Scottish League Two - Play-off Final - 2nd Leg
Cowdenbeath1East Kilbride1
Cowdenbeath win 5-3 on penalties

Cowdenbeath 1-1 East Kilbride AET (penalties 5-3)

Fraser Mullen scores for Cowdenbeath against East Kilbride
Former Hearts and Hibernian defender Fraser Mullen rifled in the opening goal for Cowdenbeath

Cowdenbeath retain their SPFL status after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over East Kilbride.

After the first leg of their play-off finished goalless, Fraser Mullen, for Beath, and Kieran Gibbons, for Kilby, netted in normal time.

With no further score after 30 more minutes of play, the hosts scored all five of their spot-kicks.

Liam Henderson struck the decisive penalty, keeping Gary Locke's side in Scottish League Two.

The home side came flying out of the traps and duly took the lead after just three minutes. There was excellent build-up play down the left involving Robbie Buchannan and Dale Carrick, before Henderson laid the ball off for Mullen.

The former Hearts and Hibernian defender drilled a low shot beyond Matthew McGinley in the visiting goal to break the deadlock.

The Blue Brazil keep their foot on the gas, and only a magnificent stop by McGinley denied Carrick from doubling the lead. The striker also crashed a header off the crossbar before Kris Renton's deflected volley flew inches wide.

Liam Henderson scores his penalty for Cowdenbeath against East Kilbride
Liam Henderson's penalty kept Cowdenbeath in Scottish League Two

East Kilbride slowly eased their way into the game and Joao Victoria, then Sean Winter, came close to a leveller.

The Lowland League champions began the second half on the front foot and had claims for a penalty turned down by referee Craig Charleston after the ball appeared to strike the arm of David Syme.

The Lanarkshire side's pressure did pay off, though, when the home defence failed to clear their lines, allowing Gibbons to drill the ball along the slippery surface from 25 yards out and find the bottom corner.

Neither side were able to strike a knockout blow before normal time expired, and the game

East Kilbride's Adam Strachan fired in a deflected 20-yard effort that struck the crossbar on its way over.

Paul Woods holds his head in his hands after missing his penalty for East Kilbride against Cowdenbeath
Paul Woods had his penalty saved by Jamie Sneddon in the Cowdenbeath goal

Both teams looked weary as the rain-soaked pitch began to take its toll. but Cowdenbeath almost snatched a late winner through Craig Johnston, whose effort was tipped over by McGinley.

With Mullen, Johnston, Renton and Syme netting spot-kicks for Cowdenbeath, and Strachan, Russell McLean and Victoria replying, it was Jamie Sneddon's save from Paul Woods that proved crucial.

The stop gave Henderson the opportunity to seal victory for the Blue Brazil, and the defender duly converted his penalty, preserving Cowden's SPFL status, and consigning East Kilbride to another season of junior football.

Cowdenbeath manager Gary Locke: "I don't think it's really anything to celebrate. The chairman is a flamboyant character, and when I came to the club, he said, we're in the play-offs, just win them for us.

"Credit to the players, they've battled really hard over the two games. East Kilbride were fantastic, I certainly feel if they came up they'd be top-four or top-five team in this league.

"So it was a really difficult two games, it gets to be a bit of a lottery when it goes to penalties, but I'm delighted the club's kept their place in the league, because the consequences of going down would've been pretty tough, I'd have thought."

East Kilbride manager Martin Lauchlan
East Kilbride boss Martin Lauchlan was proud of his team's efforts

East Kilbride manager Martin Lauchlan: "It's devastating - we put so much into the game. We lost a goal early - the worst possible start we could've had - but after that we looked the better team and the more likely to score.

"I think our fitness levels looked terrific. It's so difficult to get to this point, with so many play-off games, and to get here and lose it is tough.

"I think they showed in the game they're well capable of playing at this level, but we're bitterly disappointed."

