Cove Rangers boss John Sheran thought his side didn’t have luck on their side as they lost on their return to Central Park in the Betfred Cup.
Their 1-0 loss to Cowdenbeath, via an 86th minute goal from David Cox, was on the same ground where they controversially lost May’s League Two play-off final.
As things stand, it has ended their slim hopes of progression out of the league cup groups.
Nevertheless, Sheran thought his side played well and continued to build towards their Highland League title defence kicking off.
He said: “It was pretty tough going but it’s the same for both teams.
“The pitch was worse than it was at the end of the season – it was quite hard and windy as well.
“It was really difficult to play any football. I thought we were the better team and we created the openings.
“The ball just bounced the wrong way for us.
“In terms of working on fitness, it was another good exercise from that point of view, albeit with a lot of guys carrying tweaks and pains after as we’ve played a lot of games in a week.”
Cove are bottom of Group C with no points and only have League One Raith Rovers left to play.
They had already lost to Inverness Caley and Hearts, although the Jambos’ 2-1 win might not stand after they fielded ineligible Andrew Irving.
On top of three Betfred Cup games, Cove also opened their new Balmoral Stadium with an abandoned friendly against Aberdeen last Sunday.
The game ended prematurely after Jordon Brown suffered a head injury in a collision with the Dons’ Andy Considine.
Cove’s hectic schedule of late is both good and bad for his men’s fitness, according to Sheran.
He said: “You pick up little injuries like we’ve got.
“There’s a couple of guys with groin strains and tweaks to calves.
“In general our fitness looks really good. We’ve got a week to get ready for Raith Rovers and another week to get ready for the Fraserburgh game, but it does stretch things.”
Cove went down to a single goal on Saturday.
Beath’s big target man Jordyn Sheerin, who looked to be offside, got through and his shot was parried by Cove keeper Stuart McKenzie.
However, midfielder David Cox was there to smash the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
Cove had a few good attempts at registering a goal of their own at Central Park.
Midfielder Connor Scully came close but hit the bar, and striker Mitch Megginson was unlucky the ball didn’t sit down for him when in a good position in the box – it just wasn’t the Granite City team’s day.
Boss Sheran said his men will still be going all out to beat Raith Rovers and build confidence ahead of starting their league title defence, which, if successful, will earn them another attempt at reaching the Scottish league.
He said: “We try to win every game we play – we tried to win the Hearts game.
“Raith obviously had a good performance on Saturday against Hearts, and I was surprised when I saw Cowdenbeath beat them.
“But we’re moving forward, we feel as if we’re progressing as the guys have a lot of minutes under their belts now so we should be ready (for Fraserburgh) on August 4.”
On the transfer front, Sheran said he feels Cove are still a “wee bit light” and he’s still looking to add a couple more players across the team, including a utility player who can play in midfield and at the back when required.