BLAIR BELIEVES SECOND HALF STRIKE IN COVE’S CRUCIAL HIGHLAND LEAGUE CLASH AT BRORA SHOULD HAVE STOOD
FRUSTRATED: Cove Rangers midfield star Blair Yule.
COVE Rangers midfielder Blair Yule is disappointed he was denied what could have been the winning goal in their Breedon Highland League showdown away to Brora Rangers.
Jamie Masson's second half strike earned Cove a share of the spoils in a tense 1-1 draw at Dudgeon Park.
The result ensured Cove stayed three points clear of Brora at the top of the table, with five games to play.
Blair believes they could have been in an even stronger position in the title race if his 'goal' - that would have made it 2-1 to Cove just before the hour mark - hadn't been chalked off for offside.
A breathtaking break forward by Cove had ended with Blair sweeping Connor Scully's cutback from the right into the net.
But their celebrations were cut short because ref's assistant Neil Grant deemed that Blair had netted from an offside position.
"It was annoying because I'm convinced I timed my run perfectly," said Blair.
"I watched their defenders as I ran forward and was definitely in line, at the very least.
"The ball was also cut back into my path, so it never crossed my mind that there was any chance the goal would be disallowed.
"It was though, which was a shame.
"We had just equalised and were well on top.
"I'm convinced they would have crumbled if we had gone ahead at that stage.
"It was still great to get the draw, which suits us more than Brora, but we would have been even happier if we had got the win."
Cove, who also have a game in hand to Brora, continue their quest for what would be back to back titles with another long trek to take on bottom side Fort William on Wednesday night.
While pleased to be in a strong position at this late stages for the campaign, Blair insists they haven't dismissed Brora's chances of still overtaking them.
"There's still work for us to do," he said.
"The first thing the manager said to us after the game was 'you've done nothing yet' and he's right.
"The good thing is we have a lot of guys in our squad who have tasted success before.
"That should help us in the games we have left, but we know it could be dangerous to start thinking the league has already been won."
Jamie's goal was his 11th of the campaign and he also cleared a Brora effort off the Cove goal line in the second half.
Blair was quick to praise his team-mate for his vital contribution.
"Jamie doesn't get the praise he's due at times, he's been a bit of an unsung hero for us right through the season," he said.
"Many of his goals have been crucial and made sure we earned vital points."
Jamie smiled when told that but admitted he was delighted with the quality of the strike, a low drive after getting on to the end of a cutback from Blair.
"It was a good one to get because the wind and state of the pitch made it hard to keep the ball under control at times," said the former Aberdeen midfielder.
"I just concentrated on keeping the ball down and getting as much power into the shot that I could.
"Clearing their shot off the line was no big deal because that's what I was put there to do.
"I'm told to get on one of the posts at set pieces and stay alert incase our opponents manage to get an effort on target, it wasn't the first time I've bailed the boys out!
"We wanted to win but we're happy with a draw even though it wasn't the prettiest of games.
"It's about digging in and grinding it out to make sure we still had things in our hands in the title race.
"But all the effort put in at Brora will be for nothing if we fail to go into the final games with the right attitude."