Jamie Masson’s performances may have been overshadowed by his Cove Rangers team-mate Mitch Megginson, in the eyes of the SPFL awards panel.
But even if his team-mate and skipper is picking up monthly gongs, that will not stop Masson chasing Megginson’s goal tally.
Masson is one of three players on 11 goals in League 2, with only two players above him. Megginson leads the way on 18, with Elgin City’s Shane Sutherland three further back.
The former Aberdeen youngster scored five in four games after the turn of the year, as Cove maintained their position at the top of League 2.
Megginson matched that tally and it was he and manager Paul Hartley that scooped January’s League 2 awards for player and manager of the month awards.
Masson, however, will not be deterred.
He said: “I think I’ve been doing pretty well but it’s been more about the team. It’s been really good to be part of. With 13 games to go, hopefully we can keep these performances up to the end of the season.
“The manager has given me a little bit of freedom, to go and express myself. In the attacking thirds, not to worry about losing it, just to keep going.
“It’s 11 league goals and two in the Betfred Cup. I’m happy with that so far but I’d like to add a few more before the end of the season. I keep telling Mitch I’m going to catch him.”
Given most of the squad have played at this level or above, it should be no surprise that adaptation to the SPFL has been relatively seamless.
Masson played 11 times for the Dons first team and had loan spells at Brechin City and Elgin City, prior to his departure from Pittodrie in 2015. A knee injury hampered his chances of getting another full-time deal, prompting a drop to the Highland League with Formartine United.
“I went on trial with Queen of the South and Raith Rovers but managed to do my knee, so I was out for three or four months,” added Masson. “I didn’t have much option; I went to Formartine for two years and I struggled a little bit. I found it quite hard going from full-time to the Highland League.
“It’s a fast tempo but as soon as I got to grips with it, I was fine. I moved to Cove two years ago and ever since, I’ve loved it. Everyone at the club has been great. Knowing the boys – I’ve played with a lot of the lads since I was young – and the team spirit has probably been the best I’ve played in.
“We knew coming up from the Highland League it would be tougher. But a lot of the players have played in the leagues. We’ve took it in our stride and done really well.
“We’ve got most of the squad that’s from up here. Some changes are good, some aren’t; we’re all at a good age as well, so we’ve still got a good few years left together. Hopefully we can win a few things together.”
Tomorrow sees Edinburgh City head north to the Balmoral Stadium, with the visitors Cove’s main contenders for the League 2 title. Just three points separate the two clubs with 13 games to go.
“There’s still a lot of games to play, ” Masson said. “But to get a win and go six points ahead would be massive. But they’re probably saying the same if it’s level going into the last 12 games.
“When Aberdeen aren’t playing and we’re at home, we hope to get fans in from Aberdeen. It obviously helps, playing in front of a crowd. They gee you on”