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Cove Rangers emerge from the fog as clear leaders in League One

Cove's Jamie Masson  celebrates his goal against Alloa. Picture by Dave Cowe.
Cove's Jamie Masson celebrates his goal against Alloa. Picture by Dave Cowe.

Cove Rangers may have spent Saturday afternoon shrouded in fog but their place at the top of League One is crystal clear.

Their 3-0 win over Alloa Athletic ensures they head into Christmas five points clear at the top of the division and in the midst of a rich vein of form.

Goals from Jamie Masson, Rory McAllister and Mitch Megginson settled the contest against the Wasps, which at one stage appeared in doubt due to the poor visibility caused by the conditions.

But whatever is thrown at them at the moment, Cove seem to be handling it. They have come through a demanding set of fixtures without missing a beat, anchoring themselves to the top of the table and progressing in two cup competitions.

The mid-way point of the campaign has been reached and Cove are exactly where they want to be.

“To get to this stage – that’s half-a-season gone and we’re in the position we hoped we would be,” said assistant manager Gordon Young. “We didn’t start the game as well as we normally do but we’ve had a tough two weeks.

Cove Rangers midfielder Jamie Masson celebrates scoring against Clyde.
Cove Rangers midfielder Jamie Masson

“The levels of performance they’re putting in is testament to their experience and their ability.

“It’s good for the team as a whole (to keep clean sheets). We talk about the goals we score and everybody enjoys them but we enjoy the clean sheets.

“At the end we were saying take pride in not conceding. Although we were 3-0 up, it’s so important for the confidence of the defenders and goalkeeper as a unit.

“For the whole team to be performing the way they are with the squad rotation, shows the depth in the squad and that’s really pleasing.”

Again they were able to count on Megginson and McAllister, who have now split 30 goals evenly between them in all competitions this season.

Masson’s goal was spectacular and got them on their way and the ability of the squad to adapt to changes in system and personnel was impressive.

Mitch Megginson tucks away his penalty against Rangers B
Mitch Megginson found the net for the 15th time this season

Leighton McIntosh came into the game as an early substitute for the injured Iain Vigurs and earned the penalty in the second half, from which McAllister scored to double Cove’s advantage.

They shifted in game from a back four to a three, with midfielder Connor Scully continuing as a left wing-back and Harry Milne, ostensibly a left-back, moving inside to centre-half.

“It’s been a challenge to manage the players in the last two or three weeks, given the midweek fixtures and the logistics of being involved in them,” added Young.

“But it’s testament to the standard of the player we have that they’re performing week in, week out.”

Masson opened the scoring in style, letting fly from 25 yards from McAllister’s lay-off and beating Kyle Hutton through the air with a curling effort.

They had to be patient for the second but it came after Mark Durnan was adjudged to have clipped McIntosh by referee Steven Reid. McAllister rolled the ball into the corner and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way in the process.

Megginson got his name on the scoresheet in spectacular fashion with five minutes to go, taking aim from distance and beating Hutton to cap off a fine afternoon and vindicate the game going ahead.

“It was touch and go at the start but fair play, there was a bit of sensibility,” added Young. “Because of where we are geographically, you’ve got teams travelling and fans coming, it was the sensible decision to give it the best chance and thankfully we went on and won the game.”

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