MAGICAL MASSON HELPS COVE RANGERS CONJURE UP 14TH STRAIGHT WIN TO STAY TOP OF HIGHLAND LEAGUE
Cove Rangers 2 Forres Mechanics 0
Breedon Highland League
Saturday November 10, 2018
At Balmoral Stadium
JAMIE Masson's wonder goal was the highlight as Cove Rangers made it 14 Breedon Highland League wins in a row to remain top of the table.
Midfielder Masson was deservedly picked as man of the match by sponsors Greig Engineering for capping a fine performance with a screamer of a strike for Cove's second that killed off any real chance of the Can Cans taking anything on their first visit to Balmoral Stadium.
Cove were without suspended skipper Eric Watson and had several players, including striker Paul McManus, absent through injury.
Midfielder Connor Scully was also excused duty because his girlfriend, Connie, gave birth to their daughter, Milana, last night.
But the absences didn't stop Cove delivering one of their best team displays of the season as they dominated Forres for the majority of the match.
Were it not for a series of saves by visiting keeper Blair Moir it would have been all done and dusted by half time.
Ryan Ferguson set the tone after just 90 seconds when he cut in from the right and hit a 16 yard shot that Moir only just managed to bundle behind for a corner.
Masson took the corner and when the ball dropped to Jordan MacRae his powerful shot sped over the crossbar.
Forres missed a glorious chance to take the lead in the fifth minute.
Graham Fraser's powerful header from a corner was brilliantly saved by Stuart McKenzie but the rebound bounced up into the path of Ross MacPherson.
He had the open goal at his mercy but sent a poor header from six yards well wide of the target.
Cove made the most of that let off by taking the lead a minute later.
Mitch MEGGINSON collected the ball near the half way line, played a clever one-two with MacRae as he advanced into the Forres area then beat Moir with a perfectly placed 16 yard shot into the bottom corner for his 26th goal of the campaign.
From then on it was Cove versus the overworked Main, with the home side also appearing to have a stone wall penalty denied in the 13th minute when Calum Howarth blatantly handled a Ferguson cross.
Moir's next save was from a powerful Daniel Park shot and he followed that by pushing a close range effort from Megginson wide of his right post.
Park tried again with a fine 25 yard shot that went only inches wide.
Harry Milne created the next chance with a great run into he as a bore passing to Megginson, but he was denied again by a brave save at his feet from Moir.
The keeper also got to a Milne header just before the back to keep Forres within touching distance of Cove, although they had only managed to create that one early chance.
MASSON got the second goal Cove deserved for their domination in the 56th minute - and it was one to remember.
The midfielder won possession 30 yards out then earned a standing ovation from the crowd by lashing it high past Moir in magnificent style.
Megginson went close again with a shot on the turn that went just wide.
Harry Milne almost scored a wonder goal too when he skipped past three Forres defenders during a brilliant run through the middle but his clever shot from the edge of the area rolled agonisingly wide of Moir's right post.
Cove had another penalty clam turned away when substitute Jordon Brown appeared to be tripped inside the area.
Forres were denied again by McKenzie in the 74th minute when he made a top class save from Andrew MacRae after the winger as left with only the keeper to beat from 16 yards.
Forres ended the game with 10 men because Fraser was red carded for blatantly pulling Brown back as he raced in on goal, but they had already been out played and well beaten.
COVE RANGERS: McKenzie, Redford, H Milne, Yule, Ross, Kelly, Park (Brown 71), Masson, Megginson, MacRae (MacLeod 86), Ferguson (C Milne 86).
FORRES MECHANICS: Moir, Johnstone, Allan (Thain 63), Fraser, Moore (Niedzwiedz 76), Milne, Taylor, Paterson (MacPhee 63), MacRae, Howarth.
Subs: Fairgrieve, Knight.
Referee: Scott Leslie