Hamilton and head the ball down into the path of the on-rushing Johnston who bundled the ball past the helpless Mutch.
The goal didn’t do anything to wake Arbroath up though. Mutch was once again called into action and he made a brilliant save from Todorov’s fierce shot. This though suddenly sparked Arbroath into life. Linn had a shot blocked and McCord and Dunlop both had efforts saved by McGurn. Kader then fired a pass into Dorris who tried an improvised flick but the ball was easily gathered up by McGurn. Arbroath, with a few half chances, were slowly beginning to come back into the game.
Gerald Mclauchlan was booked and injured for a foul on Dorris. He was substituted for David Robertson.
However, Arbroath were undone by a a bit of brilliance from Todorov. The big Bulgarian striker, on his professional debut, out-jumped Hamilton to get onto the end of Millers glorious cross, to fire a fantastic header past Mutch and into the Arbroath net.
Half Time: Arbroath 0-2 Cowdenbeath
Arbroath made a change at the start of the second half as Michael Dunlop is replaced by David Gold.
Arbroath started the second half very lively. Linn beat two defenders whilst progressing quickly towards the Cowdenbeath goal. Unfortunately for him, he lost control of the ball and was forced wide by the Cowdenbeath defence who managed to block his shot.
However, up at the other end, after a swift Counter-attack by Cowdenbeath, the ball fell to Todorov, whose shot was once again well saved by Mutch.
Arbroath kept on pushing forward and in the 53rd minute were awarded a penalty, as Kader was fouled in the box by Robertson. Steven Dorris, with the chance to score his first goal of the season, fired the penalty towards the left of McGurn who made a terrific save to thwart Doris.
Arbroath took off the injured Thompson and replaced him with Callaghan.
The penalty miss seemed to temporarily knock the stuffing out of Arbroath. The impressive Todorov had a shot saved by Mutch and he also fired a volley wide of the mark.
But Arbroath regained their composure and began to push forward looking for a goal. Linn had a shot blocked and Kaders low cross was inches away from Dorris connecting with it.
Cowdenbeath brought Muirhead and Denton on for Johnston and Ross. Arbroath also brought young Kane Hester on for Doris.
The game did have a moment of Controversy however. In the 88th minute, a foul on Kader was deemed in the box and another penalty was awarded to Arbroath. However, as the Cowdenbeath players protested profoundly that it was outside the box, the referee, who had made a few strange decisions throughout the game, consulted his linesman who agreed that it was outside the box and a freekick was given. The subsequent freekick was taken by Linn, who saw his shot tipped over the bar by McGurn.
Full Time: Arbroath 0-2 Cowdenbeath
Cowdenbeath on a whole deserved the 3 points. Their defence was resolute throughout the match and on numerous occasions they stopped Arbroath from scoring through blocks and very good saves by McGurn. Arbroath lacked a cutting-edge and they were picked off in the first half by two clinical goals from Johnston and Todorov.
The man of the match was Niklay Todorov. The Bulgarian, on loan from Hearts, was a constant threat and bullied Arbroaths defence, which couldn’t handle him. Todorov also scored a very good goal and looks like a player who will score a number of goals this season.