Line-ups

Cowdenbeath

  • 17Sneddon
  • 2Syme
  • 5Rumsby
  • 21McLauchlan
  • 23Pyper
  • 20BuchananBooked at 61minsSubstituted forMooreat 85'minutes
  • 4MullenBooked at 23mins
  • 6MillerSubstituted forO'Brienat 85'minutes
  • 12Henderson
  • 14Renton
  • 9CarrickSubstituted forJohnstonat 110'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1McGurn
  • 7Moore
  • 8O'Brien
  • 11Rooney
  • 18Johnston
  • 29Muirhead

East Kilbride

  • 1McGinley
  • 2StevensonSubstituted forMcLarenat 90+3'minutes
  • 4Proctor
  • 5Howie
  • 3RussellSubstituted forCollat 107'minutes
  • 7WinterSubstituted forMcLeanat 115'minutes
  • 8McLeish
  • 6GibbonsBooked at 26mins
  • 10Strachan
  • 11Vitoria
  • 9Woods

Substitutes

  • 12McLean
  • 14Coll
  • 15Hughes
  • 16McBride
  • 17McNeil
  • 18McLaren
  • 25Kean
Referee:
Craig Charleston
Attendance:
1,676

Match Stats

Home TeamCowdenbeathAway TeamEast Kilbride
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home14
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home12
Away9
Fouls
Home13
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Cowdenbeath 1(5), East Kilbride 1(3).

Penalties over

Penalty Shootout ends, Cowdenbeath 1(5), East Kilbride 1(3).

Goal!

Goal! Cowdenbeath 1(5), East Kilbride 1(3). Liam Henderson (Cowdenbeath) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Goal!

Goal! Cowdenbeath 1(4), East Kilbride 1(3). Joao Pereira Vitoria (East Kilbride) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

Goal!

Goal! Cowdenbeath 1(4), East Kilbride 1(2). Craig Johnston (Cowdenbeath) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

Penalty saved! Paul Woods (East Kilbride) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Goal! Cowdenbeath 1(3), East Kilbride 1(2). David Syme (Cowdenbeath) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! Cowdenbeath 1(2), East Kilbride 1(2). Russell McLean (East Kilbride) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Goal!

Goal! Cowdenbeath 1(2), East Kilbride 1(1). Kris Renton (Cowdenbeath) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Goal! Cowdenbeath 1(1), East Kilbride 1(1). Adam Strachan (East Kilbride) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Goal! Cowdenbeath 1(1), East Kilbride 1. Fraser Mullen (Cowdenbeath) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

Penalties in progress

Penalty Shootout begins Cowdenbeath 1, East Kilbride 1.

Second Half Extra Time ends, Cowdenbeath 1, East Kilbride 1.

Corner, Cowdenbeath. Conceded by Matthew McGinley.

Attempt saved. Craig Johnston (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, East Kilbride. Russell McLean replaces Sean Winter.

Corner, Cowdenbeath. Conceded by Craig Howie.

Corner, Cowdenbeath. Conceded by David Proctor.

Foul by Craig Johnston (Cowdenbeath).

David Proctor (East Kilbride) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Sean Winter (East Kilbride) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Cowdenbeath. Craig Johnston replaces Dale Carrick.

Corner, Cowdenbeath. Conceded by Bernard Coll.

Attempt blocked. Kris Renton (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, East Kilbride. Bernard Coll replaces Barry Russell.

Second Half Extra Time begins Cowdenbeath 1, East Kilbride 1.

First Half Extra Time ends, Cowdenbeath 1, East Kilbride 1.

Attempt missed. Gerry McLauchlan (Cowdenbeath) header from very close range is high and wide to the left.

Corner, Cowdenbeath. Conceded by David Proctor.

Gerry McLauchlan (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sean Winter (East Kilbride).

Delay in match Craig McLeish (East Kilbride) because of an injury.

Corner, East Kilbride. Conceded by Gerry McLauchlan.

Attempt blocked. Adam Strachan (East Kilbride) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

First Half Extra Time begins Cowdenbeath 1, East Kilbride 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cowdenbeath 1, East Kilbride 1.

Substitution

Substitution, East Kilbride. Dominic McLaren replaces Scott Stevenson.

Corner, East Kilbride. Conceded by Jamie Pyper.

Attempt blocked. Adam Strachan (East Kilbride) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Jamie Pyper (Cowdenbeath).

goal

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