League One leaders Cove Rangers returned to winning ways with an excellent performance against Falkirk at Balmoral Stadium in a match that saw visiting keeper Robbie Mutch stand between his side and a real rout.
The home side, playing in front of their biggest crowd of the season with 1101 through the turnstiles, went in front in the 24th minute when Fraser Fyvie, who was immense throughout, played in Mitch Megginson, who lashed home an unstoppable effort for his 17th goal of the season.
In 64 minutes, it was roles reversed with Megginson turning provider, his ball from the right being struck home by Fyvie.
With 13 minutes to go, the Bairns were reduced to ten men when defender Brad McKay was shown a straight red for violent conduct during a melee in the Cove penalty area and thereafter it was all Cove, with Mutch preventing Fyvie, Megginson, Harry Milne and Ryan Strachan from adding a third.
An extremely satisfied Paul Hartley was effusive in his praise after the full-time whistle.
He said: “I thought we were terrific, from the first minute to the last I thought we controlled the game, even when it was 11 against 11 we were in control.
“It was a top performance and I’m leaving good players out, I didn’t have to make any changes because we were playing that well.
“So really pleasing, it was more like us, how we play, the combination, speed of our play, defensively as a unit and organisation. It was a good day for us.”
With Rory McAllister missing through injury, Fraser Fyvie played in a more advanced role and the Cove boss was delighted the move paid dividends.
🗣 The manager shared his thoughts following our 2-0 victory over the Bairns this afternoon
Listen here 👇 pic.twitter.com/5noFbW9Pgc
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) February 19, 2022
He said: “He was really good but we spoke last week after the game about maybe looking at Fraser playing further forward.
“It was something we worked on in training this week, we know he can play as he’s a terrific player.
“He had some good opportunities in the first half but didn’t hit the target and I said to hime at half-time, make sure the next chance you get, you hit the target and it was a great finish.
“At the back we brough Ryan Strachan in, and it brings that bit of order and calmness to the team and you’ve got Mark Reynolds so a really good day for us, a top team performance.
“It’s ten games to go, every one will be hard, everyone has something to play for so we’ve just got to take it a game at a time and keep performing as well as we can.”
Fraser Fyvie echoed his manager’s feelings.
He said: “I thought it was really good. We had set up all week to work on it and managed to put the game plan in today and after the last few weeks coming off the back of three draws, I thought we put in the really good professional performance that we needed.
“One assist and one goal, I’ll take that all day but I think it’s more important to get the three points on the board and the team performance was great which was very pleasing.”