COVE BOSS CHALLENGES TEAM TO MAINTAIN PUSH FOR GLORY AS TITLE RACE MOVES TOWARDS FINISHING LINE
HES BACK!: Paul McManus slots home his goal in the 6-2 victory over Rothes.
JOHN Sheran has warned his Cove Rangers players not to get too carried away by the fact they are now back on top of the Breedon Highland League.
Goals from Mitch Megginson (2), Connor Scully, Jordon Brown, Paul McManus and Daniel Park gave Cove a 6-2 victory over Rothes at Balmoral Stadium and moved them three points clear of nearest challengers Brora Rangers.
Cove also have a game in hand, with seven to play, but manager John insisted they still have a lot of hard work ahead if they want to retain their title.
"It's nice being back on top but I'm only interested in seeing Cove still in that position after 34 games," said John.
"You can be sure that Brora aren't ruling out their chances of still overtaking us and the only way we can prevent that happening is to keep on winning.
"The players must bear that in mind because it wouldn't be the first time a side that has looked to be in a strong position has fallen short over the last few weeks.
"This is a very tough league, one in which any sort of complacency is soon punished.
"It's a case of now moving on to the next game and approaching it in the same manner that we did the clash with Rothes.
"If we can do that then we will have a very good chance of getting the three points from that one as well."
Rothes actually took the lead at Balmoral, so John was pleased they managed to fight back and win quite comfortably, despite having to make changes to their line-up because Darryn Kelly and Harry Milne are injured and Jamie Masson was only fit enough to make the bench.
"Even when we went a went a goal behind I was always confident," said the Cove boss.
"Rothes were a wee bit fortunate with the goal anyway because the ball spun up off one of Eric Watson's shoulders and that's what made it drop so spectacularly into our net.
"There was never any panic though because we were creating chances and moving the ball well.
"It's was still great to see Connor Scully get us level with a fantastic finish but I was always sure we would be able to come back and win.
"The fact we did it with a wee bit of style was very pleasing.
"One or two of our other goals were also pretty impressive - and they were spread out among the team again - so I'm very happy."
The added bonus for Cove was midfielder Sam Burnett came off the bench to feature for the first time since suffering a serious knee injury last March.
Former Wick Academy midfielder Grant Campbell also came through his first full 90 minutes for more than 11 months, he had also been sidelined by a knee injury, unscathed.
John said: "I'm really pleased for Sam because he's been working hard in training over the last few weeks.
"He obviously needs to raise his match fitness but is going well.
"Grant was outstanding, which is remarkable when you consider how long he had been out.
"Paul (McManus) also scored his first goal for a wee while, which will boost his confidence, so it was a very good night for us."
John confirmed Blair Yule picked up a knock in the first half and is now a doubt for Saturday's league clash with Deveronvale at Banff but Kelly could make the squad because his knee injury has responded well to treatment.
PLEASE note that the Cove Rangers v Wick Academy Highland League Cup semi-final at Balmoral Stadium a week on Saturday kicks off at the earlier time of 2.30pm.