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Cove took the trip north to Bellslea Park to try and go within 3 points of leaders Brora. 

Cove went into the game as favourites, despite a draw and a loss to Fraserburgh already this season. The home side used the momentum of the previous two games and started the better of the two teams. They took the lead early on through John Chalmers only 11 minutes in and their lead was doubled when Ryan Cowie’s cross found Marc Dickson and he headed home in the 29th minute. Cove got a goal back and thought the game could swing their way when Blair Yule’s effort took a huge deflection off William West and looped over keeper Joe Barbour. Broch regained control in the 54th minute when Marc Lawrence’s acrobatic effort took a slight deflection and found the net and the home side wrapped it up in 75th when Russell McBride squared the ball across to Grant Noble to tap it in.

Fraserburgh came out fighting and were the better side of the two in the early stages of this game.

It only took the home side 11 minutes to find the opener and it came through midfielder Chalmers, who placed it into the left side of the goal from the edge of the box after Lawrence chested it down for him.

Broch almost doubled their lead 5 minutes later as Noble had a free header 8 yards from goal but could only direct the ball into Stuart McKenzie’s gloves.

Broch continued their dominance with striker for the day McBride winning every aerial battle and the midfield winning the 50/50s. The home side’s dominance paid off and their lead was doubled in the 29th minute when Ryan Cowie’s swinging cross was met by the diving head of the other full back Dickson who headed home from 5 yards.

Cove received a life-line 2 minutes later when Yule’s effort from the left hand side took a huge deflection off centre back West, which moved the ball goal bound and dipped over Barbour leaving the Broch players stunned.

Only a minute after Fraserburgh could have regained their two goal lead if it wasn’t for Stuart Walker as he headed the ball off the line after McBride’s effort from 10 yards was heading goal bound.

Cove gained confidence from that goal and were the better team up until the break but couldn’t find that crucial equaliser.

Fraserburgh found lots of joy when they closed down Yule and didn’t allow him to dictate the play like he has in previous games. The Broch defence also weren’t giving hitman Daryl Nicol any joy or chances.

The visitors came out for the 2nd half a much better team creating a few half chances but couldn’t find the net or that one great chance.

Despite it seeming a different Cove it was the Broch who doubled their lead only 9 minutes into the second half as Ryan Cowie’s corner was headed out only as far as Chalmers on the left side of the box, who swung in a cross that was met by Lawrence who acrobatically found the net with help from a slight deflection.

Cove were still probably the better of the two sides and almost got a goal back when Daryl Nicol’s free kick hit the Fraserburgh crossbar after Nicol was fouled by West 20 yards out.

The home side were always looking dangerous on the break and really should have killed off the game when Dean Cowie put an inch perfect through ball between the two Cove centre halves and sent Noble one on one with McKenzie but Noble went wide and hit a weak shot giving the goalkeeper no problem.

They did finally kill off game in the 75th minute as Lawrence played a ball through the defence and McBride beat the offside trap, (despite the claims from Cove players and fans) squared it across goal and Noble tapped it in with ease only 5 yards out.

Cove did get a goal back in the last minute of normal time when Daniel Park’s free kick from the left side of the box went over the ball and into the back of the net beating Barbour at his near post. That was all too little too late despite Nicol nearly adding another in the 91st minute, but he was denied by Barbour.

Mark Cowie will be over the moon with this victory especially as it had a slight tactical chance with Russell McBride up top and William West in at centre half. Fraserburgh continue their unbeaten run against Cove this season.

Cove boss John Sheran won’t be happy with that performance as despite moments of dominance they didn’t look like winning the game at all and will know that if they have title aspirations they will have to improve massively.

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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
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11 Clachnacuddin 34 -24 41
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15 Deveronvale 34 -24 30
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18 Strathspey Thistle 34 -92 9

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