KELLY EYING MUCH IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AS COVE RANGERS RETURN TO LEAGUE BUSINESS AGAINST FORRES
COVE Rangers defender Darryn Kelly has urged his team-mates to use the pain of losing to Formartine United to fire them up as they bid to extend their unbeaten start in the Breedon Highland League.
Cove face Forres Mechanics at Balmoral Stadium tomorrow, 3pm, hoping to make it 14 straight league wins in a row and stay top of the table.
But they do so on the back of suffering their first ever defeat at Balmoral by Highland opposition after Formartine beat them 4-2 in the Morrison Motors Aberdeenshire Shield in midweek.
Darryn admits he's furious with the way he and his team-mates played in the cup tie - and he's hoping they can take that anger with them into the meeting with Forres.
Darryn said: "There were a lot of people hurting in our dressing room after the Formatine game.
"Our record prior to that shows it was totally uncharacteristic but it's still imperative that we bounce back immediately.
"And we need to do it properly too, not only maybe getting by just by the skin of our teeth and taking the three points off Forres.
"We owe the management, fans and everyone connected with Cove some proper payback for playing as badly as we did against Formartine.
"We aren't used to losing and it's even more painful because we let it happen at Balmoral.
"Every single one of us shares the blame, none of us can say we played as well as we would normally have expected to.
"To do that in a big game against our closest rivals means the sting from the pain will last, that's for sure."
The defeat was even more unexpected because Cove rarely concede four goals, even more so at home.
Darryn can't believe how badly they defended and is determined it won't happen again for a long time.
"The defeat was definitely self inflicted," he said.
"I can't recall us ever losing goals before in the manner that we did.
"It happened though and it's now up to us to put things right.
"That was exactly what the manager said to us when he came into the dressing room - go put it right in the next match.
"Forres will obviously have other ideas but I can assure them they will be facing a Cove side ready to go again.
"It will be about personal pride as well.
"I hate losing goals, no a better way of putting it would be that I despise it.
"I've rarely felt worse than I did after the game on Wednesday - and I certainly have no desire to ever feel like that again."
Cove skipper Eric Watson is suspended after getting sent off against Formartine.
Midfielder Connor Scully was also red carded but is available because his suspension will be served in next season's Aberdeenshire Shield.
FANS going to tomorrow's match are reminded that it will be preceded by a minute's silence to mark Remembrance Sunday.
The silence will be observed ahead of all senior football games being played over the weekend.