SPFL Play-off 1st Leg: Cove Rangers 4-0 Spartans

Posted on Sunday, April 29th, 2018

Gaffer Dougie Samuel will be looking to a vocal Spartan Army support to be his side’s proverbial 12th man on Tuesday night following Saturday’s disappointing defeat at Harlaw Park in the first leg of the SPFL Pyramid Play-Off.

An overnight stay in the Granite City allowed for a short match-day drive to Inverurie to take on Highland League winners Cove Rangers, with Cowdenbeath waiting in the wings for the winners of this two legged tie.

The Blue Brazil had spies in the camp, albeit not really spies as their Cowden coats gave them away, and they will have filed their report accordingly following a frustrating afternoon for the Ainslie Park side who went into the sheds at half time a goal down.

Opening exchanges in front of a bumper audience were largely spent in the air with the ball threatening to come down with snow on it on more than one occasion.  Perhaps the propensity to send it to the sky was to save fearing a bobble or two on the challenging, and at times threadbare, surface.

Spartans had an early opportunity when Jason Stevens was in the box following a chip by Inverurie kid Willie Bremner however his attempt couldn’t be connected with well enough to direct home.

At the other end, a ‘Worldy’ save by Blair Carswell denied Mitchel Megginson from opening the scoring as he flung himself at point blank range to thwart a header from point blank range.

The striker wasn’t to be denied however and with just four minutes until the oranges, a cross was met my Megginson who this time managed to avoid the keeper and break the deadlock.

HT: Cove Rangers 1-0 Spartans

A double whammy inside a six minute second half spell saw light appear between the sides.  Paul McManus sent Carswell the wrong way from the spot then shortly after, Eric Watson was on hand to covert an unorthodox cross into the danger area.

On the hour mark, Spartans rung the changes with Ross Allum and Craig Stevenson entering the fray with David Greenhill and Paul Thomson making way.

The visitors rallied and started to make some progress with possession and passing edging them closer to the Cove box.  With a glimmer of a goal on a dreich day in the offing, it was sadly to be at the other end as McManus made it a double.

Guillermo Lamarca was brought on in place of Jason Stevens but even the man from Madrid found it difficult to break down a sturdy defence.

FT: Cove Rangers 4-0 Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Scott Maxwell

Spartans: Carswell, Thomson (Stevenson), Brown, Tolmie, Corbett, Greenhill (Allum), McFarland, Herd, Bremner, Stevens (Lamarca), Maxwell. Subs: Cennerazzo, Atkinson, Malin, Stobie.

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Next Fixture

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Date: Friday 24th August
Opponent: Cumbernauld Colts
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Competition: Lowland League
Kick off: 7.45pm

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