Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley praised his substitutes’ role in pushing the club into the last eight of the SPFL Trust Trophy.
Jamie Masson and Ola Adeyemo came off the bench 10 minutes into the second half and had a direct impact on helping Cove past Albion Rovers 4-1.
Masson got on the scoresheet from Adeyemo’s cross, while the former also set up one of Rory McAllister’s two goals. Mitch Megginson also ended his run of five games without a goal.
“I thought in the first half we were a bit pedestrian,” said the Cove manager. “We didn’t move the ball quick enough and the quality wasn’t good.
“The two substitutions definitely changed the game. Ola was positive and bright, he gave everybody a lift. Masson came on and got his goal and overall, in the second half, our play was much better.
“You’re in it to win it and we’ve had good draws so far. We’ve made hard work of it at times but it’s all about getting through. We know we’re at home in the next round against Rangers B or Alloa so we’ll look forward to that.
“Ola is more of a central striker but we thought we needed a bit more quality and speed in the wider areas.
“We had so many one-v-ones and we didn’t make the most of it. Bringing him on gave everyone a lift and he was coming off that side on his left foot. He made a difference for us.”
Adeyemo was making his Cove debut, having joined on a free transfer last month and looked bright operating off the right flank.
Hartley had made changes to his side to try and give more players minutes and while they laboured in the first period against the lowly League Two side, a late flurry delivered the goods.
Hartley said: “Some guys haven’t played enough, some guys have been ill. We tried to give everybody enough minutes to get themselves up to speed.
“Rory is on fire. It could have been a game we took him out and rested him but when you’re playing ever so well, you want to stay in the team.
“Strikers feed off confidence and he’s doing that just now. It was good for Mitch to get his goal as well.”
Cove had an early penalty appeal turned down, after Aron Lynas appeared to handle Harry Milne’s cross, while Callum Wilson came close at the other end after a meandering run.
The second half brought greater impetus from the hosts as Megginson glanced a header wide and Cameron Binnie clawed away Morgyn Neill’s header.
Megginson finally broke the deadlock on 78 minutes as he finished McAllister’s cross at the near post, before Cove’s leading scorer headed in Masson’s corner to double the lead.
Two soon became three as Adeyemo won possession high up the field and lifted the ball into the box, where Masson rose to power a header home.
Megginson then fed his strike partner McAllister to run clear and slot beyond Binnie for his 11th of the campaign.
Max Wright grabbed a consolation for Rovers in the last minute but Cove will advance to face either Alloa Athletic or Rangers B back at the Balmoral Stadium.
Hartley added: “We spoke about it during the week and the gameplan was to stretch the game really big. We felt we had enough supply from the wide players but it wasn’t great in the first half. The second half was much better.
“We had good quality, especially in the final period of the game. We knew if we kept our players on the pitch we could do that and we’ve got two goalscorers. They can be the difference and sometimes you’re only as good as your strikers.”