Cove Rangers boss John Sheran complimented Deveronvale’s battlers after his side reached a third consecutive Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup final – and he’ll be hoping its third time lucky.
Sheran’s side, who weren’t at their best for 90 minutes, needed extra-time to dispatch the Vale 3-1 at Princess Royal Park.
In the additional half hour, Cove found an extra gear and struck twice, with the first from veteran defender Alan Redford, as the Banffers tired to seal a final against Banks o’ Dee on October 6.
Sheran said: “We didn’t play particularly well, but the credit for that partly goes to Deveronvale – they worked really hard.
“You could see they were playing with a lot of pride and they made it difficult for us to try and get the ball down and play. We’re just pleased to get through to a final.
“We could’ve done without the 120 minutes, but the two goals made it relatively straight forward.”
He added: “We had a chance to win it ourselves and then they go up and score (the equaliser in regular time).
“You just had a feeling it was one of those nights.”
There were few notable incidents in a scrappy, low-quality opening 45 minutes.
The home side continued to push back against the Highland League champions after the interval, but on 58 minutes, Cove’s Mitch Megginson broke and a deflection on his near post shot off the inside of Kyle Willox’s right leg took the ball past keeper Errol Watson.
Tackles began flying in as Steve Dolan’s men refused to give up the tie, and with just a couple of minutes left Matthew Wallace bundled in a Robert Allan corner from the right to equalise.
Unfortunately for the home side, Cove were themselves once referee Billy Baxter commenced with extra-time, and Vale looked tired.
Megginson had an effort blocked in the box which substitute Alan Redford steamed into the box to slam home from close range, before another replacement, Hamish MacLeod, hit a shot straight through Watson’s hands high into the Banffers’ goal.