Sunday, 15 May 2011

Terrace Travels #10: Cowdenbeath 0-2 Brechin City

Click here or read below for my experiences at the recent fixture between Cowdenbeath and Brechin City. It was published on The Terrace.

Brechin are Reekin'

The playoffs have been an absolute revelation to the SFL since their introduction. They attract bigger crowds, high tension and drama. With this in mind, The Terrace's Will Lyon headed along to Cowdenbeath for their second leg, semi final fixture against Brechin City, with the scores tied at 2-2 from the first leg.
The unique Central Park, Cowdenbeath
 The sun was shining and the fans were out in force. Central Park may not be the prettiest sight in the world, but as it loomed in the distance I could not help feeling a tinge of sadness that this could be my last visit, due to new plans to demolish the old lady. Or am I just a bit soppy?

As my dad and I walked towards the rickety ground, we were made to feel welcome by a group of teenagers who booed us, presumably because we were walking behind two middle-aged men proudly sporting Brechin City shirts.

We walked into the ground and took our seats with fifteen minutes to kickoff. Of course, Central Park hosts stock car racing and therefore fans have to sit well away from the pitch. To make matters worse, floodlights and wired fences also hinder the view from the stands. Despite this, (and I am probably in the minority) I still cannot help liking the unique ground.

After initially basking in the sunshine, my dad realised he had left his phone on top of the car (he's getting old) and hurried back to the car park to pick it up. With the greatest of respect to Cowdenbeath, if you have visited the town before, I am sure you can imagine how lucky he was that it was still there five minutes later. 

As I was sitting on my own, Ross County manager Jimmy Calderwood came up into the stand, presumably to support his pal and Cowdenbeath manager, Jimmy Nicholl. The initially empty terracing was also beginning to fill and it was a pleasure to see both sets of fans freely mixing together, with few policemen in sight. The usual songs about Brechin fans liking sheep was sung by Cowdenbeath fans and by the sounds of things, City fans were only too happy to remind the home support that they were from Fife and therefore likely to be married to their sister…

My dad arrived back, just in time for the pre-match entertainment which featured a group of youngsters carrying out some daring dance moves. One unlucky girl was flung up into the air, only to be dropped after gravity had hauled her back to earth, but that aside, everything went to plan. 

The match kicked off at a frantic pace that bestows the typical lower league football fixture. Unfortunately, the quality of football in the first half was hampered by a bumpy pitch and the strong wind hardly helped matters. However, the two sets of fans on the terracing appeared to be having a good time and the policemen were chuckling along with the banter. Conversely, Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn, sitting behind us, did not appear to be having a particularly good time. To improve the situation, he left his seat just before half time and staggered back with a supply of pies for assistant manager Paul Smith and office manager Bob Mullen.

During the interval, numerous signed Cowdenbeath shirts were given away by mascot “Bluebell the Coo” to delighted youngsters, before the club's under-14s attempted a one-on-one shootout against their poor goalkeepers, dwarfed by the full sized goals.

In the second half, Cowdenbeath began to take control of the game, but repeatedly saw their shots blocked by brave Brechin defenders or saved by veteran ‘keeper Craig Nelson. However, it was the away side who took the lead. The impressive Jamie Redman nipped in ahead of a static defence and struck home from six yards. With just ten minutes to play, Cowdenbeath flung men forward, only to concede the inevitable breakaway goal, with Craig Molloy tapping in to seal his side's place in the final against Ayr United. The result also condemned Cowdenbeath to relegation down to Division Two and questions will be asked if Nicholl will stay at the club, along with experienced pros Stevie Crawford and Colin Cameron.

The Cowdenbeath young team let out their anger by chanting “Brechin are reekin'” and although their fans smelt perfectly fine to me, their team were no great shakes and you would expect Ayr to topple them for the coveted place in the First Division.

written by Will Lyon

1 comment:

  1. Another good blog, I loved our visit there in the league. Nothing like jumping around the terrace singing and dancing.