COVE YOUTH COACH GARY REMAINS DEFIANT AFTER LATE GOAL GIVES BROCH VICTORY AT BELLSLEA
COVE Rangers handed Fraserburgh the initiative in the race for the SHFL Under-17 Youth League title after losing 3-2 to them at Bellsea Park.
Aaron Reid and Jamie Boylan netted for Cove as they showed real determination to battle back from conceding an early goal to lead 2-1 with around an hour gone.
But Broch levelled through a controversial penalty then snatched the winner nine minutes from time to draw level on points with Cove at the top of the table, but with a precious game on hand.
Cove now have seven matches to play in the battle to finish on top.
Cove coach Gary Hake said: “It’s not over yet, we will do all that we can to take as many points as possible from those last seven games and see where that takes us to.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose after showing great character to fight back and take the lead.
“Unfortunately, we then failed to manage the game properly, although the penalty looked to be very soft.
“Our players are adamant it was never a foul but even then we should have made sure we came away with at least a draw.
“We didn’t because we then failed to defend properly when a high ball came into our box, which wasn’t like us.
“Fraserburgh have the upper hand now but, as I said, there is no way we are going to concede anything with so many points still to play for.”
Broch went ahead after just eight minutes and it took a series of fine saves from keeper Daniel Neish to ensure Cove weren’t further behind by the interval.
It was a different story after the restart.
Cove had already missed a great chance before James Monks crossed the ball from the right for REID to lash it home from the edge of the six yard box.
Cove went 2-1 up in the 58th minute when Ritchie Dunbar’s neat pass let BOYLAN break clear from half-way and he kept his cool to slot the ball home from the edge of the area.
It was looking good for a Cove win until the penalty handed Broch a lifeline in the 70th minute and the home side then regained the lead in the 81st minute from a poorly defended header.
Cove had chances after Broch got their third, including in injury-time, when Boylan’s free-kick from wide on the left got caught in the wind and curled inches over the crossbar with the home keeper scrambling to get back.
COVE RANGERS: Neish, Monks, Duncan, Douglas, Hanratty, Murphy, Boylan, Gray, Reid, Coutts, Dunbar.
Subs: Brand, Woods, Napier, Carnie.