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Cove Rangers claim derby spoils with 3-0 win over Peterhead

Cove Rangers captain Mitch Megginson
Cove Rangers captain Mitch Megginson

Cove Rangers claimed the north-east derby spoils as they defeated Peterhead 3-0 at the Balmoral Stadium.

All the goals came in the second half, as Ryan Strachan and a Mitch Megginson brace gave their side a well-earned three points.

The result takes Cove up to second in League One, while the Blue Toon remain in eighth.

Cove matched up Peterhead by going three at the back, with Shay Logan coming in for Fin Robertson and Blair Yule replacing the injured Fraser Fyvie. Niah Payne started up front for the Blue Toon instead of Grant Savoury.

The visitors lost Simon Ferry with less than three minutes played, with Ryan Conroy on in to replace him.

Cove started brightly, with David Wilson required to prevent Rory McAllister finishing and then making an even better clearance off the line after Jamie Masson had beaten Brett Long.

Cove Rangers striker Rory McAllister
Cove Rangers striker Rory McAllister

A wonderful flowing move from Paul Hartley’s side fashioned a chance for Mitch Megginson, who wriggled into space before crashing a shot off the crossbar.

Peterhead were having to weather the storm somewhat as Cove’s pressure kept coming. McAllister escaped the attentions of Jason Brown but was thwarted by a smart stop from Long, while Wilson appeared again to clear off the line from Megginson.

Cove’s skipper had a penalty appeal waved away before the interval after he went down under Conroy’s challenge and while play went on, Long kicked away McAllister’s near-post strike.

But the home side would have to wait less than four minutes of the second half to go in front. After Flynn Duffy had recovered superbly to prevent Megginson slotting into an empty net, Strachan turned in from close-range after Morgyn Neill headed Masson’s corner back across goal.

Peterhead defender David Wilson
Peterhead defender David Wilson

Jim McInally brought on Derek Lyle and Savoury for Russell McLean and Jason Brown, moving to a back four as Peterhead chased a route back into the game.

There were still gaps in behind for Cove to exploit though, with McAllister releasing Megginson in behind again but a covering run from Scott Brown saw him run out of space.

Megginson did finally get his name on the scoresheet with 12 minutes to go as he cut back inside from Masson’s pass and wrong-footed Long with the finish.

Peterhead struggled to test Stuart McKenzie in the Cove goal for much of the afternoon, with a late Lyle header claimed comfortably by the goalkeeper.

Cove won a penalty in stoppage-time after Long felled substitute Leighton McIntosh, with Megginson crashing home for his second.

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