Mitch Megginson etched his name deeper into the Cove Rangers history books by grabbing their first-ever goal at the national stadium – but the club skipper knows victory over Queen’s Park was more important.
Megginson and Jamie Masson netted in the first half and, despite a few anxious moments after Salim Kouider-Aissa pulled a goal back, Megginson struck in injury time to take the three points north.
League 2 leaders Cove enjoyed plenty of early possession without threatening too often but that all changed when Megginson danced past two home defenders and slammed in after 25 minutes.
The striker said: “It is nice to be the player that created a bit of history. When I broke into the box I saw Fraser Fyvie but everything opened up for me and I was able to shoot into the net.
“On the bus coming down we talked about wanting to make Cove’s first ever game at Hampden memorable, but our first priority was winning the game.”
Within 90 seconds of going ahead Cove grabbed their second when Masson slammed the ball home after Fyvie’s shot had been pushed out by Willie Muir.
Referee Craig Napier allowed an advantage after Megginson was pulled down as he chased the loose ball when it came back into play off the hosts’ goalkeeper and the former Aberdeen striker added: “I was fouled but the referee deserves praise. If a referee plays advantage and you score from it then he has done his job well.”
The hosts came out determined to have a better second 45 minutes and Kouider-Aissa guided a header beyond Stuart McKenzie from 12 yards on 50 minutes.
Cove were pushed back at spells but they continued to break dangerously with Megginson denied 17 minutes from time when Muir pushed his low drive behind for a corner. Cove completed the scoring in injury time when Megginson ran on to a pass from John Robertson and danced past the home defence once more before placing a shot under Muir to seal the points.
Megginson said: “Overall it was an excellent performance from the team. We were under pressure, but you have to stand up to that in games especially when you are away from home. We limited them to very few chances and then added a third.
“We were holding the ball in the corner trying to kill the game but then it broke to me and I put it away. It is not normally our style to do that but heaps of teams waste time at our place.
“It is nice to have scored at both ends of Hampden but securing three points on the road is a brilliant outcome.”
After away defeats at Annan and Edinburgh City manager Paul Hartley said: “Going away from home is always difficult especially as surfaces are not at their best at this time of year. We dominated the first half. The second half was tighter, but we did more than enough to win.”