Mitch Megginson had no words for the penalty miss that cost him a hat-trick in Cove Rangers’ 3-1 win over East Fife.
A brace from Megginson and a third from Leighton McIntosh meant Jack Hamilton’s strike for the visitors, who had Danny Denholm and Aaron Densmore sent off, mattered little.
But a first-half penalty miss, after Jamie Masson had been clipped in the box, could have given Megginson a treble on Cove’s debut in League 1.
Megginson was also clattered by Denholm in the first half, which resulted in the East Fife midfielder being shown a straight red card by referee Gavin Ross.
Megginson said: “I had an eventful game, but the main thing was we got three points.
“I’ve got no words for the penalty – it was a poor penalty. I just have to put it away now.
“The referee got the red card right. He’s taken a poor touch and come up quite high on my shin, so luckily I’d seen it coming and was able to get out of the way of it. There’s not too much damage.
“The first goal we’d worked on, getting across the front post, and it was a great ball by Scott (Ross). It’s gone off my chest and gone in. The second one was just typical of one of my goals: being in the right place and finishing it well.”
The victory was Cove’s 15th consecutive league win at the Balmoral Stadium, with Megginson marking their League 2 triumph before the game by raising the championship flag.
His first sight at goal came from 12 yards when Chris Higgins was adjudged to have brought down Masson in the box. Normally clinical from 12 yards, Megginson blazed the penalty high over the top.
Mere minutes later he was then clattered into by Denholm, with Gavin Ross quick on the scene to issue the red, and on 39 minutes he had the home side in front.
Scott Ross’s cross was perfect and Megginson stole in front of his man to turn the ball past Brett Long.
East Fife were given little time to regroup and should have been further behind 15 seconds into the second half, with Jamie Semple shooting wide after Megginson played him in.
They did get the second before the hour though, with McIntosh getting the better of Patrick Slattery to tee up Megginson to finish.
A slack pass from Scott Ross allowed Hamilton a clear run at goal and he tucked the ball beyond Stuart McKenzie, before McIntosh reacted fastest to Long parrying Masson’s attempt to seal the victory.
There was time for Dunsmore to pick up his second booking for a foul on Connor Scully, compounding the visitors’ forgettable afternoon. The result puts Cove top of League 1 on the first day, with Falkirk, Clyde and Airdrieonians also picking up three points.
Megginson added: “We dominated it and we’re probably a bit disappointed we didn’t get more goals. We should have won by more with the chances we created.
“The first game is one everyone is always buzzing for. The performance was good and it’s something we just need to keep working on and keep the home record.”