GRAEME PRAISED FOR BEING THE BRAINS BEHIND SWITCH IN FORMATION THAT HELPED BEAT VALE AT BANFF
DREAM TEAM: Cove Rangers co-mangers Graeme Mathieson and John Sheran with first team coach Roy McBain.
COVE Rangers co-manager Graeme Mathieson has been applauded for the tactical change that eventually helped them beat Deveronvale 1-0 at Banff.
Mitch Megginson netted the only goal, in the 72nd minute, to ensure Cove remained three points clear of nearest challengers Brora Rangers at the top of the Breedon Highland League.
But that was only after Cove made a key change to their formation, going from the 4-3-3 they had gone with in the first half to and even more attack-minded 3-4-3 line-up.
Grant Campbell was also moved from right-back into midfield and he was the one who won the ball and delivered the pass through for Mitch to net the decisive strike.
John Sheran was quick to applaud co-manager Graeme for suggesting they make the change as they battled to get the better of a Deveronvale side who had defended strongly in the first period.
John said: "Graeme suggested we go with three at the back because he felt Grant was being wasted playing at right-back.
"The gamble with that is that you could maybe cause yourself problems, especially if Deveronvale had chosen to put a third man up front.
"Thankfully they didn't and the formation allowed Jamie Masson to come more into the game in the wide areas.
"There was far more space for him to play in and the result was we were able to put the Deveronvale defence under even more pressure than they had been in the first half.
"Daniel Park also caused them a few problems and if you look at the amount of chances we created we really should have won by a lot more.
"One was enough though and you have to applaud Mitch for the quality of his strike.
"The fact Grant was the one who set him up underlined just how key the tactical change was."
Mitch claimed his 41st goal of the season with a low drive from fully 25-yards that found the corner of the net.
John said: "I heard some of the Deveronvale people moaning that it wasn't a good hit but as far as I'm concerned it was a great goal.
"Mitch struck the ball low and made sure it went right in the corner, where it was difficult for their keeper to get to it.
"You couldn't have asked for a better strike and it's the sort of quality we have come to expect from Mitch."
Cove's next match is Saturday's Highland League Cup Semi-Final clash with Wick Academy at Balmoral Stadium.
John is pleased they don't have another midweek game ahead of the tie.
"It's been a tough few weeks because of all the midweek games and having to play in some poor weather conditions," he said.
"I'm very happy to have come through that period to find ourselves in a good position in the league as we prepare to go into the final group of fixtures.
"It's good that the players can now have a bit of recovery time ahead of what will be a very tough cup tie because a few of them had been carrying knocks and playing through niggling injuries."
Fans are reminded that Saturday's tie kicks off at the earlier time of 2.30pm.