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Motherwell 2 - 3 Dundee
Cowdenbeath vs Dundee
Venue: Central Park
Date: 26th July 2017
Referee: Euan Anderson
Linesmen: Ralph Gordon, Stuart Hodge
Dundee and Cowdenbeath have only came face to face in this competition back in 1979 when Dundee beat the Blue Brazil 7-2 on agg
The first tie at Central Park ended in a 4-1 victory for the Dee in front of 1,551 supporters. Eric Sinclair (2), Jim Shirra and Ian Redford got the goals.
The team that day was: Donaldson, Barr, Turnbull, MacLaren, Glennie, Watson, Williamson, Shirra, Sinclair, Redford, Murphy Subs: Fletcher, McGeachie
The return tie saw 4,553 fans witness Dundee win 3-1. Eric Sinclair found himself on the score sheet yet again as did Jim Shirra who bagged a double.
The team that day was: Donaldson, Barr, Turnbull, MacLaren, Glennie, McGeachie, Fletcher, Williamson, Sinclair, Shirra, Murphy Subs: McGhee, Watson
Head to Head League Cup Record:
Total Games: 2
Dundee wins: 2
Cowdenbeath Wins: 0
Dundee Goals: 7
Cowdenbeath Goals: 2
Head to Head League Cup Record at Central Park:
Total Games: 1
Dundee wins: 1
Cowdenbeath Wins: 0
Dundee Goals: 4
Cowdenbeath Goals: 1
League Cup games at both grounds:
Won | Away | Round 1 | 4-1 | August 29th 1979
Won | Home | Round 1 | 3-1 | September 1st 1979
Concessions £5 (65 and over and under 16)
Dundee fans will be accommodated in the South Terrace and entry is via the High Street turnstiles. Match Updates:
You can also follow live updates on the Official Dundee Website and twitter page.
Can you tell me what helped you become a Cowdenbeath fan and what your earliest memory of supporting the Blue Brazil is?
My Dad is from Cowdenbeath so I was brought up supporting them and getting taken to games on a Saturday. It was a case of my team was chosen for me rather than I chose my team. The earliest memory I have was beating Arbroath 6-2 at Central Park at the beginning of the 94/95 season. I’m sure the game was fairly early on in the season and as you’d expect, I was pretty optimistic about the season. We ended up finishing 9th in Division 3 which was the first season of the then new league format.
What's your opinions on the new League Cup format that is currently in its second year?
I’ve got mixed feelings. On one hand, the games are more meaningful than friendlies and they attract bigger crowds which then in turn generates more gate money which, as a smaller club, is very welcome. On the other hand, being a fourth seed club means that you are going to have three higher ranked clubs in the same group. These higher ranked clubs are likely to be full time so they will be a lot further along in their pre-season schedule which means they should be a lot fitter and that can show in the results. It can be a bit demoralising when you’re trying to get the team ready for the League campaign.
You kicked off your League campaign against Buckie Thistle. Was there much of a gap between yourself and the Highland Champions? They certainly gave us a few nervy moments.
Honestly, the game was a lot easier than I was expecting. Having narrowly missing out to East Kilbride in the Highland/Lowland League Play Off last season, I thought it would be a hard fought game which would maybe go to penalties. In reality, Buckie took an early lead through a silly mistake but we then looked fairly comfortable. Buckie’s second goal was also preventable and in the end, we could have had 6 or 7.
When the draw was made for the group stages, what was the goal or highest finish the club would be hoping for?
I think realistically fourth but with the chance of sneaking third. Dundee and Dundee United are both full time clubs and Raith Rovers are a hybrid of full and part time players so it was always going to be a tough group.
You enjoyed a good few seasons in Division One/Championship. I believe this was the Cowdenbeath’s best run in the Divisions since the introduction of the four leagues in 1994?
I’d use the term enjoyed loosely. It was great seeing us competing so high up the leagues but seeing your team suffer defeat after defeat isn’t fun. There were a few highlights over the four seasons we were in the second tier though – namely avoiding relegation at New Douglas Park and THAT win at East End Park.
