Cove Rangers 5-2 East Fife

Darren Young admitted his side could only blame themselves for shipping five goals to Cove.

Saturday, 14th August 2021, 9:42 pm
Ross Dunlop and Scott Mercer hold up Rory McAllister. Pic by Kenny Mackay

Cove are a club with an abundance of attacking threat and don’t need the help East Fife gave them to romp to a convincing win on their own patch.

Frustratingly, they barely had to work for any of their goals, that frustration compounded by the fact the Fifers threatened to get themselves back into the game only to shoot themselves in the foot.

Daniel Higgins, signed on Friday from Cove, made the bench but there was no place in the Fife squad for fellow new recruit Andrew Osei-Bonsu.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Robbie Leitch handed Cove the lead shortly before the 20 minute mark.

East Fife failed to cut out a cross along the face of goal where the former Falkirk forward was waiting at the back post for a simple tap-in.

Danny Denholm missed a header from just a few yards out and East fife were made to rue the chance when Cove went 2-0 up before the break.

Scott Gallacher got down well to stop a deflected shot but Cove were on their toes and first to the loose ball.

They worked it to Mitch Megginson on the corner of the box and he sent a terrific shot into the corner of the net.

East Fife didn’t have their troubles to seek and things went from bad to worse after half time.

Jude Smith was brought on to replace Gallacher and within seconds of kick off was facing a penalty after Chris Higgins was penalised for a handball.

McAllister stepped up and gave the young goalie no chance.

Roles were reversed shortly before the hour mark when Jamie Semple was hauled to the ground inside the Cove box.

Connor McManus stepped up and made no mistake from the penalty spot.

The goal sparked new life into the visitors and they pressed for a second.

But, as can so often be the case, this left gaps at the back which Cove exploited, Megginson’s stunning drive making it 4-1.

East Fife replied almost straight away with Kevin Smith tapping home from close range.

Any hope of a fightback were snuffed out when Megginson again replied, finishing from close range.

Fife boss Darren Young said: “The goals we lost were very, very poor.

“At the start of the second half I asked them to put the ball into the corner from the kick off and put it on top of Shay Logan.

“We don’t and we give the ball away from a terrible pass back to Jude Smith which he dealt with well.

“We then had a chance to clear and we don’t. There’s a second chance, we don’t again and end up losing a penalty.

“So, within 40 seconds of our own kick off, being in their half and on the attack, we lose a penalty and are 3-0 down.

“On the positive side we showed good character and got back in it with a penalty ourselves. We weren’t under too much pressure but go and give the ball away again on the counter attack and it’s 4-1.

“We get it back to 4-2 and have a good spell but then go and lose another goal through us just not picking up Mitch Megginson, one of the players of the season last year, and giving him a free header in the middle of the box.

“You can’t defend like that so something has to change.

“Defensively we have to be better.”