COVE KEEPER JOHN EAGER TO HELP GET JOB DONE SECOND TIME AROUND AGAINST AUCHINLECK
THE Cove Rangers players are determined to make up for failing to beat William Hill Scottish Cup opponents Auchinleck Talbot at Balmoral Stadium.
Cove travel to Ayrshire on Saturday for the replay of their second round tie after the sides drew 1-1 at last weekend.
Veteran Cove keeper John McCafferty had to make three outstanding late saves to ensure their Junior visitors didn't steal a victory in the first match.
But John chose not to dwell on that - he's fully focussed on making sure there's no slip up by Cove in their quest to book a third round clash away to fellow Highland League side Fraserburgh.
"It's always good to make saves but I'm more interested in the fact we had the chances we needed to win the game," said John, who started the tie because regular first choice Stuart McKenzie was unavailable because of family commitments.
"We managed to create that amount of chances against them once, so, we can do it again.
"I had to make a few saves near the end, but sometimes that can happen in matches when you haven't killed your opponents off.
"That's not that important- what matters is we came off the pitch really disappointed we didn't win the tie.
"I've played away to Ayrshire clubs when I was at Junior level, so know exactly how tough it will be.
"I've never played against Auchinleck down there, but I've a few mates with Junior clubs in Dundee who have.
"They've told me they are particularly hard to beat at their place, even more so because they tend to be backed by a large, noisy, home support.
"But we have always tended to rise to the big occasions and we are determined that will be the case again this weekend."
John admitted they are also still feeling a sense of injustice over the penalty that led to Talbot's equaliser at Balmoral.
Cove were leading through and early strike from Mitch Megginson when referee Chris Fordyce judged that skipper Eric Watson had deliberately handled a shot at goal by Graham Wilson, despite the fact the Talbot striker was less than two yards away when he hit the ball.
Wilson then slotted the spot-kick home to ensure the sides will have to go again on Saturday afternoon.
John said: "it was an extremely harsh decision because the guy was so close and Eric had his arms down by his side.
"There was no way he could have got out of the way because the ball was coming at him with so much pace.
"We felt we were holding on to our lead comfortably up until that point.
"But we are still in the cup and have another chance if we can get the job done down there.
"As I've said, we know it's going to be hard but we will be doing all we can to make sure we are the ones who come out on top."
Stuart is available again for this weekend, but Cove boss John Sheran said he was happy with their performance in the first game and hinted he might stick with the starting line-up for the rematch.
That would obviously delight 33-year-old former Montrose goalkeeper John, although he will make sure he's ready to give his best, no matter who gets the nod at Beechwood Park.
He said: "I was happy enough with my performance but making sure I can perform as well I can when I need to step in is my job.
"The manager knows I will be ready if he want me to go again.
"I'm getting on a wee bit now, but I train as hard as I have ever done every week because I love being a part of what is happening at Cove at the moment."
Cove also have defender Harry Milne available again after suspension.
Fans travelling to the match are reminded it kicks off at the earlier time of 2.30pm because there are no floodlights at Talbot's Beechwood Park and the tie must be played to a finish, with extra-time and penalties if required.