NINE-MAN COVE PROVE TO BE NO MATCH FOR FIRED-UP FORMARTINE IN INCIDENT PACKED TIE AT BALMORAL
ON TARGET: Daniel Park nets for Cove
RED CARDED: Eric Watson,top and Connor Scully, bottom.
Cove Rangers 2 Formartine United 4
Morrison Motors Aberdeenshire Shield, second round
Wednesday November 7, 2018.
At Balmoral Stadium
COVE Rangers lost their grip on the Morrison Motors Aberdeenshire Shield on a crazy night at Balmoral Stadium that saw them finish the tie against arch rivals Formartine United with only nine men.
Midfielder Connor Scully and skipper Eric Watson, both pictured, received their marching orders and Cove made uncharacteristic defensive blunders to exit a competition they won in such style last season.
They weren't helped by the fact manager John Sheran was forced to make changes to his starting side because several players, including top scorer Mitch Megginson, suffered knocks in the league win up at Wick at the weekend.
But the Cove boss would still have expected the side he put out to avoid pushing the self destruct button at crucial stages of an incident packed 90 minutes.
Fired-up Formartine took full advantage and deservedly advanced thanks to some cracking finishes.
Their 12th minute opener came from Graeme RODGER, who latched on to a clearance from Darryn Kelly to lash the ball home with an unstoppable 20 yard shot.
Cove were desperately unlucky not to draw level in the 17th minute when Jordon Brown's shot from the edge of the area beat Kevin Main but rebounded off the inside of the keeper's right post to safety when it could easily have gone in.
Jordan MacRae pounced on to the rebound but his shot was blocked on the line by a defender.
Brown went close again when he had a header blocked and then sent the rebound just over the crossbar.
Cove's attempt at a fight back was undone when poor defensive play let Formartine in to make it 2-0 in the 24th minute.
Winger Andrew Greig was given far to much space to fire a cross over from the left and Garry WOOD found himself totally unmarked at the back post to score with a well placed volley from around six yards.
Cove revived their hopes just before the break when Harry Milne, who had a fine game, sent the latest of many excellent crosses in from the left and Daniel PARK bundled the ball home at the front post.
Cove started the second half well but we're all but killed off when keeper John McCafferty played a poor ball out of his penalty area in he 54th minute.
Rodger pounced on to it but was pulled back by Scully as he prepared to shoot from just outside the Cove area.
Referee Dan McFarlane was left with no option but to send Scully for an early bath.
GREIG then compounded the pain for Cove by scoring from the resultant free-kick with a low shot that McCafferty got a hand to but couldn't keep out.
Cove then brought Megginson on and piled men forward in the hope of pulling a goal back.
It was game over three minutes later though when Formartjne hit them on the break and GREIG grabbed his second of the night with a low 18 yard shot into the bottom corner.
Watson went for a walk in the 70th minute when he got in tangle with Formartine keeper Main inside the six yard box after a Cove corner had been cleared.
The incident sparked a mob of Formartine players to rush in on the Cove captain.
Once calm had been restored referee McFarlane immediately flashed his red card at Watson.
Despite being down to nine men, Cove continued to dominate possession and Megginson made Main work with two well hit shots from the edge of the box.
The nine men then showed true fighting spirit by scoring the goal of the night in the 88th minute.
Jamie MASSON picked the ball up wide on the left then cut inside to give Main no hope with a stunning strike from 25 yards that curled just inside the far post, although it wasn't enough to stop Formartine advancing to the next round.
COVE RANGERS: McCafferty, C Milne (Ferguson 70), H Milne (Redford 77), Scully, Kelly, Watson, Yule, Masson, Park, Brown (Megginson 59), MacRae.
Sub: MacLeod, Strachan, Ross, McKenzie.
FORMARTINE UNITED: Main, Crawford (MacPherson 77), Smith, S Anderson, J Anderson, Lawrence (Burnett 75), MacPhee, Rodger, Wood, Norris, Greig (Stott 66).
Subs: Lawson, C Anderson, MacDonald.
Referee: Dan McFarlane.