Stenhousemuir 1 v 1 Cove Rangers
Played at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on Saturday, 28th November 2009 at 15:00
The Scottish Cup
Stenhousemuir v Cove Rangers at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 28.11.09
Active Nation Scottish Cup Third Round Att 382
Stenhousemuir 1 [Dalziel 15] Cove Rangers 1 [Watson 42] Abandoned at half time due to fog
This was the first ever Scottish Cup meeting between the clubs and ironically came in the same season as their first ever meeting when the clubs had played a friendly in the build up to their respective league campaigns. That match had been won by Cove 2-1 and would have been good for the Warriors as it meant that the players would not be in any danger of underestimating their opponents though their status of Highland League champions should have already ensured that that was the case. If that had not been sufficient warning that it was going to be a difficult game then the fact that they had beaten Annan Athletic in the previous round would have.
The Warriors brought back into the starting eleven Robert Love and Craig O’Reilly whilst striker Lee Halpin stepped up from the Under 19s to be on the bench after promising performances in both reserves and age level. In the pre-season game Cove dominated the early stages and got into the rhythm quickly and it was obvious that the home side were not going to allow them to take the initiative and the majority of the early proceedings took place in the Cove half of the pitch. The Warriors had fired a few warning shots principally a Pat Scullion volley that went well wide and an Iain Thomson curling effort that just went past before they took the lead in the 15th minute. A free kick from the far side by Iain Thomson [I think] was met by a well timed header by Scott Dalziel who put the Warriors into the lead. Love had a couple of opportunities just after this to extend the lead as the Cove defence struggled to adapt to his play and he will feel that he should have scored after getting into good areas of the pitch. Cove through the set pieces of Kevin Webster could never be taken lightly and in the 21st minute a free kick was almost headed into his own net by a Stenhousemuir defender whilst trying to clear. A minute later the Cove supporters were initially celebrating a ‘goal’ after Eric Watson bundled the ball home. Referee Thomas Robertson however spotted an infringement and disallowed the effort much to the ire of the Cove support who made their voice heard. By this time it was difficult to judge how many travelling support they had brought down as the fog was getting thicker at that end of the ground and they were obscured. Just after the half hour the Warriors were given the opportunity to extend their lead when Dalziel was tripped by Watson and a penalty was duly awarded. Penalty taking has been somewhat of a poisoned chalice for Stenhousemuir this season and it was Pat Scullion’s time to fail to convert when his effort was saved by Stuart McKenzie.
Cove seemed to take heart from this and they eventually equalised with three minutes of the half remaining when Watson made the most of poor defending to head home another Webster free kick. Within seconds of the teams going in for the half time team talk the officials were back on the park checking various areas where the fog was beginning to settle more consistently after drifting in and out for the whole first half. The signs were ominous especially as the assistants at times had struggled with offside decisions and although the four corner flags could be seen from the halfway line it came as no surprise that with the scores level the match was abandoned. This means that the Cove supporters will have another trip back to Stenhousemuir but the referee was vindicated as within a short period of the game been stopped the fog got worse and the game would not have been completed.
Stenhousemuir – McCluskey, Lyle, S.Thomson, McLeod, Smith [b25], Molloy, Love, Scullion, Dalziel, I.Thomson and O’Reilly. Subs not used – Thom, Bradley, Stirling, Halpin and Bennett
Cove Rangers – McKenzie, Cruickshank, Black, Bain, Watson [b31], Heads, Henderson, Johnston, Tosh, Webster [b15] and Milne.
Subs not used – Lawrie, Buchan, McCulloch, Stevens and Windrum
Referee – Thomas Robertson
Assistants – Stevie Pullar and Stuart Stevenson
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