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Sun 3rd Jan – Cove 3-4 Inverurie

The opening fixture for Inverurie Locos and Cove Rangers in 2016 was played in high winds and swirling rain making for an uncomfortable afternoon for playing and spectating.
 
Locos had ended the auld year with a thumping 4-0 home win over Forres, while Fraserburgh had dented Cove's title chances by beating them 4-2. Next up for the Aberdeen side, they travel to Lanarkshire to face Motherwell in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday.
 
Without several unavailable players for various reasons, the visitors paired Stephen Jeffrey with young Daniel Crisp in central defence while transfer listed Marc Young was at right-back. Cove were without injured goalkeeper Stuart McKenzie and Alan Redford, while Connor Scully was on the bench.
 
It was the Red and Blacks that grabbed the lead in the 13th minute. John Maitland stepped up almost 25 yards out and his low free-kick deflected off the defensive wall leaving stand-in goalkeeper McCafferty wrong footed.

Scott Mathieson was having a torrid start to the proceedings, not through excessive pressure, but by just coming to terms with trying to get a ball to stand still for goal-kick taking. Eventually he used sand from behind his goal as an aid.
 
Cove had a fine chance through in-form Daniel Park but his long range free-kick went well over the crossbar.
 
Shortly afterwards, Mathieson could do little other than impede danger man Daryl Nicol when a ball bobbled in the box. Referee Chris Fordyce yellow carded the Fordyce resident and Nicol stepped up to send the spot-kick straight down the middle for the equaliser.
 
Stuart Walker was lucky to escape with a yellow card when he sent Maitland flying before the attention again turned to Mathieson as he had to turn Park’s shot on to his crossbar. There was a scrambled clearance before Nicol could pounce on the rebound.
 
The game was following an end-to-end pattern and the teams were evenly matched. But it was Cove that took the lead when possession was given away and new Cove signing from Wick, Grant Campbell, sent Nicol through into the box. The striker then carefully turned the ball into the corner of the net.
 
The lead was short lived as a quickly executed move sent Martin Laing through and the midfielder fired his shot home from close range.
 
The Aberdeen side went back in front within two minutes of the restart. Ex-Cove defender Jeffrey tripped Jamie Watt in the box and he got off with just a booking, but another penalty was awarded. Nicol again converted for his hat-trick and goal number 31 for the season.
 
Locos almost immediately equalised when Neil McLean struck an attempt straight from kick-off and the ball rebounded off the bar.
 
On the hour mark it was 3-3 as captain McLean's well flighted free-kick from his own half found another former Cove player, Michael Selfridge. The Inverurie forward then placed his header perfectly past McCafferty.
 
With the game heading towards a draw, it was birthday boy Joe McCabe, celebrating turning 19, who got on the end of a long throw-in and sent a half volley into the net for a memorable win.

League Table

Rank Teams Played Points Current form
1 Cove Rangers 34 90 WWLWL
2 Formartine United 34 79 WWWWW
3 Inverurie Locos 34 78 WLWWW
4 Fraserburgh 34 73 LLWWW
5 Forres Mechanics 34 73 WWWWW
6 Brora Rangers 34 63 LWLWW
7 Buckie Thistle 34 51 LDDLW
8 Deveronvale 34 51 LWDWW
9 Nairn County 34 51 DWWLW
10 Rothes 34 49 LLWLW
11 Huntly 34 49 LLDWL
12 Wick Academy 34 46 DLLLL
13 Clachnacuddin 34 41 LLWLD
14 Turriff United 34 37 WLLWL
15 Keith 34 16 LDWLD
16 Lossiemouth 34 15 LLDLL
17 Strathspey Thistle 34 14 LLDLL
18 Fort William 34 5 DLLLD

Recent Results

12-05-2018 14:00 - SPFL Pyramid Play-off Final
Cowdenbeath 3 : 2 Cove Rangers
05-05-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 39
Turriff United 0 : 2 Brora Rangers
05-05-2018 15:00 - SPFL Pyramid Play-off Final
Cove Rangers 0 : 0 Cowdenbeath
02-05-2018 20:00 - SHFL Week 38
Fort William 3 : 3 Keith
01-05-2018 19:45 - SPFL Pyramid Play-Off
Spartans 2 : 1 Cove Rangers
28-04-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 38
Strathspey Thistle 0 : 7 Brora Rangers
Formartine United 2 : 1 Wick Academy
Fort William 3 : 7 Turriff United
28-04-2018 15:00 - SPFL Pyramid Play-Off
Cove Rangers 4 : 0 Spartans
25-04-2018 20:00 - SHFL Week 37
Deveronvale 5 : 0 Fort William
Rothes 3 : 1 Brora Rangers
24-04-2018 20:00 - SHFL Week 37
Strathspey Thistle 1 : 4 Fraserburgh
Cove Rangers 0 : 3 Nairn County
21-04-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 37
Formartine United 12 : 0 Fort William
Forres Mechanics 5 : 0 Lossiemouth
Rothes 0 : 1 Fraserburgh
Wick Academy 1 : 3 Cove Rangers
Brora Rangers 1 : 0 Huntly

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