Cowie miss out on semi-final place

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COWIE 3

echt 4

Cowie Thistle met Echt in the association cup quarter-final, with a place in the semi against Feughside or Westdyke at stake.

Cowie started brightly and in the 12th minute Craig Irvine broke clear and but scuffed a shot off the keeper which Neil Fowler picked up and dinked perfectly into the far top corner showing the true maverick he has been this season.

Five minutes later Echt drew level when a corner was floated in and Irvine let his man, Rylan drift in to score at the back post.

In the 29th minute, Irvine was booked when he fell theatrically to the floor, screaming out in pain and clutching his nose. There seemed to be no one near him, yet he remonstrated with the referee and earned himself a silly caution. He was then ordered off the field of play to take off his earring during which time Echt broke up the park and Cruise scored an extravagant goal which Valentine managed to get a hand to but in reality had no chance with.

Fowler almost got back to clear the ball of the line but unfortunately it trickled just over the line.

Cowie had a chance to equalise when Fraser was brought down on the edge inside the box. Irvine took the penalty and ballooned the ball high and over the bar into the Cowie river where it sailed far and away out to sea.

Cowie and Fowler scored their second of the game. Good play by Fraser forced a corner, Fowler drilled it in and it sailed high, just over the heads of the onrushing Riddell and Matthews straight into the top corner of the goal where it lodged in the stanchion.

Cowie started the second half with only 10 men as Irvine was running late. When he finally made it onto the field of play he made a good darting run, cut inside and had a chance to pass the ball to Adie for a tap in but took the shot instead, putting it just wide.

Fowler almost had a hat-trick in the 69th minute and Echt had a corner which Valentine punched clear.

Fowler picked up the ball about 25 yards out and set off like a cheetah. He nutmegged a second defender and cut inside onto his left foot. Two players got between him and the goal but he perplexed them and seered down on the keeper. He looked across at Irvine on one side and McDonald on the other who had made up the ground to join him in a three-pronged attack, gave the keeper the eyes and slotted the ball past him to the left. The keeper got a slight touch and ball spun of the post but seemed to be going in. Unfortunately for Cowie, Irvine poked the ball home but was adjudged to be offside. It was a tight decisions and heartbreak for Thistle and their loyal fans.

Fowler made a bursting run through the heart of the Echt defence to pick up a majestic pass by Watson. He took one touch to chip the ball over the defender, steadied himself and slotted the ball past the keeper and two defenders who’d got back on the line to grab an equaliser and his hat-trick.

Echt scored a dramatic equaliser with 10 minutes to go. Robertson flew into a challenge and gave away a free kick 35 yards from goal. Goose took it and Irvine rose graciously but forgot he wasn’t upfront and bulleted a header straight into his own goal!

In the final minutes, when the game looked to be going into extra time as Echt winger Clark sent a cross in which Irvine bundled into his own goal - getting an unsual brace - before walking off the pitch.

The game restarted but all was lost for Cowie with Irvine, in particular. having an off day and making it mission impossible for them for the rest of the game.

In his first start since making the step up from Mearns United things didn’t go his own way. Neil Fowler was one of the few good men in the Cowie team and was awarded man of the match for his stunning hat-trick ensuring he was top gun in the goalscoring charts for the season.

Cowie play Kaimhill away (grass) in the North of Scotland Cup on Saturday after being put through their paces at training on Wednesday.