COVE RANGERS 0–2 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH
The team’s winless run extended to five games as Queens took all three points with a goal in each half. We were unlucky to have what looked a perfectly good equaliser ruled out, but that apart, failed to seriously trouble the visiting defence often enough.
There were four changes from the loss in Hamilton a fortnight ago with Mikey Doyle suspended, Kyle Connell and Josh Kerr dropping out, and Mark Gallagher having joined Elgin City on loan.
After signing for the club during the week, Matty Shiels and Ola Lawal came in for their debuts, Cameron Stewart was back in, and Mitch Megginson returned from illness, as did Paul McGowan, who took a place on the bench.
It was a bright enough start by Cove, Lawal and Burrell each finding space in the box before being closed down, then after good link-up between Scully and Shiels, Yule sent in a cross from the right, but the wind carried the ball over the bar at the back post.
Queens won successive corners in the ninth minute, and from the second of those, good work in midfield by Sena set Darge rampaging down the right wing. He passed to Yule and the midfielder’s delivery was inviting, but gathered by keeper Stone.
Out of nowhere, the visitors suddenly took the lead with a freak goal. Yule conceded a free-kick, and when Connelly fired it in, the ball skidded off Darge’s head and rebounded from the back post. Scully was first to react and made the clearance, but it cannoned off the face of Jack BRYDON and flew past Suman from close range.
Cove were enjoying plenty possession, probing down both wings, but unable to create many clear-cut openings. One almost arose in the twenty-second minute when Megginson flicked on for Burrell, but as Rumarn seemed set to run clear, Ambrose got a toe on the ball to knock it to safety.
Shiels then sent in a decent cross for Megginson, who was crowded out, before Sena shot high over from thirty yards.
Megginson’s delivery from the left found the head of Yule, sparking uncertainty in the Queens defence, but Brydon was able to scramble the ball away, then Lawal sent in a cross which Burrell, in the six yard box, only just failed to connect with.
As the half moved into stoppage time, Ferguson created space for himself twenty yards out to curl in a fine effort, Suman diving to his right to make an excellent save, tipping the ball behind for a corner.
Burrell was closed down in the area having found himself in a promising position, then Yule fired in another decent cross, Ambrose heading it clear with Burrell waiting to nod the ball home.
Having suffered an eye injury just before the interval, Mitch Megginson had to be withdrawn for the second half, Connell his replacement, and Queens were also forced into making a change, Botterill taking over from Stone in goal.
Shiels sent in an inviting cross which caused mayhem, the keeper spilling the ball, but Ambrose took charge and lashed it to safety.
Connor Scully then delivered from the left, Botterill being more commanding as he got to the cross just before Burrell could pounce. There was a better opportunity soon after when Shiels played the ball in and McClelland failed to deal with it. Burrell nipped in behind, his first effort blocked by the goalkeeper who was up quickly to punch it away after the striker had fastened on to the rebound.
Scully played a superb long ball down the left in behind the Queens back line, Burrell getting on to it and firing in the cross, but McClelland blocked the ball.
On the hour mark, it appeared we had levelled the game. Yule’s pass found Burrell, who turned, and was brought down twenty-three yards out. Connell fired his free-kick under the wall, and when the ball rebounded off the post, Cameron Stewart reacted first to force it home. Cove celebrations were however cut short by a very late flag from far side assistant, Abbie Hendry. It looked, at best, a debatable decision.
Yule and Darge kept up the pressure down the right, Arron’s low cross being cut out by Ambrose, then we were caught out by a sucker punch. From our corner, Queens suddenly found themselves with a 3 v. 1 counter-attack. Darge attempted to close it down, but the ball was rolled through to Kyle DOHERTY who confidently clipped it over the advancing Suman.
We offered little thereafter, our only further attempt on goal being a thirty yard shot from Mark Reynolds which was easily saved.
A disappointing afternoon at Balmoral ended with the team failing to score for a third straight game, the only minor positive on the day being the fact that results elsewhere mean we retain a six point advantage in third place.
COVE RANGERS (4-4-2): Suman; Darge, Stewart, Reynolds, Shiels; Yule, Sena, Lawal, (McGowan 70), Scully; Burrell, Megginson (c) (Connell 46)
Substitutes: Robertson, Jones, Gillingham, Kerr
Booked: Sena (23)
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH (3-5-2): Stone (Botterill 46); Ambrose, McClelland; Logan, Brydon, Ferguson, McKay, Johnstone (McGuffie 66), Gibson (McKechnie 87); Connelly (Ross 90), Doherty (Reilly 66)
Substitutes: MacIntyre, Cochrane, Walker, Hutchinson
Goalscorers: Brydon (13), Doherty (65)
Booked: Connelly (78), Ferguson (83)
Referee: Greg Soutar
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