COVE BOSS DELIGHTED EFFORTS ON TRAINING PITCH PAID OFF IN COMFORTABLE HIGHLAND LEAGUE CUP VICTORY
STRIKE ONE: Jamie Masson (10) sees his powerfully hit free kick deflected into the net to put Cove Rangers 1-0 up against Huntly.
JOHN Sheran has applauded his players for the 5-0 victory over Huntly that secured Cove Rangers a spot in the semis of the Highland League Cup.
"It was a really good all-round team performance," said Cove manager John.
"We got the ball down early on and passed it well to ensure we ran out more than deserved winners.
"Our lads also worked tirelessly to close down the Huntly players and force them surrender possession."
John is particularly pleased two of Cove's goals came from direct free-kicks, taken by Jamie Masson and Daniel Park.
He said: "It's something we work hard on in training (Cove have scored from several other free kicks this term including in the league wins at Nairn and Wick).
"The players are encouraged to have a go and to always make sure they hit the ball on target.
"Jamie's effort took a deflection, but there is always a chance of that if a defensive wall breaks.
"The important thing is to make sure the shot is on goal and has to be dealt with, which Jamie did.
"Parky's one was all about sheer power, but again he was also accurate, which is the key to making the best of those type of opportunities.
"We had other free-kicks we could have made better use of too, but if we could get two goals from them in every game I would be very pleased."
The Cove manager confirmed he expects defender Darryn Kelly to face a spell on the sidelines because of the hamstring injury he suffered during the second half.
But he is also confident they can cope during the absence of Kelly, who has been one of the star performers so far this season.
"We won't know for certain how long Darryn is going to be out until the injury has been properly assessed, but it looks a bad one," said John.
"But we had Eric Watson and Alan Redford, two of the best and most experienced defenders in the league, on the bench who are more than capable of doing the job.
"It was also good to see Ryan Strachan come through his first full 90 minutes since August with no problems, so we plenty of options."
Trophy holders Formartine United, Brora Rangers and Wick Academy are the other clubs who will feature when the semi final draw is made on Thursday and John is hoping Cove come out of the hat first for their tie.
"It's going to be tough no matter who we get but it would be good if we could at least have home advantage," he said.
POWER PLAY: Cove Rangers manager John Sheran was delighted with this pile driver of a free kick from Daniel Park in the 5-0 victory over Huntly.
INJURY BLOW: Darryn Kelly is clearly in pain after suffering a hamstring injury during the victory over Huntly.