10/11 was our first season in the Division One/Championship since the disastrous 92/93 season and came about because of Livingston getting sent to Division Three. It all happened fairly late on so we had prepared for life in Division Two. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a great season but we managed to avoid bottom spot and were relegated through the Play Offs after Dundee overturned their 25 point deduction. We bounced back up to Division One as Champions the following season and then had three seasons in Division One/Championship with an element of luck again involved.
We narrowly avoided the relegation Play Offs in 12/13, thanks in part to a point deduction given to Dunfermline. 13/14 saw us defeat The Pars in the Play Off final with Greg Stewart scoring the third goal to secure us a season in the Championship with Hearts, Hibs and Rangers. 14/15 saw the start of our decline as we finished bottom of the League and were relegated to League 1 on the final day of the season despite going into the last game sitting in 8th.
I vividly remember defeats at your ground in 2010-11 and 2013-14, could we be adding 2017-18 to that list?
I remember those games as well. Brian Fairbairn got the winner back in 2010/11 with a free kick on the stroke of half time. Davie Hay was brilliant in goals for us and played on with a broken nose. Then in 2013/14, Greg Stewart got the winner when he ran through and slotted home to earn himself a move to Dens Park.
Will we see a Cowdenbeath win on Wednesday? Probably not but anything is possible. Our squad is really small and being supplemented by development players - Kyle Miller was our oldest outfield player on Saturday past at age 24. Clubs like us rely on loans but at this stage, clubs are still building their own squads before deciding which players are surplus to requirements and can go out on loan. This means we are stretched personnel wise and have already picked up a few injuries to Jack Whittaker (broken foot) and David McGurn (thigh strain) so playing three tough games against full time teams in the space of 6 days is a big ask for the players.
You’re currently competing in League Two and just managed to escape playing in the Lowlands League after beating East Kilbride on penalties in the play-off final. How much of a relief was it to retain your SPFL status?
If we had been relegated, it’s highly likely that the club wouldn’t still exist or at least not in the same capacity. It was far too close for comfort – we were minutes away from potential obscurity. At the end of the East Kilbride game, there was no celebration from the fans or players. It was just as you say, relief. Hopefully we never end up in that situation again.
What's the aim of the club for the up-and-coming season?
Some stability. We were relegated from the Championship and then League 1 in consecutive seasons before finishing bottom of League 2 last season so a mid table finish which we can build on next season would be satisfactory. Ideally we’d be looking to push for a promotion Play Off place but it’s still early days with regarding to assembling the squad – I’d imagine there will be a couple of other signings and a few loans as well – so it’s difficult to see how realistic a top half finish is.
Who do you think will reach the final and eventually win the League Cup?
I think we’ll probably be looking at a Celtic v Aberdeen final again this season. Celtic have strengthened from last season where they were undefeated domestically and although Aberdeen lost Hayes, McGinn and Jack, they’ve brought in Stewart, Mackay-Steven, Maynard and Christie (on loan) as well as shored up their defence with the return of Kari Arnason so it’s hard to see past the two of them.
Before Saturday’s clash with Buckie Thistle at Dens Park, rumours started on The Dark Blues Website that Wighton had been seen on crutches with a brace on his knee.
More rumours had arisen that Craig had suffered the injury in a tie against Bristol City U23’s in which the English club were seen to be quite physical towards their hosts. The match ended 0-0.
The Courier have now reported this morning that the young striker is to undergo a scan on his injured knee to see the full extent of the damage.
He said:”I thought we were terrible, it wasn’t good enough and the players have been told that.
“And I will tell them again tomorrow when I have them in. They were supposed to be off but that’s not happening now.
“We were not good enough, the attitude wasn’t acceptable.
“The tempo of play, the standard and what we worked on during the week wasn’t good enough.
“I thought we were poor, very poor in fact. This is a wake up call.
“We can’t afford to stroll around and think we can win a game because we are a Premiership side.
“That is disrespecting the opposition. I’m not saying we didn’t show Buckie respect, but I just don’t think we played at the tempo we do in training.
“I know their keeper had a lot of saves but they had a great chance towards the end and we could have been going beyond the ninety minutes.
“Young Kerr Waddell was magnificent, Roarie Deacon, Paul McGowan and Moussa up top get pass marks.
“But beyond that it wasn’t good enough.
“Full respect to Buckie, they came here with two up and tried to have a go at us.
“But overall I am very unhappy with that performance, it’s not acceptable.”
