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Cove Rangers see off Queen of the South 3-0 in Scottish Cup replay to earn Hibernian tie

Fraser Fyvie (24) scored the opener for Cove Rangers in their 3-0 win
Fraser Fyvie (24) scored the opener for Cove Rangers in their 3-0 win. Pictures: Dave Johnston

Cove Rangers knocked Championship side Queen of the South out of the Scottish Cup with an impressive 3-0 win at Palmerston.

Fraser Fyvie had put them in front with a spectacular first-half strike before a late brace from Mitch Megginson ensured their progress.

While it was frayed at times in the second half in torrential conditions in Dumfries, the League One leaders merited their win over full-time opponents.

They will now advance to the fourth round, where they will face Hibernian at Easter Road next month.

Cove were without Iain Vigurs, Shay Logan, Fin Robertson and Robbie Leitch, while Kyle Gourlay took the place of Stuart McKenzie in goal.

After a measured start to the game, Cove clicked into gear and began creating chances.

The first came from Connor Scully, who latched on to Mitch Megginson’s cut-back at the edge of the box and saw his shot deflected wide.

Mitch Megginson tussles with Wullie Gibson
Mitch Megginson tussles with Wullie Gibson

Then, as he did at the end of the first game, Queens goalkeeper Sol Brynn began to produce heroics. He thrust out a hand to tip over a close-range header from Jamie Masson, who had met Blair Yule’s cross, before flinging himself to his left to turn over a long-range drive from Masson.

Queens were struggling to muster any opportunities in front of their own faithful, with a snap-shot from Lee Connolly sailing harmlessly over the bar.

Brynn, the stopper on-loan from English Championship side Middlesbrough, was fast becoming the most influential figure in the game. Again he was required to keep the Doonhamers level, this time tipping the ball round the post after it came off his team-mate Paul McKay.

Masson had another shot blocked by the scrambling Queens defence and Harry Milne’s cross came inches away from finding Fyvie at the back post, as Cove pressed for the opener.

It came in the 38th minute and in some style. Fyvie took the ball into his feet under pressure, held off his marker and picked out the top corner from 25 yards.

Fraser Fyvie is mobbed by Cove Rangers team-mates after scoring the opener
Fraser Fyvie is mobbed by Cove Rangers team-mates after scoring the opener

The lead had been the least Cove deserved. They had looked more threatening in possession and more enterprising going forward. Aside from a hairy moment from Gourlay before the interval – the goalkeeper came racing out to block Connelly but was rounded, only to scamper back and intervene with a slide tackle – the visitors were composed.

Queens needed to come out with a greater degree of urgency in the second half. Having the wind in their favour seemed to make the difference.

Connolly fizzed an effort wide of Gourlay’s far post and Ruari Paton saw a header come back off bar and post, before Morgyn Neill was able to scramble clear.

There was need for a calm hand on the tiller. Someone to step in and take control of the game when it was becoming frayed, when Cove were coming under a sustained spell of pressure.

But it appeared any time Cove got the ball, within a flash it was back with their opponents. It would not stick. Connor Scully scrambled back to intercept Connolly’s centre and Paton was unable to turn Max Johnston’s back-post cross on target, as Queens turned the screw.

Cove Rangers midfielder Blair Yule tussles with Niyah Joseph
Cove Rangers midfielder Blair Yule tussles with Niyah Joseph

Rory McAllister was brought on to try give Cove an extra presence up front, someone to hold the ball up and take the pressure of the visitors. The reshuffle appeared to work; Yule’s energy and delivery from out wide gave them an additional threat, which was to pay dividends.

Megginson took the ball down in midfield and spread play to the flank into Yule’s path. He turned the favour and while the captain’s touch was heavy, he got there ahead of a blue shirt and dinked the ball inside Brynn’s near post.

The icing was put on the cake four minutes later, with the lethal Megginson at it again. With the home defence failing to clear, Megginson lashed into the bottom corner to seal Cove’s progress in style.

Queen of the South (4-1-3-2) – Brynn 7; Johnston 6, Gibson 6, McKay 6, Cooper 6, McGrory 5, Paton 6, Joseph 6 (East 70), Todd 5 (Roy 63), Soares Junior 5, Connolly 6. Subs not used – Rae, McKechnie.

Cove Rangers (4-2-3-1) – Gourlay 6; Ross 7, Strachan 6, Neill 6, Milne 6, Yule 7, Scully 6, McIntosh 5 (McAllister 73), Fyvie 7, Masson 6 (Adeyemo 90), Megginson 7 (Anderson 85). Subs not used: McKenzie.

Referee – Scott Lambie 6.

Man of the match – Mitch Megginson.

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