Cove Rangers turned their dream of becoming an SPFL club a reality at Berwick Rangers today.
The Press and Journal’s Highland League correspondent Dave Edwards takes a look at five games that put them on the road to League 2.
Cove Rangers were made to work extremely hard to retain their title with Brora Rangers pushing the Aberdeen side all the way.
John Sheran and Graeme Mathieson’s side put in some superb league performances to earn another crack at the SPFL pyramid play-offs.
They fell just short 12 months ago when they came up against Cowdenbeath but there was no mistake this time as they recorded a 0-3 win in Berwick this afternoon to win the tie 0-7 on aggregate.
One of their most important results was a 2-0 home win against Fraserburgh on the opening day of the season on August 4, 2018.
Mitch Megginson took just two minutes to score his first league goal of the season and he added a second in the 64th minute from the penalty spot.
That set the tone for the season with the Broch inflicting the only league defeat on Cove during the 2018-19 campaign with a 1-0 win on December 1 last year.
Another important early season win came on August 29 last year when Cove won 3-2 at Inverurie Locos thanks to a hat-trick from the prolific Megginson.
Ten days later they won another important match by the same scoreline at Strathspey Thistle.
Cove’s title challenge in the 2016-17 season ground to an abrupt halt at Seafield Park when the Grantown Jags held them to a shock 2-2 draw.
On this occasion, Cove twice came from behind thanks to a Megginson double before Jamie Masson struck the winner.
On September 15, just a week later, Cove beat another of their early title challengers Formartine United in a hard-fought encounter at Balmoral Stadium.
Goals from Harry Milne and Paul McManus laid the foundations but it took a brilliant save from Stuart McKenzie in the Cove goal from Graeme Rodger’s penalty kick to ensure another clean-sheet.
The Cove juggernaut continued throughout the season until April 11 in the game that clinched the Highland League title.
Megginson was once again showed his predatory instinct to net the only goal of the game to give Cove a 1-0 win against Forres Mechanics at Mosset Park.
But it was the narrow early season successes that gave Cove the platform to become the first Highland League team to win promotion through the SPFL pyramid play-offs.