In case you have been unaware, there has been a little bit of bad weather swirling about in Scotland recently. The Beast From The East is what they are calling it. Snow and wind and ice being blown from Russia. Whatever the name, whatever the conditions, it does not matter, all that matters is that every league game in Scotland has been postponed. A couple of cup games survived, all hosted at top flight venues, but that does not make for a particularly good Championship review. So this week, valued reader, we are going to go back for our first ever Scottish Championship archive article. We travel back in time to the 28th of February 2015, where Cowdenbeath travel to Tynecastle to take on Robbie Neilson’s Heart of Midlothian side who were battling Hibernian and the newly formed Rangers to earn their place back in the Scottish Championship. Hearts were in magnificent form, as they had been all year, and hit Cowdenbeath for a staggering ten goals with no reply. This win included an astonishing hat trick in a three minute spell by Genero Zeefuik.
1-0 Genero Zeefuik (26 minutes)
After a dominant early spell, winger Sam Nicholson blasted an effort from just outside the box. This cannoned off the arm of Nathaniel Wedderburn and saw referee Bobby Madden point calmly to the spot. Wedderburn protested that he was merely shielding his body, but the referee was adamant in his decision. Zeefuik stepped up and nonchalantly rolled the penalty home, hitting it to his bottom left. It struck the goalpost and bounced into the right side netting. This was hard on Cowdenbeath goalkeeper Robbie Thompson, now at Falkirk, who dived the right way but couldn’t stop the ball.
2-0 Genero Zeefuik (27 minutes)
A mazy run from Jamie Walker helped to create a wonderful goal from Genero Zeefuik. Walker passed to Zeefuik 25 yards from goal. He shimmied right, then left, evading a number of midfielders in the process, before putting his foot through the ball from distance. The ball fired through the crowded penalty box and nestled neatly in the bottom left corner, once again evading Robbie Thompsons’s outstretched arms. The game was always going to be a struggle for Cowdenbeath, but conceding two in two minutes made their task almost impossible.
3-0 Genero Zeefuik (29 minutes)
Genero Zeefuik earned his hat trick just two minutes after, courtesy of another penalty kick. Sam Nicholson stormed into the box, latching on to a high bouncing ball to create a chance. Current Dundee United bombscare Lewis Toshney flew in with a wild tackle, managing to miss Nicholson entirely. He flew across the turf and ended up
inadvertently tripping. This was an obvious denial of a goal scoring opportunity and thusly saw Bobby Madden brandish Toshney with a red card. Hearts were already in control and playing against ten men for an hour would prove to be the end of Cowdenbeath. Robbie Thompson dived to the right while the large Dutch forward Zeefuik
slotted the ball centre-left to complete his hat trick.
4-0 Sam Nicholson (33 minutes)
Sam Nicholson had been pivotal in the build up to the previous three goals and turned goal scorer for Hearts fourth of the game. He received the ball of the left flank, about 30 yards from goal, and dribbled forward a few yards before unleashing a magnificent strike into the back of the net. It sailed past Robbie Thompson and sunk Cowdenbeath even further. Zeefuik had the bulk of the goals but it was Nicholson who was pulling the strings at Tynecastle, this goal was fully deserved from the player.
5-0 Jamie Walker (39 minutes)
The fifth goal came courtesy of a Jamie Walker strike. Nat Wedderburn played a pass into no-man’s-land in his own half. The ball was picked up by Sam Nicholson in the centre circle who drove the ball onwards to the edge of the penalty box. He slid a pass along to Walker, who controlled it, spun round and fired his effort into the bottom left hand corner. The dive by Thompson looked a little more laboured than his previous efforts, perhaps a sign that his head had well and truly dropped after this dismal showing from his defence.
6-0 Morgaro Gomis (57 minutes)
The game’s sixth goal was scored by defensive-minded midfielder Morgaro Gomis. He drove the ball from midfield, playing a series of one-two passes on this run. Just before he was able to unleash the shot, Thomas O’Brien toppled the tiny player over with a crazy lunge. What was crazy about it was that Gomis was renowned at his former team Dundee United for his diabolical shooting. At 5-0 he allowed himself to take the penalty himself, opting to chip it in a fashion that Andrea Pirlo would have been proud of.
7-0 Alim Öztürk (61 minutes)
If the sixth goal was cheeky, the seventh was mind blowing. Alim Öztürk picked up the ball from about 30 yards out, hammering the ball with all his might towards goal. The ball swerved and dipped in the slick rain that was descending upon Tynecastle. It would be hard to pin the blame entirely on young Robbie Thompson, but he certainly didn’t do himself any favours here. There were barely any players blocking his view and the ball travelled some distance before beating him, the ball again nestling in the bottom left of Thompson’s goal.
8-0 Danny Wilson (68 minutes)
Centre back Danny Wilson got the eighth of the game. A corner was swung in and nodded down by Callum Paterson, now of Cardiff City. It was poorly defended by the lacklustre Cowdenbeath defence. A goal mouth scramble took place, with Hearts looking by far and away the more keen team to capitalise, and Wilson found space to stab the ball into the back of the net, the then captain celebrating like it was a last minute winner over Hibernian!
9-0 Osman Sow (70 minutes)
The ninth of the day was wonderfully set up by substitute Soufian El Hassnaoui. He slowly meandered his way through the packed defensive unit, taking a couple of fake shots to unbalance the defenders. A third time he teed up what looked to be a rocket of a shot, only to instead feed a pass delicately through to striker Osman Sow. Sow reacted quickly to dink his shot over the head of the goalkeeper, who had committed to the dive early on. Once again, his decision making could be questioned, though if truth be told the damage had been done since the half hour mark.
10-0 Osman Sow (74 minutes)
The final goal of the route was scored by Osman Sow. He collected the ball from a fizzed pass just outside the box. He took a touch to control the pace of the ball then placed the ball in the bottom right hand corner. It was telling that Robbie Thompson didn’t even attempt a dive at this stage. The game was done, he was beaten and his team were embarrassed. It was the sort of shot that in a tight match would have been easily saved, but in this instance was just non important to the goalkeeper.
If there was any doubt after reading this, for those who aren’t totally immersed in Scottish football, Hearts won promotion that season, while Cowdenbeath were relegated. They are now on the brink of falling out of the league system all together, having gone into freefall over the last couple of years. The game played out at Tynecastle on February 28th 2015 was a monumental win. So often you see domination games where teams win 3/4-0 with fans saying “we could have won that game by ten goals!” Well, Hearts didn’t just say “if” that day. They went pedal to the metal that afternoon and took Cowdenbeath to the cleaners in spectacular fashion. Their endeavours were certainly helped by Cowdenbeath’s ill-discipline. They conceded three penalties and played with ten men for roughly an hour, though even with eleven men of the pitch it can be said with some certainty that the Jambo’s would have won by a landslide.