Evening Express

Cove bidding to reach third Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup final in row

Cove's Harry Milne, left, in action.

Harry Milne and Cove Rangers want to make up for losing the last two Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup finals by winning the tournament this season.

The Highland League champions take on Deveronvale at Princess Royal Park in the semi-final tonight.

Cove have been in the last two Shire Cup finals but last year were beaten 1-0 by Formartine United and in 2016 lost 5-4 on penalties to Buckie Thistle after a 2-2 draw.

Milne says those defeats are giving the Aberdeen team extra motivation to win the competition this season.

He said: “When we played Formartine in the last round, losing the final to them last year did give us motivation.

“It’s something we want to win, the Aberdeenshire Cup; we want to win everything but, realistically, we maybe want this cup more because of being beaten in the last couple of years.

“We’ve shown we can get to the final and we want to prove ourselves and show that we can win it.

“We should have won the Buckie game two years ago and then against Formartine last year we didn’t play very well.

“They executed their game plan well that day so credit to them. “But we’re looking to win it this year – but it all starts against Deveronvale and we need to play well against them.”

Cove have started the season with eight wins from eight Highland League games.

On Saturday they twice came from behind to beat Strathspey Thistle 3-2 and Milne says reaching the final of the Shire Cup would top off their excellent start to the campaign.

He added: “It would make it an even better start and we fancy ourselves with the teams that are left. It’s a good opportunity for us to do something in the tournament. “We know it won’t be easy but we have confidence.

“We’re chuffed with the start. Saturday, against Strathspey, was probably our worst performance of the season.

“In previous years we might not have come away with the win on Saturday.

“It was good character we showed and we dominated the game and came away with three points.

“We’re all delighted with the start we’ve made. We’ve got two games this week and then a free weekend with the Scottish Cup first round so if we could get two wins we’d be happy with that.”

Vale boss Steve Dolan will be looking for an improvement from the Banffers after they were beaten 3-0 by rivals Buckie Thistle on Saturday.

It’s the second year in a row Dolan’s men have reached the Shire Cup semi-final. Last term they faced Cove at the last four stage of the tournament and were beaten 5-0.

Despite that, Milne does not expect an easy encounter this evening at Princess Royal Park.

He said: “What you usually get with them is that they are organised and have a lot of energy.

“We’ll go up there and most people will expect us to win but it’s up to us to actually do it.

“It’s a semi-final and no matter what tournament it is, everyone wants to be in the final so they’ll be up for it and we’ll be up for it.”