Cove Rangers 7-2 Turriff United

Cove Rangers saw off the threat posed by Turriff United, and although the scoreline suggests it was a comfortable night for the champions at Rainbow Taxis Park, they were made to work hard for the three points – having to come from behind twice to level proceedings in a tight first-half.

United took a surprise lead on 12 minutes, when a ball whipped in from the right found Leigh Henderson and his flick on was met by the darting run of Andrew Hutchison, who directed a header into the back of the net from six yards.

Seven minutes later, Kevin Webster equalised for the home side with a piece of individual brilliance. After receiving a ball from Murray McCulloch, he cut inside with an intricate flick past Hutchison and curled a beautiful left-footed shot high into the corner of the net.

Turriff responded accordingly though as Dave McKenzie’s shot from the edge of the box was parried by to his left by Stuart McKenzie in the Cove goal, but the ball fell into the path of the hovering Grant Noble, and the forward tucked home from close range.

However, the visitors’ joy was short lived as Cove equalised – with Webster again heavily involved. A marauding run into the box saw him sidestep three defenders before cutting the ball across goal where Martin Johnston was on hand to stab home from 12 yards.

Half time: Cove Rangers 2 Turriff United 2

Cove took the lead for the first time in the game on 61 minutes when a cross into the danger area by Webster found Danny Milne unmarked at the far post. He was presented with the time and space to chest the ball down before rifling under the legs of Turriff goalkeeper Ross Buchanan.

Just four minutes later, the hosts were two goals ahead, with Kevin Webster claiming his second of the night. The influential Webster converted from the penalty spot after Barrie Stephen’s progress in the box had been halted by Michael Ralton.

United’s contribution to the match was not halted by this quickfire set-back however, and on 67 minutes substitute Martin McLeod was desperately unlucky not to pull one back. After sidestepping ‘keeper McKenzie, McLeod found his shot cleared off the line by the covering Neil Cruikshank.

Cove sealed the win on 82 minutes when substitute Dean Lawrie hit the by-line before playing a ball across to the near post where Danny Milne was on hand to head the past Buchanan for his second goal of the evening.

Just three minutes later, Cove substitute Robbie Henderson added insult to injury for Turriff as he found himself clean through on goal from Jamie Buchan’s long ball forward, and he made no mistake in beating Buchanan with a slide rule finish.

Cove put the icing on the cake in the dying seconds, amidst a highly controversial incident. Turriff’s Darren McAllister was shown a red card for conceding a penalty, that the visitors’ claimed had been committed outside the box. In Webster’s absence, it was Danny Milne who stepped up to complete his hat-trick, firing the ball beyond a shell-shocked Buchanan.

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