COWDENBEATH pulled off a dramatic escape from the relegation play-offs at the expense of Fife rivals Dunfermline with a stirring second-half comeback, after trailing at the interval to a Hamilton side reduced to ten men following Andy Ryan’s ordering off.
Scorers: Hamilton Academical: May 25, Cowdenbeath: Linton 48, Moore 72, MacKenzie 84
Having looked doomed following a poor run in recent weeks, Colin Cameron’s side found form just at the right time and the former Scotland international was understandably delighted with his players’ efforts.
“I had total belief in my team throughout the season. The way things have happened recently they showed great character to get back into this game and go on and win it. The Dunfermline result was a massive help but the main word for us this season has been belief – you’ve got to believe that it can happen, that it’s not impossible. You’ve got to play to the final minute of the final game of the season.”
After dominating the early stages of this game, Hamilton made the breakthrough following a cleverly worked free kick which saw Ali Crawford pick out the prolific Stevie May, who steered the ball in off the post to beat Thomas Flynn. Almost immediately, however, events took a twist in the visitors’ favour as Ryan was shown a straight red card for violent conduct.
Cameron rang the changes at half time and they were to prove decisive. Three minutes after the restart, substitute Marc MacKenzie crossed to Scott Linton to head in the equaliser. His side then got their noses in front as John Armstrong set up Craig Moore to drive home from close range. A truly remarkable turnaround in fortunes was completed as MacKenzie broke clear and drilled in a third to spark jubilant scenes among the Cowdenbeath players and fans alike as the score from East End Park was confirmed.