Cove hit Fort William for six to go six points clear of Brora at Highland League summit

Cove manager John Sheran.
Cove manager John Sheran.

Cove Rangers manager John Sheran was pleased after his much-changed side extended their lead at the Highland League summit to six points against Fort William.

The Aberdeen side won 6-0 at Claggan Park, using their game in hand to put further distance between themselves and Brora with four games remaining.

Sheran, whose side remain on course to retain the league crown and earn another crack at the SPFL play-offs, said: “We were totally dominant the whole night and the surprise was it was only six.

“It was a combination of good goalkeeping and misfortune in front of goal, but we set out to get three points and that was the main thing.

“We said before the game, the goals didn’t matter. We could’ve had more, but there’s other games we could’ve had more as well.

“You can’t worry about that.”

Three of Cove’s scorers, Paul McManus (two), Jordon Brown (two) and Jordan MacRae, did not start in the 1-1 draw with Brora at Dudgeon Park on Saturday, showing the depth Sheran has at his disposal.

Ex-Hibernian and Ross County striker Martin Scott – who did start against the Cattachs – opened Cove’s account for the evening with a deflected finish.

It was his first goal for the club.

Sheran added: “There were some nice tidy finishes.”

Of rotating his squad ahead of the visit of Wick Academy to the Balmoral Stadium this weekend, the gaffer said: “We made a number of changes and tried to give some of them a rest.

“Four of them didn’t travel over to Wick at all – Mitch Megginson, Alan Redford, Ryan Strachan and Daniel Park.

“Harry’s Milne’s fit, but had an assessment at university so couldn’t get away on time.

“Some of the guys, like Blair (Yule), (Connor) Scully and (Jamie) Masson, who’d played 90 minutes the other day, we just gave them 45 minutes each.

“The idea was to keep them as fresh as possible.”

Sheran was able to give Scott 90 minutes against Fort as he continues to integrate with his new team-mates.

This was in addition to bringing in the likes of McManus, Grant Campbell, Sam Burnett and skipper Eric Watson – who have been held back by injury or the form of other players.

However, the boss said they may have put themselves in contention for the weekend with their performances.

And at this point in the campaign it is about having enough energy in the side to pick up another three points.

Sheran said: “We need to pick as fresh a squad on Saturday as possible.

“With Wick not playing last night, they have the benefit.

“We’ll look at the ones who are feeling the best.

“Martin Scott got 90 minutes, as did McManus, Campbell, Burnett, Eric. We’re trying to get everybody to the point where they can make a contribution.”