Cove Rangers captain Eric Watson was happy to be able to deliver some Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup success for the club’s supporters after two years of final heartache.
The Highland League champions beat Banks o’ Dee 4-1 in the final of the famous old trophy at Harlaw Park last night.
For Watson, it was the eighth trophy he has lifted as skipper of Cove.
It had been eight years since the Granite City team last won the Shire Cup. They were close in the last two finals, losing to Buckie on penalties two years ago and being edged out 1-0 by Formartine 12 months ago.
After those disappointments Watson was pleased to get his hands back on the Shire Cup.
He said: “The supporters have been in a few finals in this cup with me and they’ve been beat so I’m pleased they could enjoy this one after the last two defeats.
“It had been eight years since I won this cup and I’d forgotten what a big trophy it was, so I was delighted to lift it.”
Watson felt Cove could have performed better but was pleased to pull through.
He added: “I don’t think we played that well but credit to Banks o’ Dee, they came out in the first half and had a go.
“We probably went in at half-time 2-0 up against the run of play but I’m delighted.
“We hadn’t played well in the first half and after we scored I said ‘we don’t deserve this so we need to kick on’.
“We scored again and I said ‘we still don’t deserve this, kick on again’.
“I think in the second half we showed we had enough about us.
“But they pressed us and it was hard to play through them, so credit to them, but we got the job done.”
After a cagey opening period Dee tested Cove goalie Stuart McKenzie through Jack Henderson and Alan White.
But with their first real chance Cove hit the front on 33 minutes.
Daniel Park’s inswinging corner from the right was powerfully headed home by Harry MILNE who had a free header at the back post.
The concession was a body blow for Dee who had started brightly.
Six minutes from the break it was 2-0. Mitch Megginson’s high ball in from the right caught out keeper Andy Shearer and Jamie MASSON had the easiest of tasks to head home from two yards.
A minute from the interval, Dee were inches away from pulling one back when Michael Philipson’s low drive fizzed just wide from 20 yards.
In first-half injury time Dee wanted Milne off for a clattering challenge on Kane Winton, but ref Dan McFarlane produced only a yellow card.
On 54 minutes, there was fresh hope for the Dee team when Philipson’s corner from the right wasn’t properly cleared and Kane WINTON rifled home from 10 yards with the left foot.
On the hour, it could have been 3-1 when Megginson’s flick put Blair Yule in behind on the right but his cutback was lashed over by Masson.
Soon after, Masson’s tempting cross evaded everyone and Megginson fired just wide.
With 16 minutes to play, Cove’s win was sealed when Masson’s fine through ball put Yule clear.
It was two on one and the midfielder calmly squared for MEGGINSON to knock home from 12 yards to make it 3-1.
With 10 to play, sub Jordan MacRae slipped MEGGINSON in behind and the striker rounded Shearer and made it 4-1 to put the gloss on Cove’s night.
Two minutes later Dee’s misery was compounded with White red carded for a late challenge on Connor Scully.