Cove Rangers 7 Strathspey Thistle 1

Breedon Highland Football League

Saturday January 26, 2019

At Balmoral Stadium

COVE Rangers certainly took the sting out of Strathspey Thistle with a very convincing home performance. The scoreline never flattered the hosts one bit and there could have been a few more goals added to the tally given the chances spurned. One of the most pleasing factors of the day was seeing the league’s top marksman, Mitch Megginson help himself to another hattrick.

From the start, Cove took a grip with some good early possession and didn't have to wait too long to open the scoring. In the 5th minute, Park played in Harry Milne who got a shot away which MacCallum parried but MEGGINSON was lurking to tuck away his 36th goal of the season. Cove had another chance in the 8th minute when Park blasted over after some good play by Harry Milne. In the 12th minute, Yule delivered a great pass to Harry Milne who put in a wonderful cross but there were no takers in the penalty box. The second goal arrived a minute later when Scully played in MEGGINSON to duly dispatch the second goal of the game and his 37th of the season.

Strathspey’s first chance of the game came in the 17th minute when Watson played in Rennie but his effort was lobbed over the bar.

Minute 20 and a foul on Brown led to Cove being awarded a freekick with Mochan being booked for his challenge. A minute later and Cove continued to press with a Masson corner which Megginson gets on the end of but his effort was cleared off the line.

Strathspey’s next effort comes in the 25th minute when Fraser shoots from the edge of the box but McKenzie saves comfortably.

Cove’s territorial advantage begins to show and in the 31st minute, a good strike from Megginson is saved by MacCallum but BROWN is on hand to slot home his 12th goal of the season from close range.

Cove continued to dominate the game and a great cross by Yule in the 42nd minute sees MILNE on the end of it to power home a great effort. The last action of note of the first half sees Brown hit the post in the 44th minute but the linesman flags for offside. The halftime whistle blows and Cove take a 4-0 lead in at the break.

The second half commences just as the first half finished with a strong start from Cove. The fifth goal of the game arrives in the 48th minute when Scully plays a good ball to Yule who in turn crosses for BROWN to apply the finish and take his tally to 13 for the season. Some ten minutes later in the 58th minute, a good layoff from Milne puts MEGGINSON on course to dispatch his hattrick and goal number 38 of the season for him to date. Just after the goal, Cove made their first change of the game with Park being replaced by Paul McManus making his second appearance after a long awaited return from injury.

Strathspey helped themselves to a consolation goal in the 62nd minute with some hesitant decision-making in the Cove defence leads SCOTT LISLE through to get Strathspey’s first goal of the game. This is also the first league goal conceded by Cove at home this season. In the 68th minute, Strathspey make their first sub of the game when Grant is replaced by Mainland. Cove then follow up with a double substitution in the 69th minute with Redford and Brown coming off to be replaced by Watson and MacRae. In the 73rd minute, Cameron is replaced by Lee for Strathspey Thistle. The final Cove goal arrives in the 79th minute where a Masson cross is duly put away by MACRAE for his eleventh of the season. In the 83rd minute, Strathspey make their final change of the game with goal scorer Scott Lisle departing to be replaced by Miller. The game peters out with some good possession play by Cove and after two minutes of extra time, the referee blows the final whistle.

A very professional and comprehensive victory for Cove ensures that full points are attained.

COVE RANGERS: McKenzie, Redford (Watson 69), H Milne, Strachan, Ross, Scully, Park (McManus 59), Yule, Megginson, Brown (MacRae 69), Masson.

Subs: C Milne, Macleod, McCafferty.

STRATHSPEY THISTLE: MacCallum, C Lisle, Grant (Mainland 68), Duncan, Mochan, Rennie, McShane, Fraser, Watson, Cameron (Lee 73), S Lisle (Miller 83).

Subs: Finnis, Flett.

Referee: Mat Northcroft