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Peterhead earn north-east derby spoils with 3-1 win over Cove Rangers

Russell McLean celebrates putting Peterhead 3-1 up against Cove.
Russell McLean celebrates putting Peterhead 3-1 up against Cove Rangers.

Peterhead took the derby spoils at Balmoor with a 3-1 victory over Cove Rangers in the Premier Sports Cup.

Jim McInally’s side fully merited their triumph, with goals from Scott Brown, Lyall Cameron and Russell McLean cancelling out Mitch Megginson’s equaliser.

Both teams were playing catch-up after a disrupted pre-season and neither had managed a point from their first two group games.

But it was Peterhead who came out on top in front of their own supporters on home turf.

Scott Brown clips in the opening goal for Peterhead.
Scott Brown clips in the opening goal for Peterhead.

Both teams made changes from midweek defeats, with Cove drafting in Rory McAllister, Robbie Leitch, Dan Higgins and Stuart McKenzie, while Peterhead brought in Simon Ferry, Hamish Ritchie, McLean and Niah Payne.

Peterhead beat Cove in this competition two years ago and made the perfect strides towards doing it again, with Brown clipping the ball delightfully over McKenzie inside three minutes.

Cove, who announced Derek Soutar had joined as their new goalkeeping coach prior to kick-off, took less than 10 minutes to equalise, with Megginson finishing after McAllister had cut the ball back to him.

The hosts enjoyed the bulk of the play after that, with Payne seeing a shot saved by McKenzie and McLean having a penalty appeal against Scott Ross turned down.

Mitch Megginson is congratulated by Rory McAllister after levelling for Cove Rangers.
Mitch Megginson is congratulated by Rory McAllister after levelling for Cove Rangers.

Leitch ought to have given the visitors the lead after being played in by Megginson, however after appearing to stay inside he was denied by a superb stop by Brett Long.

That miss was duly punished before the interval, with Payne’s lay-off collected by Cameron and lifted effortlessly into the far corner from the edge of the box.

It was little more than the Blue Toon deserved, with their energy levels in midfield and tempo proving too much for Cove.

McLean got himself on the scoresheet after Cove failed to clear a Ryan Conroy corner, with half-time substitute Milne unable to keep the ball out on the line.

Russell McLean celebrates putting Peterhead 3-1 up against Cove.
Russell McLean puts Peterhead 3-1 up against Cove.

The onus was now on Paul Hartley’s side to try salvage something from the game but chances were hard to come by. McAllister shot straight at Long through a crowd of bodies but the hosts remained in control of the game.

There was some concern for Cove when Mitch Megginson limped off with 20 minutes to go, however his team-mates were unable to rally in his absence.

Cove finish their League Cup campaign at home to Caley Thistle on Tuesday night, while Peterhead travel to Stirling Albion next weekend.

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