HITMAN MITCH MAKES CASE FOR COVE DEFENCE AS TITLE RACE MOVES TOWARDS FINISHING LINE
SUPER STOPPER: Cove Rangers keeper Stuart McKenzie.
COVE Rangers keeper Stuart McKenzie and his crew of defenders have been praised for the parts they have played to ensure the club has the chance to secure the Breedon Highland League title this week.
Cove need four points from their remaining three games to finally see off the challenge of second placed Bora Rangers.
They start that run-in with a clash against Keith at Kynoch Park tonight, 8pm, before travelling to play Forres Mechanics on Saturday.
Cove top scorer Mitch Megginson believes they would never have got this close to glory if Stuart, back-up keeper John McCafferty and all of the defenders who have played in front of them this season hadn’t been at the very top of their form.
Cove have conceded just 11 goals in the 31 league games played so far, the best goals against record in the division.
They have also recorded 29 clean sheets in all competitions, including last weekend’s 2-0 victory over Formartine United in the Highland League Cup final.
“Guys like myself get most of the praise because we score the goals but our defensive record has been simply amazing,” said Mitch.
“I’ve lost count of the amount of vital saves Stuart has made when games were still in the balance.
“We’ve also been fortunate to see some outstanding performances from the guys just in front of him.
“It’s thanks to them that we go into every game convinced that if we can score at least once there is fair chance we will win.
“It’s certainly a bonus knowing they will be behind us in the three important games that are coming up.”Mitch was delighted to bring his goal tally for the season to an impressive 45 by netting Cove’s second in the 2-0 victory over Formartine at Harlaw Park, Inverurie.
While also pleased to see another clean sheet recorded he was even happier to see team-mate Sam Burnett, who scored Cove’s first goal and set up Mitch’s effort, praised by manager John Sheran for his performance.
“It was deserved because Sam was different class, the man of the match by a mile,” said Mitch.
“It was an amazing effort from him when you consider how long Sam had been out injured.
“To come in for such a big match, and look so comfortable, underlines just how good a player Sam is.
“Everyone at the club knows what Sam has been through and how much effort he has put in to get himself back to full fitness.
“It meant a lot to us to be able to see Sam get a deserved reward for all his dedication and determination over the last few months.”
Mitch revealed their celebrations after the cup win were pretty low key because they knew tonight’s clash with Keith was on the horizon.
“It was great to win the League Cup but we’ve always said that retaining the title was the priority,” he said.
“We aren’t taking anything for granted and wanted to make sure we were prepared properly for what we are expecting to be another tough game at Kynoch Park.”
GET IN THERE: Cove Rangers striker Mitch Megginson looks on as Sam Burnett’s shot finds the net to put them 1-0 up on Formartine United in the Highland League Cup Final.
HAPPY CHAPPY: Mitch Meggison celebrates their Highland League Cup victory with his delighted team mates.