Scott Ross has known Rory McAllister long enough to know he can deliver big goals when it matters.
McAllister earned a fearsome reputation as one of the lower-league’s best marksmen during a nine-year stay with Peterhead, where for a good period of that he was team-mates with Ross.
His January switch to Cove came somewhat as a surprise but he wasted little time in proving himself at his new club, scoring the crucial winner against Edinburgh City at the Balmoral Stadium in February.
He came off the bench again on Saturday and produced the all-important moment, finishing from Blair Yule’s pass to snatch a 1-0 win over Partick Thistle.
Ross was colleagues with McAllister for six years at Balmoor and knows all about his ability to be a match-winner.
Ross said: “He’s a goalscorer – it’s bread and butter for him. As soon as I saw him through, I thought it was a goal.
“I’ve known Rory a good number of years now. Last season against Edinburgh the big man put one away and did it again on Saturday. I’m buzzing for him.
“Maybe a couple of years ago we might have lost that game because we were a wee bit naïve. But we can go battle or we can go and play.
The victory was Cove’s 16th consecutive home win in the league and they have yet to drop a point at the Balmoral Stadium since promotion 18 months ago.
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) October 31, 2020
“It’s become a bit of a fortress and we enjoy playing here. The conditions didn’t let us play our game but it’s three out of three now.
“It was a magic result in terrible conditions. You’ve just got to be on your toes, be ready for anything. It was a second-ball game at times.
“We could have maybe had a few more efforts at goal in the first half but in the second it was about digging in and when you get the chance, take it.”
Meanwhile, manager Paul Hartley hopes to give Hamish Ritchie his chance after he joined on loan from Inverurie Locos.
Ritchie penned a short-term loan deal with Cove ahead of the Partick game and was named on the bench on Saturday.
The former Keith midfielder returned from a four-year stint playing football in America earlier this year, signing a deal with Andy Low’s side in the summer.
However with the start of the Highland League delayed until November 28 at the earliest, Cove moved to bring in Ritchie until January.
Hartley said: “He’s come in and looked the part. With the Highland League not starting, we looked at him and liked what we saw.
“We’ve got him on loan for the next couple of months. Everyone will play their part; it’s a 27-game league but we’ve got to make sure we use the whole squad.”