The new format to the League Cup has opened the door for the Champions of the Highland League and Lowland League to compete. What’s the buzz like around the club and fans now that Thistle will be competing in a National cup competition?
It was a great idea by the SPFL to allow the Champions in to the Betfred Scottish League Cup.
The buzz around the town has been great and the fans have been looking forward to the games. The only thing missing would have been perhaps a Saturday home game especially against Dundee or United.
Your first two games against Cowdenbeath and Dundee United have ended Dundee or United in defeat. How do you think Buckie preformed in both despite the losses?
We actually performed quite well in the first game but we conceded a couple of poor headed goals which didn't help our cause but scoring twice was great for our travelling support. We lost the fourth goal late when we went to three at the back and looked like grabbing an equaliser. I think Cowdenbeath were a bit flattered by the score line. Playing into a howling gale and pouring rain in the first half didn't help especially as the wind abated and the rain went off in the second half.
United appeared fitter and faster than us in the first half, in saying that, we had two decent chances which had we taken them may have put a bit of doubt in their minds. However we got to grips with them in the second half and certainly held our own. We actually performed well in the second half. Hopefully two games against higher opposition within three days will not tell against us.
What do you think the club expected to achieve in the group stages?
On speaking to the manager, he had his sights firmly set on our Highland League opening match, and was going to use these matches to improve the overall and match fitness of our squad. In saying that he also sets ambitious goals for the team but being realistic the game against Cowdenbeath was our best opportunity to take points. Had we played them in our final game there might have been a different outcome.
Our stadium may not be the biggest in Scottish football but will the players be looking forward to playing in a bigger venue than they are accustomed to in the Highland League?
Players are definitely looking forward to the game. Who knows this might be their only opportunity to play on a Premier League ground. Having been to Dens before you're stadium looks pretty big to me! I'm sure it will take our players time to adjust to an enclosed stadium compared to the Highland League pitches.
You are the current Highland League Champions. Now that the pyramid structure is in place, does the club see itself aiming to reaching the SPFL? Maybe one day emulating the achievements of Inverness Caley Thistle and Ross County?
Pyramid structure sounds great but when the reality hits home of having to travel to Annan/Berwick etc. midweek we might have second thoughts. In saying that Elgin seem to be having the best crowds in their division over the last few seasons and we could certainly compete with them. If there was regionalisation for the two bottom leagues (like the Betfred Cup) this might put a different complexion on the way we view things.
It is great to see our old foes from yesteryear competing so well in the top leagues.
What will the Buckie Thistle fans hopes for this season be? Back-to-back Title wins?
I'm sure the fans will be looking for us to win the title again but many of them are realistic and realise that it was a tremendous feat to win the league last year against teams with more financial resources and access to wider playing pools.
We suffered injuries to four or five key players at the tail end of last season. Two of them are definitely out long term but if the others make it for the start of the season allied to our new signings - you never know !!
If you could name one Buckie Thistle player to watch out for, who would it be? Also, if you could pick one Dundee player to tell Buckie to be careful of, who would you point out?
Kevin Fraser was voted Highland League player of the year so he is definitely one to keep an eye open for. He is the captain of the team and plays central midfield. He is slight of frame but makes up for this with plenty of skill, guts and determination.
Darren O'Dea - With his experience he seems to have galvanised your team. Not only by shoring up your defence but also a danger in the opposition box at set pieces
What players would you tell Dundee to be weary of from the two teams you have already encountered, Cowdenbeath and Dundee United?
Difficult to say for Cowdenbeath - they were more a workmanlike team with no outstanding individuals - in my opinion.
As I said earlier, Dundee United being a full time team all looked fitter and sharper than us in the first half and their forward players, McMullan, King and Keatings gave us plenty of problems.
Can you give us your prediction on who you think will reach the League Cup Final and eventually lift the trophy?
I think it will be the same teams as last year, unfortunately I have to say Celtic with Aberdeen as runners-up.
Now the big prediction. Who will come out on top between our two teams on Saturday?
Well now that is a difficult question. What we are hoping for is that there is a large crowd especially as it is Dundee's first competitive home game.
The winners will be................Dundee.
Thank you to David for taking time out and speaking to The Dark Blues Website.