One way or another, Cowdenbeath or Edinburgh City were going to claim their first points of the season on Saturday, and Gary Jardine felt it could have been his side after going down 2-0 at Central Park.
Kris Renton’s first-half header and Lewis Moore’s late strike on the counter made the home side’s victory seem more comfortable than it actually was, with City passing up a number of good chances both before and after The Blue Brazil’s opener.
“This is the first week we felt that we put enough in to win the match,” said Jardine. “I think a fair reflection of the first game of the season would have been a draw, last week we were well beaten and looked for a reaction and I think we got it.
“The players were unfortunate not to take anything from the game and I thought for long spells we were the better team.”
On-loan Hearts striker Nikolay Todorov spurned the first chance within two minutes, heading over Fraser Mullen’s free-kick delivery from the right. Mullen decided to have a go himself on the ten minute mark, and Calum Antell needed a second attempt to gather his drive after it skidded off the greasy surface.
Some fine interplay between Allum and John Dunn on the left flank put the latter in behind, and David McGurn had to get down sharply to his left to prevent him giving City the lead. The Cowden keeper then watched nervously as Dean Cummings flashed an effort wide.
The chances were coming regularly for City, and Allum maybe should have hit the target with his header after Aaron Dunsmore had cleverly hooked the ball back in to the area. The striker followed that up with a vicious low shot that McGurn did well to keep out.
The hosts then came within inches of the lead themselves when Mullen’s free-kick came back off the post with Antell beaten.
That only delayed an opener for Liam Fox’s men, however. Renton latched on to a long ball over the top as the City defence seemed to stop, and the striker beat Antell to the bouncing ball and headed in to the empty net.
City continued to press forward and Ross Guthrie connected well with a clipped Cummings cross, but McGurn was able to gather low.
After some early second half Cowden pressure, City set about trying to find a leveller. Dunsmore’s first-time cut back picked out Guthrie, but his well-struck volley was straight down McGurn’s throat.
Mullen’s set pieces were proving a danger, his latest requiring Antell to tip it over, before his resulting corner was headed just wide by Todorov.
City’s best chance of the game came with 15 remaining. Sub Ouzy See sent Allum scampering in behind with a perfectly weighted through-ball, but there was frustration all round when he sent a tame effort in to McGurn’s arms when one-on-one.
Somewhat inevitably, Cowden sucker punched City with a late second. Gary Glen raced through and slid the ball past Antell, only to see it come back off the post. It fell kindly for the ex-Hearts man though, and he squared for current Tynecastle loanee Moore to tap home.
Jardine is hopeful a first win will come with big players set to return. “We were missing Beats [Craig Beattie], Mbu and three centre halves with Frazer Paterson and Sheggz [Shaun Harrison] out, and Dougie Gair getting injured at the last minute was a blow. We have them to come back but again we haven’t taken any points and it’s more frustrating the longer it goes.”
Cowdenbeath: McGurn, Brett, Sives, B Ross (Miller 65), Moore, Mullen, Todorov, Turner, G Ross, Renton (Glen 68), Rutherford.
Edinburgh City: Antell, Porteous, Dunsmore, Guthrie (See 68), Martynuik (MacDonald 78), McKee, McFarland (McConnell 81), Cummings, Allum, Dunn, Caddow.