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Clinical Cove Rangers continued to keep up with league leaders Brora Rangers after they recorded a victory over Forres Mechanics who played their first game in almost a month due to postponements.

Goals from Eric Watson, Daryl Nicol and Blair Yule wrapped up all three points for John Sheran’s side.

A positive performance from the Can-Cans and a goal from sub Liam Baxter wasn’t enough for the away side to get something from this match.

The first chance came for the visitors when Simon Allan crossed the ball in to Lee Fraser, whose header was well held by keeper Stuart McKenzie.

Not long after, Forres were dealt a blow when Duncan Jones had to be taken off as he had a dead leg and he was replaced by Chris Blackett.

Cove’s Yule then hit a powerful shot from just outside the box that went narrowly wide of the target. Soon after, Harry Milne headed the ball over the crossbar from close range.

In the 26th minute the deadlock was broken for Cove when Connor Scully swung in corner which Stuart Walker poked through a gap between Forres defenders and Watson touched the ball into the net.

Minutes later, Dachi Khutsishvili struck a powerful drive which landed on the roof of the net.

In the 33th minute Cove doubled their lead after Milne played the ball through to Scully, whose shot was saved and Nicol ran in to blast the ball home giving keeper Stuart Knight no chance.

Scully then sent a dangerous delivery into the box and Nicol was in a goal-scoring position, but Allan cleared the ball to safety before the striker could pounce on it.

Yule made it 3-0 for the hosts in the 50th minute, when he brilliantly smashed the ball low into the far bottom corner of the net with Knight stranded.

After that Forres began to press forward more which resulted in Khutsishvili setting up Fraser perfectly, but the forward’s touch was poor which allowed McKenzie to come off his line to collect the ball.

The Mechanics brought on Baxter to replace Ross MacPherson. Baxter made a great impact two minutes later as he ran on to the end of a long ball and slotted it home to grab a goal back for the visiting team.

As Cove went on the counter attack Nicol was bundled over inside the box with the Rangers faithful claiming for a penalty, but referee Peter Stuart was quick to wave play on.

The Can-Cans introduced another substitute, Fraser Forbes, who put in a delightful delivery into the box however there were no takers.

The final chance of the match fell to the home side, as sub Jamie Watt went around the Knight with ease but as he was about to pull the trigger, he slipped and the ball was cleared.

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Press and Journal Highland League 2016-17

Rank Teams Played GD Points
1 Buckie Thistle 34 94 82
2 Cove Rangers 34 79 82
3 Brora Rangers 34 80 81
4 Formartine United 34 35 73
5 Fraserburgh 34 29 63
6 Forres Mechanics 34 21 58
7 Turriff United 34 14 58
8 Wick Academy 34 23 53
9 Inverurie Locos 34 18 50
10 Keith 34 -14 47
11 Clachnacuddin 34 -24 41
12 Lossiemouth 34 -18 38
13 Nairn County 34 -17 34
14 Huntly 34 -43 34
15 Deveronvale 34 -24 30
16 Rothes 34 -69 26
17 Fort William 34 -92 11
18 Strathspey Thistle 34 -92 9

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