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Cove Rangers: Harry Milne feels club shone in Scottish Cup spotlight

Cove Rangers defender Harry Milne moves in to block Chris Mueller
Cove Rangers defender Harry Milne moves in to block Chris Mueller of Hibs.

The exploits of Cove Rangers over the last three seasons will have caught the eye of many, rising from the Highland League to the verge of the Championship.

Thursday night’s Scottish Cup showpiece against Hibernian, screened on BBC Scotland, gave them a stage to showcase their talents and it is one they embraced.

Cove drew plaudits for the way they ran the Premiership side close, with the home side requiring an extra-time goal from Kevin Nisbet to ensure they progressed.

Manager Paul Hartley, understandably, was not one for singling out anybody after his players emptied the tank at Easter Road.

But Harry Milne was one who shone against the Edinburgh club, with his seemingly-endless supply of energy down the left.

He feels a lot of people would have gone away appreciating just how much good work is going on at Cove just now.

“I think there would have been a lot of neutrals wanting to see what we were about this year,” said Milne.

“We’ve moved up the leagues pretty quickly; we’re looking for our third promotion in four years and we’re in quite a good position.

“There’s a lot of people turning their heads and wondering what we’re about.

“It was a chance for us to showcase that, especially with it being on TV. I think we gave a really good account of ourselves.”

Cove Rangers' Harry Milne (left) and Hibernian's Ewan Henderson battle for the ball
Cove Rangers’ Harry Milne, left, and Hibernian’s Ewan Henderson battle for the ball.

Thursday was by no means the be-all and end-all for Cove. While it was a nice fillip to their season, they have two more realistic chances of success.

They are eight points clear at the top of League One with 14 games to go. It is not an unassailable position but one they can take great strength from.

There is also the semi-final of the SPFL Trust Trophy to look forward to, with Queen of the South visiting the Balmoral Stadium on March 1.

“If the lads play like that, we can look forward to a cup final,” added Milne.

“If we put in the effort we did on Thursday we’d fancy our chances against them – they were the team we beat to face Hibs in the first place.

“The focus has got to be back towards the league. We’ve seen last year the commanding position Falkirk were in and things changed.

“We need to get our focus first and foremost back on the league.”

Perhaps they can use the performance against Hibernian as fuel, to help them get the job done.

“It was a hard one to take,” added Milne. “Hibs are a very good side and an established Premiership side.

“To push them all the way and be undone like that so late is a hard one to take.

“But it’s one we can be proud of. It was a really good performance – the boys’ efforts were unbelievable.

“I remember saying to (Connor) Scully at 75 minutes that the calves were gone and I thought it was going to a replay, so imagine my shock when there’s a change of ends and it goes to extra-time.”

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