Cove Rangers warmed up for their Scottish Cup trip to Ibrox on Sunday with an excellent 2-0 win against Airdrie last night.
Paul Hartley’s side were dominant from start to finish in an impressive display and the only frustration for the Cove boss will be that his side did not win by more.
The home side hit the woodwork twice and missed several other great chances to break the deadlock before two quick goals from substitute Jamie Masson put the League Two champions on the road to victory which keeps them in second place in the division.
Following draws at Partick Thistle and East Fife since League One action resumed, Cove were eager to make their home advantage count on their return to Balmoral Stadium and they wasted little time in putting the Diamonds under pressure.
Airdrie goalkeeper Max Currie was forced into an early save to tip Fraser Fyvie’s 20 yard strike over the crossbar and from the resulting corner Scott Ross saw his header come back off the post.
The visitors were forced to play on the counter and they came close to an opener through Kyle Connell but his shot was blocked by Ross Graham.
Cove were finding success in the wide areas and Seb Ross did well to fire in a powerful effort but again Currie did well to save the shot.
The pressure towards Airdrie was unrelenting and Cove hit the woodwork again when Fyvie struck the crossbar from 25 yards from a free kick after captain Mitch Megginson had been fouled.
Fyvie then had an appeal for a goal denied on the stroke of half-time when Currie saved his close range effort from a Megginson cross on the line. It looked close but Fyvie would have avoided any doubt had he connected properly with the ball.
The Cove pressure continued after the break and Seb Ross wasted a great chance to open the scoring when he turned away from his marker but with Currie to beat he fired straight at the goalkeeper.
The fear was the home side would come to rue not taking their chances and it took a fine save from goalkeeper Stuart McKenzie to prevent Airdrie from taking the lead on the hour mark as he blocked a close range effort from Connell.
Cove boss Paul Hartley sent on Jamie Masson in the hope of making a breakthrough and he duly delivered within a minute of his arrival when turned Scott Ross’ cross home from close range in the 65th minute.
Masson was clearly a man keen to make an impression and he duly doubled his side’s lead five minutes later with another close range effort from Fyvie’s cross.
Airdrie enjoyed some late pressure on the Cove goal as they tried to find a goal to get back into the game but McKenzie was not troubled by the Diamonds attack as the home side comfortably saw the match out to secure victory.