Megginson: Cove still have a lot to play-off for after clinching Highland League title

The Cove team and management celebrate winning the title at Forres.
The Cove team and management celebrate winning the title at Forres.

MItch Megginson was delighted to clinch the Highland League title – but insists there is more to come from Cove Rangers as they target promotion.

A 1-0 win against Forres Mechanics at Mosset Park meant the Granite City outfit retained their title with a game to spare.

After Saturday’s final league game against Clachnacuddin at Balmoral Stadium Cove’s attention will turn to the pyramid play-offs.

They face Lowland League champions East Kilbride on April 27 and May 4 for the right to face League Two’s bottom side.

Megginson, whose goal won the clash with the Can-Cans, said: “It means a lot to win the Highland League again. It was what we set out to do at the start of the season.

“Our aim is to get promoted and the way to do that is to win the league.

“It’s a long hard season and a tough league to win but the boys have been magnificent all season.

“We’re thrilled to win the league. The celebrations were subdued to an extent because we’ve got more to come.

“The aim is to get into League Two and this is part one.

“I feel we have strengthened since last season and have more experience so we’re looking forward to the play-offs.”

Megginson’s first-half strike against Forres was his 46th of the campaign and he hopes he can add to the tally during the play-offs.

Mitchel Megginson is harried by Ryan Farquhar of Forres during the first half.

The striker added: “For the goal it was great play to get the ball out to Daniel Park and he did what he does best and put in a superb ball.

“It was on a plate for me, but you still have to be there and it’s 46 now for the season.

“I got 50 last season and I’m hoping to get close to that before the end of the season.

“But our main aim is to get up to League Two. If I can get the goals as we try to do that it will be good.

“We had a tough game on Saturday because Forres are a cracking team.

“They are trying to finish fifth and always give us a hard game.

“We got a goal and then managed to see it out and I thought the boys defended brilliantly.”

In the first half Megginson spurned a couple of half chances but put Cove ahead on 24 minutes.

Connor Scully’s switch of play found Daniel Park on the right. The winger tricked his way inside Callum Howarth and his fizzing low cross was tucked home by Megginson from six yards.

At the other end goalie Stuart McKenzie tipped a long ranger from Andrew MacRae wide and smothered a Ross MacPherson effort after dropping Robbie Duncanson’s free-kick.

Chances were at a premium in the second half but Park hit the right post on 71 minutes after connecting with Martin Scott’s left-wing cross. After that Cove saw the game out to retain their title.

Manager John Sheran said: “This isn’t the end – this is only the start. We’ve got more tough games coming up.

“We know East Kilbride are a good side full of SPFL experience and we will need to play well against them.

“We’ve had a couple of looks at them already and we know they are an excellent team so it’s going to be tough.

“The determination is there for us to go up – but East Kilbride will have it as well.

“We will need to play our absolute best and every player will need to deliver a 10/10 performance.

“It’s fantastic to win the league. last year was a bit more of an anti-climax because everyone was saying for weeks we were going to win it.

“But Brora have pushed us to the second last game so great credit goes to Steven Mackay and his team for that.

“We’re pleased we won it ourselves and didn’t rely on them dropping points or anything.

“I think Brora’s challenge has stretched us in terms of our performances and we’ve had to dig in and grind out results.

“Teams have set up to stop us playing and you just have to grind.

“On Saturday the goal was one bit of quality in the game with Parky’s touch and cross and Megginson’s finish.”