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Cove do their homework to knock out Brora

Cove Rangers 1

Mackie 41

Brora Rangers FC 0

  • Sunday, 28 September 2014
  • Allan Park
  • Under 20´s
  • Scottish Youth Cup

Scott McPherson | YFS North Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Cove Rangers beat Brora Rangers FC 1-0 at Allan Park on Sunday to reach the third round of the Scottish FA Youth Cup. A spectacular long range volley from midfielder Craig Mackie in the first half was enough to separate the sides and ensure Brora’s 340 mile roundtrip was fruitless. 
Brora Rangers were described as pre-match ‘red hot favourites’ by Cove Rangers secretary Ian Armstrong but the hosts fully deserved their victory and progression to the next round. Cove Rangers lined up in a 4-3-3 formation and their three midfielders won the vital midfield battle against Brora’s two. After the match, Cove manager, Scott Bridgwater, revealed that their plan had worked perfectly.
He said: “The system that we played really helped us, I think the three boys that we had in the middle of the park really worked hard for the team.
“We had someone watch Brora Rangers earlier in the week and we managed to kind of work out how they would play. 
“We worked on our shape and our pressing in training and it worked really well on this park. But that’s not to say we wouldn’t play like that again in the next round, it would depend on who it’s against and their style of play and system.
“I think the system that we put in place really worked well today.”
Cove Rangers started brightly and put pressure on their opponents from the very first whistle, but they were nearly caught on the counter attack within two minutes. Good hold-up play by striker Colin Maclean allowed Michael Maclean to set-up the on-running Jack Mackay who dragged the ball wide of goal from the right of the penalty box. 
The hosts then created their first chance of the match after nine minutes but the impressive Harry Milne could only direct his header off target from Liam Burnett’s in-swinging free kick.
Cove’s Devin Kennedy-Colbert worked tirelessly throughout the match as their lone striker and he nearly had a goal to show for that after 21 minutes. He took the ball from the deepest defender with a sliding tackle and was quickly back up to his feet but his shot from the edge of the penalty area went straight into the hands of goalkeeper John Allan.
Brora Rangers looked most threatening when they were playing balls inside the two opposing full backs and that tactic again proved profitable for them on 26 minutes. Winger Kyle Sutherland broke inside and onto a through ball but he pulled his shot two yards wide of the far post.
As half time approached you got the feeling that it would either take something special, or something stupid to separate these two sides. And it was the former which broke the deadlock after 41 minutes. The ball was cleared from the penalty area and Craig Mackie cushioned the ball with his instep, before nonchalantly volleying the ball over the goalkeeper and into the roof of the net from 25 yards. He celebrated that goal like he does it every week.
  • Half Time:
  • Cove Rangers
  • 1-0
  • Brora Rangers FC
Cove Rangers nearly doubled their lead four minutes after the interval. A great ball by goalscorer Mackie set Burnett free on goal but he was twice denied by goalkeeper Allan from close range.
As Brora pushed on in search of an equaliser, Cove were finding more space and creating chances. A superb solo run by Cove’s Michael Selfridge saw him shimmy between a number of challenges before eventually shooting low and hard from 14 yards but he was denied by another good save from Allan. 
A few minutes later Selfridge was again thwarted by Allan. Selfridge nicked the ball on the left wing before cutting in and shooting only for Allan to palm it wide and substitute Craig Mackie (the goalscorer’s namesake) couldn’t turn in the rebound. 
The last 10 minutes were very nervy for the home side as Brora Rangers pressured them and pinned them back in their own half. 
Seven minutes from time Brora substitute Terence Brady evaded Milne’s challenge in the penalty area but fired his shot high and wide. Then five minutes from time Colin Maclean shrugged off two tackles in the 18-yard box but his lovely chipped effort was clawed away from goal by Cove goalkeeper Craig Reid. 
Maclean then caused more problems as full time approached but his cross/shot was acrobatically cleared away from the goal line by left back Milne. 
But Cove Rangers held on and claimed a deserved 1-0 victory. They will find out who they face in the third round of the Scottish Cup on Monday 29th of September. 
  • Full Time:
  • Cove Rangers
  • 0-0
  • Brora Rangers FC


Cove Rangers
Brora Rangers FC

1. Craig Reid
2. Ross Gibson
3. Harry Milne
4. Aaron Scully
5. Louis Smith
6. Anthony Harkin
7. Sam Burnett
8. Craig Mackie
9. Devin Kennedy-Colbert
10. Michael Selfridge
11. Liam Burnett
12. Adam McWilliam
14. Craig Mackie
15. Ryan Spink
16. Chris Davidson
17.David Omernik

1. John Allan
2. James Ross
3. Kenneth Morrison
4. Ewan Ross
5. Darren Maclean
6. Aiden Drever
7. Kyle Sutherland
8. Harry Richardson
9. Colin Maclean
10. Michael Maclean
11. Jack Mackay
12. Terence Brady
14. Billy Cairns
15. Scott Murray

Star Player
Cove Rangers
Brora Rangers FC
This could go to any number of players. The three central midfielders; Sam Burnett, Craig Mackie and Anthony Harkin. Down the left side, Michael Selfridge and Harry Milne were both outstanding. But it has to go to the player who probably had the toughest job; Devin Kennedy-Colbert. Playing up front on your own is a thankless task but he did it admirably. He held the ball up well and brought others into play. He was a threat himself too, spurning a couple of half chances.
Striker Colin Maclean looked bright and lively throughout. Brora looked at their most dangerous when he was on the ball. The problem: he wasn't on the ball enough, if he was, I'm sure Brora would have gotten on the scoresheet.
Magic Moment
Cove Rangers
Brora Rangers FC
The goal is a sublime piece of skill by Craig Mackie and without that magic moment, this game would have been going all the way to penalties.
Their magic moment came after just two minutes when a good team move resulted in Jack Mackay firing narrowly wide.
Club Views
Cove Rangers
Brora Rangers FC
Scott Bridgwater, Cove Rangers manager, said: "I thought we did really well and were positive throughout. "Brora are a good, physical side and their diagonal balls behind the full backs caused us problems, but I thought we death with them quite well. "We worked hard and deserved the win."
Brora Rangers manager, David Kirkwood, said: "In the end it was a deserved victory for Cove because it was a wonder goal which won it. "It was a typical Scottish Cup tie; chances at both ends, blood and thunder from the first minute to the last. Both sides deserve a pat on the back. "We have such a young group, this will be an experience for them. "Some of these lads are giving two, three years away and we only played at u20 level for the first time ever last week. Hats off to our lads, now we know what to expect and we will become stronger as the season goes on. "
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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