Cove Rangers edged out Montrose 1-0 to record their fifth win in a row and stretch their unbeaten run to eight matches.
Rumarn Burrell’s ninth goal of the season was the difference between the sides in a keenly competitive League One encounter at Balmoral Stadium.
Cove carved out several good chances in the first half to deservedly lead at the break before standing firm in the face of strong Montrose pressure to claim all three points.
The victory takes Paul Hartley’s side to within eight points of second placed Hamilton Accies.
Even encounter at Balmoral Stadium
Cove boss Paul Hartley made one change to side which won 1-0 at Kelty Hearts on Saturday for the visit of the Gable Endies with Scott Williamson replacing captain Mitch Megginson in the starting line-up.
Midfielder Fraser Fyvie was captain in Megginson’s absence and he had the first chance of the game when he fired in a low drive from the edge of the box which was held by visiting goalkeeper Cammy Gill.
Cove kept the pressure on and Williamson ran on to a Burrell flick-on before firing into the side-netting.
But the home side were fortunate not to fall behind in the 12th minute as Burrell’s attempted pass back to his defence sent Montrose striker Kane Hester through on goal.
Nick Suman got to the ball just before the former Elgin striker who was booked for his challenge on the Cove goalkeeper.
The Gable Endies took encouragement from their chance and Suman did well to turn a powerful drive from Craig Brown past the post.
It was end to end in the opening 20 minutes and Montrose keeper Gill made a terrific save to deny Williamson from converting Burrell’s low cross from close range.
Burrell a constant threat
Burrell created another chance for Blair Yule but the midfielder’s finish lacked the power to trouble Gill.
Montrose had a chance to break the deadlock in the 36th minute when Michael Gardyne’s corner found Blair Lyons free at the back post but Lyons blasted his effort over the crossbar.
The home side punished the visitors for not taking their chance by opening the scoring in first-half stoppage time.
Montrose were down to 10 men as Kerr Waddell received treatment and Cove made their extra-man advantage count as Connor Scully’s delivery into the box was flicked on by Mark Reynolds to Burrell who beat Gill from close range.
Cove withstand second half pressure
Montrose put the Cove defence under pressure in the second half but the visitors failed to trouble Suman in the home goal.
Miller Thomson had a chance on the edge of the box but he opted for power and lashed his effort wide of goal.
Suman then parried a Thomson cross which fell to Andrew Steeves on the edge of the box but the Montrose captain’s shot was blocked.
Cove stood firm before pushing Montrose back in the closing stages and visiting goalkeeper Gill did well to tip away a Fyvie free kick.
Montrose mounted a late rally in the hope of forcing an equaliser but Cove repelled all the visitors could muster to secure victory.