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Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley praises teenage match-winner John Robertson after Brora goal

Cove Rangers players congratulate John Robertson after his late winner.
Cove Rangers players congratulate John Robertson after his late winner.

Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley has hailed teenager John Robertson after the 17-year-old came off the bench to fire his side into the third round of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup.

The on-loan St Johnstone teenage striker helped his side edge out former Highland League rivals Brora Rangers 2-1 to set-up a third round trip to Wales to face Kilmarnock’s Europa League conquerors Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Hartley said: “John is only 17 but it was great goal and he just wants to score goals so I’m really pleased for him to have scored his first senior goal, and hopefully there’s many more to come.

“We made a triple substitution when we were 1-0 down in the second half just change things and to give players more minutes and also to add a bit more pace to the team but I felt that we deserved it, especially in the second half when we dominated the play after a slow start.

“We were patient and we were a real threat despite losing a goal, we kept working the ball and we knew we would get our reward.”

Hartley will take his side to Wales on the weekend of September 7 and 8 but his focus is on this weekend’s home League 2 game against Cowdenbeath.

The Cove boss dismissed any suggestion of bad feeling between the clubs after that controversial play-off two seasons ago in which Cove were defeated and three players were sent off in the game.

The Cove boss said: “I wasn’t there then so I’m just focussed on our players trying to get a good result against a tough Cowdenbeath team.

“It’s nothing about revenge for us. Our full concentration will be on the game on Saturday. You play the game to try and win – we’ve had a good start to the season and hopefully we can continue that.”

Cove manager Paul Hartley.

Hartley wants to see a more resilient Cove team than the one which conceded four goals at Albion Rovers in last weekend’s eight-goal thriller.

He said: “We learned that we have to defend better, that was the key thing from that game. We were so in control of the game in the first half, but then we just let things slip and were poor defensively.

“I spoke to the players and hopefully it was only a bit of a one-off, it doesn’t matter what opposition you’re playing against, if you’re not on it, and not on your mettle, you’ll get turned over.

“We’ve been strong at home at Balmoral Stadium this season ion the games where I’ve been in-charge, we’re in good form and we just need to keep it going.”

Elgin City’s reward for beating Breching City 5-4 at Glebe Park on Tuesday is a third round trip to Dens Park to play Championship side Dundee.

Caley Thistle have been given an all-Championship tie. John Robertson’s side will host Morton at Caledonian Stadium.

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