Match Report | Airdrieonians 0-2 Cove Rangers

Skipper Mitch Megginson and substitute Fraser Fyvie netted late in the second half as we went to the top of cinch League One with a thoroughly deserved victory over the Diamonds at the Penny Cars Stadium.

It was a magnificent result and display against full-time opponents who had won seven of their previous nine games and began the afternoon top of the table themselves.

They were knocked off that perch by a marvelous Cove display full of guts and determination… and two goals from quality crosses.

Special mention must go to Harry Milne, the provider for one of those crosses, who completed the match sporting a bandage on his head after suffering an injury early in the first period.

But it was a day when team unity was the key, with strong goalkeeping from Stuart McKenzie, excellent defending and tireless effort from everyone who featured ensuring three points were taken from one of the most difficult venues in the division to visit.

A spate of injuries meant we had some enforced changes from the side that defeated Peterhead the previous weekend, with Connor Scully and Jevan Anderson in from the start.

During the Scottish League One game between Airdrie FC and Cove Rangers FC at The Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie, Scotland, on Saturday 20th November 2021 ( Photo by Dave Cowe )

Chances were limited in the first half, although we had by far the best of them.

The first came in the seventh minute, when Jamie Masson’s powerful 16-yard strike was beaten to safety by home keeper Max Currie.

We had a great chance to open the scoring the 12th minute, after Iain Vigurs had picked out a great run by Rory McAllister from a corner on the right.

His cross to the front post was perfect for McAllister to get on the end of, but the striker could only direct his eight-yard header over the crossbar.

Airdrie’s Rico Quitongo was booked in the 18th minute, for a foul on Megginson.

Vigurs took the kick, but his cross was cleared by the home defence.

Airdrie’s Adam Frizzell was fortunate to escape with only a booking for a shocking high challenge on Milne, in the 21st minute.

Milne suffered a head injury because of the high boot and we were forced to play with 10 men for just over six minutes while he went down the tunnel for treatment.

Left-back Milne was able to return, although his head was now heavily bandaged.

Airdrie’s only chance of the half came just after the half hour, although McKenzie had little problem clearing Callum Smith’s 16-yard shot.

The half ended with a spate of bookings.

Blair Yule earned one for a challenge on Frizzell, seconds after we were awarded a free-kick 22-yards from the Airdrie goal.

Megginson also appeared to have his name taken for dissent before Vigurs’ shot from the free-kick hit the home defensive wall and went behind for a corner.

Jamie Masson was also shown a yellow, for a late challenge on Dylan Easton, seconds before the whistle blew for half-time.

Airdrie were more adventurous in the second period and had a great opportunity to break the deadlock two minutes after the restart, when McKenzie’s clearance went straight out to Easton.

The midfielder immediately fired a powerful shot goalward from 22-yards, but McKenzie made amends by stretching to push the effort over the crossbar.

We were awarded a free-kick in the 50th minute, when Milne was tripped while making a great run down the left.

Masson took it, but his curling effort, from just outside the area, was held by Currie.

McKenzie made another important save a minute later, when he punched Easton’s corner from the left clear from inside the six-yard box.

We brought Fyvie on for Masson after 62 minutes and the former Aberdeen midfielder helped us dominate from then on.

Yule was unlucky not to put us ahead in the 73rd minute, after latching on to an excellent through ball from Vigurs.

The midfielder’s low eight-yard shot was heading in until Airdrie keeper Currie stretched his left leg to boot the ball clear.

Leighton McIntosh came on for McAllister just before we took the lead in the 78th minute…and the goal was a cracker.

Yule latched on to a weak clearance out on the right and sent over a delightful cross that MEGGINSON deftly nodded home from the edge of the six-yard box.

Cove’s Mitchel Megginson scores his team’s first goal during the Scottish League One game between Airdrie FC and Cove Rangers FC at The Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie, Scotland, on Saturday 20th November 2021 ( Photo by Dave Cowe )

The points were sealed in the 81st minute when Milne’s top-drawer cross from wide on the left bamboozled the Airdrie defence and FYVIE darted in at the front post to coolly side-foot the ball into the net.

Cove’s Fraser Fyvie scores his team’s second goal during the Scottish League One game between Airdrie FC and Cove Rangers FC at The Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie, Scotland, on Saturday 20th November 2021 ( Photo by Dave Cowe )

Airdrie piled players forward after that but, we were never in danger before the final whistle sounded and the teams left the park to the sound of the loyal band of Cove Rangers fans, who had made the trek to Lanarkshire, chanting; “We are top of the league!”

AIRDRIEONIANS: Currie, McInroy, Quitongo (S McGill 82), Easton, Watson (Allan 82), Fordyce, Smith, Frizzell (G McGill 73), Gallagher, Agnew, McCabe.

Subs: Cantley, Lyons, McDonald, Walker.

COVE RANGERS: McKenzie, Neill, Milne, Scully, Strachan, Yule, Megginson (Robertson 88), Masson (Fyvie 62), McAllister (McIntosh 77), Anderson, Vigurs.

Subs:  Adeyemo, Gourlay.

Referee: Craig Napier.