Mitch Megginson has delivered so often for Cove Rangers this season. It was fitting he helped them take the final step to promotion.
The Cove captain settled nerves and the game with his 75th-minute strike against Dumbarton, which earned the club the League One title and a third promotion in four years.
In front of 1,645 supporters it was not all plain sailing but as Cove have done often in recent weeks, they found a way to win.
The celebrations at the end on the pitch told their own story, two years on from winning a league and not being able to celebrate.
“There was pressure on us to get it done with the bumper crowd here,” said Megginson. “We’re just finally glad to get it done and lift the trophy. We work so hard to get to this point, it just becomes about grinding out games and getting results.
“To have that emotion come out of you – the special thing is doing it with this group of boys. There’s a core of us that have come up from the Highland League and the ones who have joined us have been superb. We’re all mates which makes it even more special.
“It’s a short-lived career. Not many players and teams win leagues, especially not as many as we’ve been lucky to win. You’ve got to take in every moment – you don’t know when it’s going to be your last. It’s difficult during the game but afterwards you’ve just got to soak it in and try enjoy it.”
Megginson joined Cove in 2016 after playing for Alloa Athletic, Dumbarton and Raith Rovers in the SPFL.
He has delivered goals at an incredible rate and after being named captain in 2019, has taken his game on to another level.
Many of the players have played at a higher level already in their careers, so perhaps it should not be a surprise that success in League One has come their way.
But there is a unity and camaraderie in the Cove squad which is difficult to replicate. Many of the players played youth football together at Aberdeen and while some went off and treaded their own paths, they have come back together to take Cove forward.
“I joined from the Championship and the plan was to get back to the Championship,” added Megginson. “We’ll do it next season. That was the plan when I spoke to the club; they’re an ambitious club and look after the players.
“What we’ve done three years out from the Highland League – which I thought we could achieve because of the quality in the squad – is sensational.
“We know what every player we can do. We work hard for each other and we’re mates off the park. Credit to the boys who have come in; it’s difficult to get up to our standard but they’ve done it. Every man in that squad has contributed and that’s why we’ve been so successful this year.”