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Cove and Peterhead earn a share of the spoils; Elgin City produce dominant display

Paul Hartley's side followed up their Scottish Cup victory at Brora Rangers with a 2-2 draw with Stirling Albion.

Peterhead's Rory McAllister celebrates his equaliser from the penalty spot. Image: Duncan Brown.
Peterhead's Rory McAllister celebrates his equaliser from the penalty spot. Image: Duncan Brown.

Cove Rangers stalwart Connor Scully only had eyes for the bubble bath after a topsy-turvy 2-2 draw with Stirling Albion ended a gruelling week for the Balmoral side.

Tuesday’s extra-time Scottish Cup success in Brora was followed up with the trip to Stirling, with Paul Hartley’s charges having to come from behind twice to snatch a point.

It was a familiar tale for Cove, with the entertaining clash following the same pattern as the sides’ previous meeting at Forthbank where Scully’s late goal claimed a share of the spoils that evening.

This time, goals from strike duo Rumarn Burrell and Mitch Megginson cancelled out a Dale Carrick double for the hosts.

The midfielder, making his 214th appearance for Cove, said: “I think we’ll take a point away from home any day of the week, there were a couple of slack goals on our behalf but I thought we created good opportunities in the second half.

“It was tough to keep up with the game at times after playing 120 minutes on Tuesday.

“That’s what a lot of the games are like in this league, a lot of back and forth and we came down here knowing it was going to be tough because it always has been against Stirling.

“It’s totally different playing on two grass pitches compared to being on the astro, so the legs have definitely taken a bit of a battering this week and I’m just glad to go home and get into a bath tonight.”

Both sides had chances in the early stages, with Jack Leitch volleying over an opportunity for the hosts before Blair Yule’s deflected strike forced a good save from namesake Currie in the Stirling goal.

Cove Rangers' Connor Scully
Connor Scully in action for Cove. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.

Stirling took the lead via the penalty spot on 37 minutes, Carrick drilling home a low spot kick after Cove keeper Nick Suman was adjudged to have brought down Leitch.

Cove came out of the traps well in the second period and got their reward on the hour, Megginson lofting a shot high beyond Currie after latching on to Burrell’s cross.

The home side hit back three minutes later, Carrick doubling his tally with a heavily deflected 25-yard shot which looped over Suman.

Burrell then took his personal tally to 18 for the league season on 69 minutes, swivelling on the edge of the Stirling box before planting a low shot into the net.

Cove boss Hartley said: “We didn’t start the game well, I thought we were off it in every department.

“We came in probably lucky at 1-0 at half time but we should great character and good play in the second half which was pleasing. Coming back twice showed we have a lot of character and quality within the group.”

Clyde 1-1 Peterhead

Jordon Brown reckons Peterhead got lucky to leave New Douglas Park with a point after a last-ditch spot-kick denied relegation-threatened Clyde only a third win of the campaign.

The Blue Toon were nowhere near their best against a side scrapping for League Two survival and looked to be heading to defeat when they were unable to find a response to Barry Cuddihy’s first-half opener for the hosts.

However, when Liam Scullion was penalised for handball in the box five minutes into stoppage time, substitute Rory McAllister held his nerve to score from the spot.

Co-manager Brown said: “I thought from our point of view we were poor second half.

“Im the first half we dominated the ball like we have done a lot of the season without creating too much.

“Then we gave up too many chances to Clyde and they got a goal, and it’s exactly what they want when they’re fighting for their life.

“That makes it a difficult game for us and second half we’ve thrown as many bodies on as we can to get an equaliser and we are lucky it has come in the end.

“Overall it’s disappointing because it’s a big pitch and we have to use it to our advantage and I don’t think we did that.”

Peter Pawlett on the ball for Peterhead against Clyde. Image: Duncan Brown.

After a cagey start the visitors were first to muster a shot on target on 19 minutes but Jack Brown’s 20-yard effort was comfortably saved by Neil Parry.

Craig Howie made a last-ditch tackle on Peter Pawlett who looked to be clean through and from the resulting corner Ryan Strachan headed just over.

The Bully Wee came into it in the closing stages of the first half, Scullion giving a hint of things to come when his long-range shot forced Stuart McKenzie’s first save of the match.

The Blue Toon keeper was beaten two minutes from the break when Scullion fed Barry Cuddihy whose 20-yard shot found the bottom corner.

Parry made a fine save to deny Conor O’Keefe and preserve Clyde’s lead before Cuddihy was denied a second by McKenzie’s smart stop as both sides made an enterprising start to the second half.

The visitors struggled to create clear-cut chances as the half wore on and Clyde had the ball in the net again only for the effort to be ruled offside.

And Brown’s side took advantage through McAllister’s penalty at the death.

Peterhead play a friendly against Falkirk on Friday before returning to league action at Forfar the following weekend and Brown added: “It’s another tough away game next so we have a got a bounce game with Falkirk on Friday that we will go and play and get minutes in boys’ legs and hopefully we will be ready to go again in a couple of weeks.”

Elgin City 1-0 East Fife

A dominant Elgin City performance pleased manager Allan Hale as Brian Cameron’s first half goal was enough to defeat East Fife.

City won for the second match running to climb up to eighth in League 2, and could even go fifth if they win at Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic on Tuesday night.

“It was very controlled today,” Hale said.

“The pleasing thing is there’s a lot of disappointed players in the dressing room that we’ve only won the game 1-0 and didn’t take advantage of the control that we had in the game and the opportunities we had.

“We created enough opportunities to win by at least another goal.”

Hale started with Robert Jones, promoted from his substitute appearance in the midweek win over Clyde with Caley Thistle loanee Keith Bray dropped to the bench.

East Fife were dealt an injury blow in the warm-up when captain Stewart Murdoch pulled up and had to be replaced in defence by Sean Docherty.

A solid City start saw Ross Draper’s third minute strike saved by keeper Allan Fleming, while Brian Cameron’s net-bound shot two minutes later was deflected on the goaline for a corner.

Draper had the ball in the East Fife net on eight minutes with a close range header but his celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.

Mitch Taylor forced another Fleming save with a 25-yard free kick seven minutes before half time.

It looked like City’s dominance would go unrewarded until they struck the opener on 43 minutes.

A corner kick fell to Draper on the edge of the box and he struck against the post, with Cameron following up to stroke home from a tight angle.

The home domination continued after the break, with Dayshonne Golding and Mitch Taylor both firing over.

Golding cut across the edge of the box on 63 minutes and fired a left foot drive which Fleming did well to touch over.

East Fife barely carried a threat but the precarious nature of Elgin’s lead was highlighted ten minutes from time when their goalkeeper Thomas McHale had to pull off an outstanding save to keep out Nathan Austin’s diving header.

On-loan Cove Rangers man Mark Gallagher should have sealed victory right at the end when he went one-on-one with keeper Fleming, who dived to save at his feet as the midfielder tried to round him.