COVE RANGERS 0–6 QUEEN’S PARK
Paul Hartley’s return ended in the worst possible way as table-topping Queen’s Park romped to victory, with Simon Murray helping himself to a four-goal haul.
With Jack Sanders having been recalled by Kilmarnock, Mark Reynolds recovering from illness, and Shay Logan, Evan Towler, Gerry McDonagh and Charlie Gilmour out injured, Paul reverted to the back three set-up which had served him so well last time round.
Leighton McIntosh also dropped out from the defeat in Inverness, while Morgyn Neill and Kyle McClelland returned, and Cieran Dunne was handed his first start since mid-October. Declan Glass, signed yesterday on loan from Dundee United, went straight into the side.
Queen’s began the game on the front foot, Thomas the first to threaten with a twenty-yard shot which McKenzie dived to his right to gather.
We countered when Mitch Megginson drifted wide to collect a long ball and fed in Cieran Dunne, but the wing-back’s cross was deflected and Ferrie pounced to catch it.
The opener came in the eleventh minute, and in bizarre circumstances. McClelland’s pass back had Stuart McKenzie scrambling a bit, and when the keeper attempted to clear, Simon MURRAY stuck out his foot and deflected the ball back into the net.
The home side looked to hit back quickly, but after a strong run, Cieran Dunne overhit his pass and Ferrie raced from his line to collect. McClelland then sent a long pass forward, Yule controlled it on his chest and fed in Megginson, and the captain linked-up with Declan Glass, who was blocked off. The ball went wide again, Yule whipped it in, but from six yards out Glass could only head over the bar.
Cove were much more in the game now, but lacked a killer touch in the final third, and passes were failing to find their intended targets. Glass attempted to find the equaliser from thirty yards, but his shot rose high over the crossbar.
In the thirty-first minute the Glasgow side doubled their advantage. Murray held up the ball inside the box despite being under pressure, and when he rolled it back to the edge of the area Jake DAVIDSON caught it perfectly first time, his low drive flashing into the bottom corner.
Megginson shot wide from eighteen yards, then Yule fired in a dangerous cross which Kilday got a toe to, but within minutes Queen’s Park had punished them at the other end.
Savoury worked an opening and passed into the box where Simon MURRAY shrugged off a couple of challenges before shooting low into the net.
Paul Hartley shuffled his pack after the interval, Luis Longstaff moving wide, Blair Yule taking up a central midfield role and Fraser Fyvie pushing up alongside Glass in support of Megginson.
Queen’s very nearly made it four within minutes of the restart. Savoury played in a low cross, but from eight yards Thomson’s shot hit the bar and flew over.
Fox was booked for a scything tackle on Fraser Fyvie, and after two separate bouts of treatment, the midfielder limped off to be replaced by Leighton McIntosh.
Any thoughts of a Cove comeback were swept away as the visitors scored twice in three minutes.
Firstly, Simon MURRAY stepped away from his marker at the back post to volley home, then soon after he found even more space to smash the ball low past McKenzie.
We came close to snatching a consolation goal in the sixty-ninth minute. Declan Glass floated a corner beyond the back past and Scott Ross’ looping header looked goal bound, only for Fox to head it off the line.
The final goal of the match came at the other end. Dom Thomas saw his shot blocked at the edge of the box, but the ball fell for Grant SAVOURY, and he pounced quickly to send a low angled shot beyond McKenzie.
There was a final flurry from the boys, but Connor Scully’s long-range effort was saved comfortably.
One to forget for all connected with Cove, and a lot of hard work ahead next week in preparation for the visit of Raith Rovers.
COVE RANGERS (3-4-2-1): McKenzie; Ross, Neill, McClelland; Yule, Scully, Fyvie (McIntosh 56), Dunne; Longstaff, Glass (Masson 71); Megginson (c)
Substitutes: Gourlay, Vigurs, Leitch
Booked: Glass (60), Yule (66), McClelland (65)
QUEEN’S PARK (4-2-3-1): Ferrie; Davidson, Kilday, Fox, Robson; Thomson (Biggar 83), Boateng; Thomas (Healy 78), Savoury (Jarret 78), McPake (Longridge 78); Murray (c) (Williamson 71)
Substitutes: Herraghty, Naismith, Bannon, Eze,
Goalscorers: Murray (12, 38, 62, 65), Davidson (30), Savoury (77)
Booked: Fox (53)
Referee: David Dickinson