Bo’ness United 0
Bo’ness UNITED’s adventure in the Scottish Cup came crashing to a halt as Second Division leaders Cowdenbeath eventually ran out 3-0 winners against the nine men from Newtown Park.
In front of a crowd in excess of 1200, Bo’ness were looking to bounce back to form after a couple of defeats in the Super League. They knew they had a tough job on their hands against the side who head the Second Division but fortune favours the brave and Paul Ronald’s men took the game to the visitors from the kick off.
Some hefty challenges were unsettling the visitors as the adrenalin levels reached crazy levels. Bo’ness were up for this game all right but it spilled over after only twenty minutes with the visitors rattled. Bo’ness new signing for this game Ryan Scanlan, a youngster from Motherwell’s books, went flying in with a straight leg challenge on full back David Cowan. Having already been booked only minutes earlier the youngster was walking anyway but the referee, who was to make some controversial decisions later in the game, gave him a straight red.
Down to ten men, Bo’ness had to reshuffle their pack taking a midfield player back into defence. It was only then that Cowdenbeath found space to play the ball as Bo’ness had been dictating play. The extra man began to pay dividends for Cowdenbeath who were finally creating chances, though a poor final ball was letting them down. Finally in the 37th minute they made the breakthrough. A long cross ball from Scott Linton into the penalty box found Jon Robertson unmarked and he headed home strongly for the opener. Cowdenbeath then stepped up the pressure and as half time approached the Bo’ness defence were stretched.
The second half was only a couple of minutes old when Cowdenbeath’s Kal Naismith crashed a free kick off the bar and away to safety. Bo’ness though were now settled and with play going from end to end it was hard to see who the side down to ten men was. Stuart Hunter had a great chance to equalise but his effort was high and wide.
Then just after the hour mark, Cowdenbeath added a second goal. Sub Lewis Coult sent over a high looping cross to the back post where Linton found himself with acres of space to head home from ten yards. Still though, Bo’ness wouldn’t lie down. They again forced play to the other end and Nicky Walker had a goalbound effort blocked for a corner.
It was then that referee Paul Robertson became embroiled in controversy. He waved away a very strong penalty claim for Bo’ness with the referee’s supervisor shaking his head in disbelief at the decision. Then to add insult to that decision only minutes later he awarded a penalty to Cowdenbeath when it was Lewis Coult climbing all over the back of Will Snowdon.
Cowdenbeath weren’t arguing and Coult stepped up to score easily. Bo’ness central defender Stuart Hunter became so angry at the decisions he decided to lash out and kicked the ball at the referee and was given a straight red card.
The game changed dramatically on the first sending off. The youngster Scanlan was so pumped up for this game he failed to see the danger signs with his booking only minutes earlier. Up until that point Bo’ness were the side winning every 50-50 ball and even with ten men the home side were still pushing forward; if an equaliser had materialised then who knows what the outcome would have been. It left disappointed boss Ronald reflecting on what might have been.
“I was proud of the players, they were playing really well. Even down to ten men we created chances. We’re so disappointed and couldn’t have asked any more from them. I feel if we had eleven men on the pitch we would have won this game. They didn’t come into it until the sending off. We were every bit a match for them. I didn’t see them doing anything in the game until that happened. Our penalty claim was a really poor decision from the referee and to award them one so soon afterwards was another really poor one. But it was the sending off that won them the game.”
Cowdenbeath manager, the former Hearts favourite Colin Cameron, was pleased to be through. “At this stage of the cup you are looking at getting through to the draw for the next round. We did that but it was a very difficult game for us. I don’t think the sending off did a lot for us. They were still dangerous.
“The boys were very professional and did the job. It could have been a banana skin for us but the main thing is we’re through to the fourth round.”
Bo’ness: Christie, Shields, Duffy, Gibb, Hunter, Snowdon, Nimmo (Taggart), Walker, Tarditi (Stewart), Donnelly, Scanlan. Subs: Bonnar, Hay, Allan.
Cowdenbeath: Flynn, Cowan, Adamson, Cameron (Winter), O’Brien, Mbu, Naismith (McKenzie), Robertson, Ramsay (Coult), Stewart, Linton. Subs: Brett, Bejaoui.