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1
Cove 
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13
2
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12
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OPEN AND CLOSED CASE FOR SCULLY AND MEGGINSON
 
Deveronvale 0-2 Cove Rangers
 
Scorers: Scully 28, Meggison 94
 
A slightly weakened Deveronvale side were knocked out of the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup at the first round stage by Highland League champions Cove Rangers.
 
In a one-sided first forty-five saw the Aberdonian outfit were well worthy of their one goal advantage courtesy of Connor Scully and although Dippy Dolan's team made a fight of it in the second half they just couldn't quite find that telling cross or pass in the final third which may have led to an equaliser and an exciting climax.
 
Ex Dons forward Mitchell Meggison scored a undeserved second for the visitors deep inside time added on in an incident which saw the Banffers reduced to ten men, Chris Blackhall being shown a straight red card for a professional foul.
 
Gary Harris joined Zander Jack, Kevin Adams and Dane Ballard on the injury list while returning from long-term injury duo Kyle Rae and Liam Archibald have left gone out on loan to Deveronside and Burghead Thistle respectively in an effort to find some much-needed match fitness.
 
As things got underway Ryan Stott's well-controlled volley was well handled on the greasy surface by James Blanchard while at the opposite end Sean Keith forced a finger-tip save from Cove number one Stuart McKenzie.
 
Cove turned the screw and very nearly open ended the scoring midway through the half, Mitch Meggison missing from close range, from a suspicious looking offside position it has to said, before James Blanchard pulled off a fine stop to deny Buchan as the partially cleared ball made its way to the right-hand side of the Vale six-yard box.
 
From the resulting corner Connor Scully under pressure from Steven Fraser was denied by another save from the Vale keeper at the back post although the Cove number seven did get the better of Blanchy with his next effort on goal as he opened the scoring. 
 
Scully cutting inside from the right-hand side and planting a strike from 20-yards which the home keeper got a good hand to but watched on agonisingly as the wet ball squirmed under his body and bounced over the line.
 
Sean Keith was very unfortunate not to pull his side level when his excellent first touch took him past defender Yule but his low strike lacked the power to get the better of Stuart McKenzie who just managed to get enough on the strike to turn it around for a fruitless corner.
 
As half-time approached Stirling Smith sent a firm header against the face of the cross-bar from a flag-kick which was a huge let-off Steve Dolan's side who were still in the tie at this stage but only just. HT
 
The Banffers were forced into a change at the interval as an injury to central defender Steven Fraser meant a rethink for Steve Dolan and company, the management team putting Chris Blackhall into central defence and sending Steven Davidson on to make his debut up top.
 
Connor Scully tried his luck with an early set-piece from distance which James Blanchard comfortably turned around the post before Graeme Watt sent a rising strike high into the net only to be denied the equaliser by the far-side assistant's flag for a narrow offside decision against the scorer.
 
The homeside kept plugging away and Graeme Watt had a half-chance which he failed to convert off Kevin Souter's centre before Souter himself headed weakly past the post as Watty turned provider.
 
A great run from substitute Steven Davidson set up a great chance for the equaliser but Kevin Souter couldn't get the ball out from under his feet  the midfielder diverting the low ball wide from inside six-yards.
 
Cove freshened things up in an effort to see off their stubborn hosts and Jonny Smith saw his first touch of the match pushed to safety by James Blanchard ahead of a double change for the Banffers, Nathan Ross replacing Sean Keith before Craig Cowie left the field to be replaced by James Duguid.
 
As the clock started to count down Steven Davidson headed another opportunity over the top off Kevin Souter's delivery and Scott Begg's disappointing sliced attempt summed up Vale's evening in front of goal.
 
A disappointing end to the match saw Chris Blackhall red carded for a hauling down Mitchell Meggison as he bore down on goal and once the Vale number ten left the field Meggison stepped up to send the resulting 18-yard free kick into the bottom corner with James Blanchard or his defensive wall out of kilt as to who was covering which side of the goal.
 
Vale: Blanchard, Krobot, Aitken, Begg, Scott Fraser, Steven Fraser (Davidson 46), Cowie (*90 Duguid 78), Souter, Keith (Ross 75), *48 **90 Blackhall, Watt
Subs: Manson, Patterson (Gk)
 
Cove: McKenzie, Duff, Smith (Milne 70), Yule, Watson, Kelly, Scully, Burnett, Meggison, Buchan (Smith 66), Stott (Redford 81)
Subs: Walker, McBain, McCulloch, McCafferty (gk)
Manager: John Sheran
 
Referee: David Watt
 
Vale Stats:
Efforts On: 2
Efforts Off: 4
Woodwork: 0
Corners: 8
Offside: 3
Overhead Conditions: Wet
Playing Surface: Greasy
Temp at KO: 12 Deg C
Last Season: 1-0 defeat at Fraserburgh
 
Reporter: Neil Montgomery
Reported LastEdited: 11-Aug-2016
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