Cove Rangers secured back-to-back League One wins for the first time this season as they defeated Queen of the South 1-0 at Palmerston Park.
Rumarn Burrell’s 83rd-minute goal was enough for Cove to win back-to-back league matches for the first time since October 2022 – which was during Jim McIntyre’s tenure.
Paul Hartley’s side are now unbeaten in their last five League One games and sit sixth in the table with 13 points and with a game in hand over Stirling Albion above them, who are fifth with only one point more.
The Cove boss was delighted with his side’s display in Dumfries, as he said: “I thought we played well. We controlled the game and it was a really good away performance.
“We were a wee bit wasteful with the final ball, but the build-up play was really good and in the second half we were in total command of the game.
“We created good opportunities and they had a couple chances, but Nick (Suman) made a couple of really excellent saves.
“I said at half-time that I thought one goal would win the game. Fortunately for us, we managed to get that, and I think we worked really well as a unit to see the game out.
“We’re five unbeaten now and it’s our first back-to-back wins in a year, so it gives you that bit more confidence. I’m really pleased.
“The top two are where they are in this league because they’ve been the most consistent, but we’ve just got to keep getting the results and that’ll push us right into the top four – and we’ve got a game in hand.
“We’re building and there’s been a lot of good work done in the last five games. We have to keep putting the foot to the floor and picking up the results.”
Hartley impressed with trialist and substitute displays
Hartley named trialist Michael Doyle in Cove’s starting XI – and says he will be having imminent discussions with the defender about his potential future at the club.
He said: “I worked with Michael at Alloa for three years.
“He’s been out with an injury during the summer, but we were really pleased with his performance.
“We’ll have a word with him and see where we are at. If we can do something then it strengthens us because he’s got great experience. He knows the league really well.
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) October 28, 2023
“I’ve worked with him before and I know him well. I like his character.
“He’s a bubbly person, a good motivator, a good organiser and he knows how to defend.”
Second-half substitute Burrell netted the winner with his seventh goal of the season, but could have got on the scoresheet almost immediately after entering the fray at Palmerston.
Hartley said: “The substitutes are there to make an impact.
“Not everybody is going to play every week and there is going to be different personnel because there are different kinds of games and opposition in this league.
“We felt we had to go with a different two on Saturday, but Rumarn came up with a good answer when he came on.”
Cove have given keeper Suman his love of football back
The 1-0 win also marked a first Cove clean sheet for summer signing goalkeeper Suman, who produced two excellent saves to help ensure the three points.
Before Cove took the lead, the Australian shot-stopper made a fine stop to deny Paul McKay, before denying Kyle Docherty’s rebounded effort from the same attacking move.
Suman said: “It’s what we’ve been looking for. We’ve been talking about it week in and week out because clean sheets are what win games and win championships.
“We’ve just got to keep moving forward and keep building on it. We’ve been a little bit sloppy here and there, but we’re building on it each week and you can see we’re getting much more disciplined at the back now.
“I’m loving it. It’s probably been the spark for getting my love of football back.
“It’s good to be playing games again and winning, which is the most important thing.”