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Cove Rangers 2-0 Deveronvale
Scorers: Smith 50, Megginson 65
Cove Rangers kept up the pursuit of joint league leaders Buckie and Brora with a fairly comfortable win over plucky Deveronvale who battled away and defended stoutly for fifty minutes until Jonny Smith opened the scoring and once Mitch Megginson found the net fifteen minutes later it was game over and another three points safety bagged for John Sheran's side.
The comeback was never really on but captain Scott Begg's two yellow cards in a three minutes spell midway through the second half certainly dented any ambitions the Banffers had of getting back into this fixture and so it's onwards and upwards for Steve Dolan with a home match against Rothes next Saturday being in the managers sights with perhaps a hint of revenge also in the minds of the boss and his players.
Liam Forbes returned to the left-back berth for the visitors following Zander Jack's injury against Nairn while Steven Davidson replaced the unavailable Lukas Krobot in central defence. Eric Watson was suspended for the reigning league champions.
The homeside, if you can call them that, started brightly and Mitchel Megginson sent a free-kick over the top from a dangerous position before a great diagonal ball from Alan Redford put in Daniel Park but a combination of good defending from Grant Pennet and Steven Fraser did enough to prevent the ball rattling the net.
Chris Blackhall blocked a drive from Ryan Scott with his head after Grant Pennet failed to get enough on his attempted punch clear although the keeper did better minutes later when he pulled off a double stop to deny Jonny Smith. The custodian tipping Smith's powerful 25-yard set-piece over the top and from the resultant corner kick diving low to his right to turn a back post header away to safety.
It was still one way traffic as Pennet dived at the feet of Megginson as he raced onto his keeper's long ball forward before the Vale number one turned another long range set-piece behind for a fruitless flag-kick as Cove kept pressing for the opener.
Mitchel Megginson sent a spot kick over the cross bar on the half hour after Chris Blackhall had tripped the same player in the 18-yard box while incredibly with five until half-time Grant Noble thought he'd opened the scoring at the opposite end after Grant Campbell had miskicked Callum Murray's centre only for the ball to crash off the post with Paul Sutherland sending the rebound wide. HT
Cove took the lead five minutes after the restart when Jonny Smith smashed a free-kick from 22-yards under Grant Pennet after Steven Davidson had needlessly conceded a foul on Mitchel Megginson in a dangerous position.
Scott Begg had a chance immediately for the visitors but failed to keep his strike from the edge of the area down while Paul Sutherland's swinging set-piece almost fell kindly for Steven Davidson at the back post but the central defender ran out of room with the ball stroking the side netting on its way out of play.
Cove doubled their lead with twenty minutes of the second period played, Grant Pennet was unfairly punished for touching the ball outside his box and Mitchel Megginson curled a beauty into the corner of the net from a tight angle.
Scott Begg was sent off for picking up two yellow cards in three minutes while Daniel Park was also cautioned in the heated exchange between the players after referee Alex Shepherd showed poor judgement when not taking control of the situation and awarding a free kick to the visitors in the centre-circle after Begg had been taken out crudely by Ryan Stott.
The game died thereafter with Cove content to keep ball while Dippy's side kept chasing and working without causing their hosts any problems in the final third in a match in which the Banffers failed to find the target throughout.
Grant Pennet pulled off a stunning one-handed save deep inside injury time to thwart substitute Matthew McDonald from point blank range.
Vale: Pennet, Dunbar, Forbes, 68*71* Begg, 13* Fraser, 33* Davidson (Souter 86), 83* Sutherland, Blackhall, Ballard (Ros 66), Noble (Watt 66), Murray
Subs: Aitken, Manson, Rae, Mackie (gk)
Cove: McKenzie, Redford, Lawrie, 59* Yule, Campbell, 81* Kelly, 71* Park (Burnett 78), Scully, 45* Megginson (McCulloch 86), 36* Smith (McDonald 80), Stott
Subs: McCulloch, McCafferty
Manager: John Sheran
Referee: A Shepherd
Vale Stats:
Efforts On: 0
Efforts Off: 3
Woodwork: 1
Corners: 1
Offside: 1
Overhead Conditions: Cool Breeze
Playing Surface: OK
Temp at KO: 8 deg C
Last Season: 2-0
Reporter: Neil Montgomery
Reported LastEdited: 10-Dec-2016
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