Stenhousemuir 1 Cowdenbeath 0: Warriors up to third

Stenhousemuir's Harry Paton takes on Cowdenbeath's Fraser Mullen
Stenhousemuir's Harry Paton takes on Cowdenbeath's Fraser Mullen

Stenhousemuir extended their unbeaten run to four matches and moved into third place with a 1-0 win over Cowdenbeath at Ochilview.

Nathan Blockley grabbed the only goal of a scrappy affair just before half-time, as Billy Brown's men struggled to breakdown a resolute defence.

"I'm delighted but we just have to keep winning,” said Blockley.

“We're getting goals but we need to build on them. Today, we've got the opener and the defence has done well to help us see it out.”

Blockley isn’t exactly known for his goal-scoring ability – managing just one goal in the last two seasons with Peterhead – though has now scored twice in his last three. He is on course to surpass his previous best of four when an Airdrieonians player.

"Hopefully I can get a few more this season to help the boys out. But two is better than nothing, isn't it?”

Stenhousemuir made one change from the draw at Clyde, with the combative Martin Scott coming in for Eddie Ferns on the left of midfield.

They controlled the game for large parts, switching between going long to their in-form strikers and retaining possession, with the impressive Harry Paton pulling the strings.

A triple chance midway through the first half after Cowdenbeath goalkeeper Joe McGovern spilled a cross failed to bear any fruit, but Stenhousemuir got their reward on 43 minutes when Mark McGuigan raced on to a ball over the top. His effort was well saved, but fell straight into the path of Blockley who tapped in.

Cowdenbeath rarely threatened, but for a few chances at the start of the second period. Stenhousemuir’s backline stood firm, however, seeing the game out for their first clean sheet this season.

Colin McMenamin and Ferns were later introduced but Brown Ferguson’s men failed to find that killer second goal – a negative aspect of the performance highlighted by the match-winner, and something he feels they must improve upon if they are to seriously challenge for the top spots.

"We've got to keep going and try and get another one to kill the game because that's the last three games we've scored and then struggled a wee bit but then we've come back into it,” said Blockley.

"We need to try and kill more games. We're there, all we have to do is keep winning."