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Cowden triumph to knock Cove out of SFA Youth Cup

Cove Rangers 1

Gunn 63

Cowdenbeath FC 3

Johnston 22, Byrie 44, Anthony 90
  • Sunday, 20 October 2013
  • Allan Park
  • Under 20´s
  • Scottish Youth Cup

Scott McPherson | YFS North Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Cove Rangers’ participation in this year’s u20 Scottish Youth Cup has ended in the third round after a 3-1 defeat to Cowdenbeath. Cowdenbeath dominated the first half and deservedly went into the break 2-0 up thanks to goals from Craig Johnston and Declan Byrie. This game matched the description of ‘game of two halves’ as Cove Rangers rallied in the second period and pulled a goal back through Michael Gunn. But, as so often happens, as Cove committed men forward searching for an equaliser they were caught on the counter and Cowdenbeath’s Ben Anthony confirmed their passage into the fourth round with a 90th minute goal.
Cove Rangers beat Keith 6-1 in the previous round to set up the tie with last season’s quarter finalists Cowdenbeath.
The hosts started brightly and they were first to register a shot but Michael Gunn’s low effort from 12 yards was well held by Cowdenbeath’s  goalkeeper Callum Speddie.
Cove’s sharp start was quickly taken over by Cowdenbeath dominance and they came close after 11 minutes. Liam Callaghan’s in swinging free kick from the right was directed towards goal off the back of a defender but Craig Reid in goal for Cove was alert to tip the ball over the ‘bar.
The visitors came even closer after 18 minutes thanks to another Callaghan delivery. His corner found striker Ben Anthony unmarked at the back post but his volley struck the crossbar.
Four minutes later Cowdenbeath took the lead after good, high pressing which saw them win back possession high in the Cove Rangers half. Winger Jamie Bouhaddou’s drilled pass allowed Anthony to immediately lay off for strike partner Craig Johnston who scored from 15 yards with the help of a deflection which wrong-footed the ‘keeper. 
Cowdenbeath nearly doubled their lead seconds after the restart when Anthony found himself wide open in the middle of the penalty area but he was brilliantly denied by Reid.
Anthony was then denied by Cove defender Lewis Smith who cleared his half volley off the line.
Just before the interval it was 2-0. Declan Byrie’s low free kick from 20 yards struck a Cove defender who had slid to block the shot and the ball looped up and over the helpless Reid.
  • Half Time:
  • Cove Rangers
  • 0-2
  • Cowdenbeath FC
Whatever Cove manager Scott Edwards said to his team at half time worked as they looked a much better team in the second half. Edwards credited moving Blair Stephen slightly deeper to help win the battle in the middle of the park as the reason for their second half resurgence.
Despite Cove’s better second period, Cowdenbeath nearly put the game beyond them just after half time. Johnston’s header from Callaghan’s corner was kicked off the post by Cove winger Ross Cochrane.
Cove were rewarded for their much improved performance when they halved the deficit after 63 minutes. A direct run by Stephen from deep resulted in Ryan Stewart clipping the ball through for Gunn who fired low past Speddie from 12 yards.
With 20 minutes remaining Cove’s Cochrane saw his near post shot well blocked by Speddie as Cove threatened an equaliser. 
Cochrane was involved again a minute later when his looping cross was nearly bundled over the line by striker Chris Davidson.
Cove came closest to levelling the game in the 80th minute. A long throw-in was met by substitute Scott Davie whose header was acrobatically tipped over by goalkeeper Reid. 
In stoppage time Cowdenbeath broke away to score their third and make the score line look a little more comfortable. After a great run up the right wing, Johnston squared the ball for Anthony whose shot from 18 yards was deflected and the ball, not for the first time today, changed direction to wrong-foot Reid. 
Despite the defeat, Cove will be happy that they competed for long spells with a team which reached the quarter finals of the Scottish Youth Cup last season. The home side will point out that all three of Cowdenbeath’s goals were deflections, which probably signals that it just wasn’t meant to be their day.
As for Cowdenbeath, manager Derek Nicholson is hoping to at least replicate last year's performance by getting to the quarter finals again. He says he is hoping for Celtic or Rangers away in the next round.
  • Full Time:
  • Cove Rangers
  • 1-3
  • Cowdenbeath FC


Cove Rangers
Cowdenbeath FC

1. Craig Reid
2. Louis Macaulay
3. Lewis Smith
4. Jason Caie
5. Andrew Smith
6. Blair Stephen
7. Stuart Taylor
8. Ryan Stewart
9. Chris Davidson
10. Michael Gunn
11. Ross Cochrane
12. Ross Gibson
14. Josh Milne
15. Scott Davie

1. Callum Speddie
2. Jack Wright
3. Reece Sawers
4. Liam Dunn
5. Brad Hainey
6. Aron Lynas
7. Declan Byrie
8. Liam Callaghan
9. Ben Anthony
10. Craig Johnston
11. Jamie Bouhaddou
12. Craig Brand
14. Blair Sprinkhall
15. Jordan McNeill

Star Player
Cove Rangers
Cowdenbeath FC
Jason Caie impressed at left back for Cove. Wholehearted throughout never shirking an opportunity to win the ball for his team. He was vocal and also had a good left foot which he used to good effect frequently. He moved to central defence late on in the second half but looked just as good there.
Striker Ben Anthony was a nuisance for the Cove defence the whole game. He was involved in most of Cowdenbeath's good play. His intelligent link up play was a reoccurring theme in the first half. Topped it all off with a late goal.
Magic Moment
Cove Rangers
Cowdenbeath FC
Craig Reid's first half save from Ben Anthony was first class - keeping his team in the game.
Ben Anthony's volley which struck the crossbar was excellent technique and would have been a goal to savour.
Club Views
Cove Rangers
Cowdenbeath FC
Scott Edwards, manager of Cove Rangers, said: "The team played really well but were a wee bit off the pace first half. They were quick on the ball, quick to close us down and bullied us a wee bit. "We got got the guys in at half time, told them what needed to be told and they took it on board and performed really well second half. We dictated the play, rattled them and we made them make mistakes. The ball just wouldn't break for us. "On the whole, we were fantastic and the guys can hold their heads up."
Derek Nicholson, manager of Cowdenbeath, said: "I think we played well in the first half but sloppy in the second. We knew Cove would come at us and they did. "Overall we deserved to win the tie. It was always going to be a tricky place to come as the guys here have done a great job. "Delighted with the victory and delighted to be through to the next round."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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