- Created: Sunday, 04 August 2013 22:50
- Published: Monday, 05 August 2013 09:32
Cove Rangers’ Barrie Stephen made a long awaited return to action on Saturday playing in Highland League playing for the first time since March of last year. The 32 year old winger had sat out the last year of his Formartine United contract but admitted his return to action back at Cove where he was a double championship winner was a tough one.
“In a way it was good to have a break and it probably one I think I needed and I’m delighted to be back at Cove Rangers. I was a bit short of match fitness when I came back but I’ve got a good run of games during pre-season and I’m happy to be back.
it was a tough game to start with but having went two-nil down we knew a comeback was required if we were to get anything out of the game but in terms of spirit from the team it was good to see everyone fighting late on to earn a draw.”
Having lost players like Martin Johnston and Stuart McKenzie and having selection problems going into Saturday, Barrie was one of four new faces in the starting eleven alongside Craig Reid, Scott Webster and Scott Burke; Stephen knew that changes would have to be made
“We missed Eric Watson in defence who is an influential player and he’d be a miss to any team in the league if he’s not playing but Roy McBain dropped back into defence to play with Alan Redford and they played very well and Scott Burke also came into the midfield and has a lot to offer following a good showing. It’s no secret we were light on players and had some playing out of position but you’ll always get that at some point in the season but we’ve a good enough squad to cope with that.”
Former Forfar and Peterhead player Jamie McLauchlin came off the bench to start the fight back and having seen what he had to offer in friendly matches; Barrie has been impressed so far with the forward.
“Jamie played really well during pre-season but it was unfortunate for him not to start today but a goal like that help the team strengthen the attacking position and give him a big confidence boost.”
In a game which produced a penalty kick for either side the ex Huntly, Keith, Deveronvale and Elgin City winger admitted the one his side were awarded look a stronger claim than the one his former club got.
“Our penalty was a stonewall decision, their player, Grant Campbell tugged my shirt and the Referee called the decision. I felt the one Huntly got early on in the second half was never a penalty and I was disappointed to see it given as it then gave us an uphill struggle going down two-nil and I’m glad we showed that fighting spirit to come back. Our player has kicked Marek Mádle’s foot and then he screamed out and rolled about like an idiot and Huntly asked for a penalty. I thought the player did that a few times during the game and our centre half’s got clued up to it.”