Cove Get On Opponents Wick
By Alex Horsburgh
Updated Saturday, 26th January 2008
Hard to believe that the Highland League can't schedule a Cove Rangers game away from an Aberdeen v Hearts clash at Pittodrie. While the Dons took on the Jambos, the Granite city's 'other' team had to regroup after the glamour of the cup and face up to Wick in front of a sparse crowd at Allan Park.
Cove Rangers kept in touch with the leading teams at the top of the Highland League with a 3-1 home win against Wick Academy today, Saturday 26th January.
The Aberdeen non-leaguers made one change from the team that lost 2-4 to Ross County in the Scottish Cup in midwee, with Reid in for Coutts. Former Peterhead and Partick Thistle player Scott Paterson limped out of the action during the warm-up and couldn't even take his place on the bench. This meant that Cruickshank came in for the luckless former Balmoor and Firhill favourite who has been plagued with injuries in recent times.
The Wick team bus got lost in the Granite City so they did not begin their warm-up until around 2.45 pm but the game kicked off at 3pm anyway. Wick were well marshalled and failed to cave in to early Cove pressure. Anyone who thought it would be business as usual in the league for the home side after the cup reverse was mistaken and Wick played better than their league position suggested they would.
The breakthrough for Cove came seconds before half time when Grant Fraser headed home from a Barrie Stephen cross and that saved the blue side of Aberdeen from a half time tea cup display by manager John Sheerin.
The game seemed won in 56 minutes when a cracking 20 yarder from Phil Reid went in off the underside of the bar but Wick kept plugging away and centre-forward Gary Weir got one back with 20 minutes to go. Wick were looking capable of a point but with ten minutes left Robbie Henderson grabbed the decisive third for a final score of 3-1 to Cove. Not a bad game at all and a fair advert for Scottish non-league football, pity more didn't see it.
Unfortunately, it was back to not so much one man and his dog as a couple of men and their anoraks at Allan Park after the cup tie atmosphere in midweek but Cove continue to stay on course to challenge for the Highland League title. That has to be worth at least a few more bums on seats next home game.
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