Stenhousemuir v Cove Rangers at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 5.12.09
Active Nation Scottish Cup Third Round Att 409
Stenhousemuir 5 [Motion 1,34, Molloy 2, Bradley 13, I.Thomson 31] Cove Rangers 0
Stenhousemuir negotiated their way through a potentially difficult tie by going nap in the first half against Highland League champions Cove Rangers. Last week’s match was abandoned at half time due to fog and the Cove contingent must have been wished for a repeat as they were blitzed in the first half.
Both teams made changes for the re-arranged game with Kevin Motion and Kevin Bradley coming into the Stenhousemuir starting eleven for Robert Love and Craig O’Reilly whilst Jamie Buchan made his debut for Cove replacing Paul Tosh.
The goal feast started in 35 seconds when Kevin Motion fired home a sweet strike from just outside the box after Stuart McKenzie could only push a Scott Dalziel into his path. A minute later a shellshocked Cove went two down this time through another long range effort by Craig Molloy. Scott Dalziel came within inches of extending the Warriors lead in the 5th minute but his effort from a swift passing move went just the wrong side of the post.
The game was effectively finished when the Warriors went three nil ahead in the 13th minute after Kevin Bradley skipped past his marker down the right flank and beat McKenzie with an exquisite effort. This goal was actually the only one scored by the home side that was inside the box. Cove did have a chance to get a toehold back into proceedings when Motion tripped Robbie Henderson in the box but Kevin Webster’s spot kick was saved by Chris McCluskey.
All the Stenhousemuir goals up that point had been top quality but none were better than Iain Thomson’s effort in the 31st minute when Bradley won the ball about 30 yards out and passed the ball to Thomson who had a brief look up before chipping the keeper with a sublime effort.
Stenhousemuir continued to push forward and they almost scored a fifth almost immediately when Scott Dalziel was put through by a Molloy through ball. He delayed his shot for too long however and the angle was closed down. However, he had presence of mind to pick out Stephen Thomson and his effort was just tipped round the post with difficulty by McKenzie. From the resultant corner the Warriors did eventually get their fifth goal. Molloy was set up by Motion but his effort was blocked but fell back to Motion whose first time strike flew into the net.
The half time whistle blew with the Warriors five up and it was just a case of seeing the second half out without picking up injuries etc. Stenhousemuir to their credit started the second period in positive fashion, perhaps stung by recent comments about starting the second period slowly. They failed to get further goals but it was not through lack of trying and McKenzie was fortunate to tip a Pat Scullion effort onto the bar. Gradually however the tempo slowed as Stenhousemuir began to relax and lacked the cutting edge of the first half. The closest that anyone came to scoring was when an Andy Stirling cross come shot was missed by Bradley and hit the post. At the other end the defence in the main stayed strong and apart from a scare when Chris McLeod almost sliced a clearance into his own net there was little to worry Chris McCluskey.
With ten minutes of the game left to play youth player Lee Halpin came on to make his first team debut and although he was unable to make a major impact on the game he will be hoping that it is the first of many appearances.
Although that ended the scoring Scott Dalziel had an effort disallowed and Bradley and Andy Stirling both hit the woodwork before the end of the game.
Stenhousemuir – McCluskey, Lyle, S.Thomson, McLeod, Smith, Molloy, I.Thomson, Scullion [Love 69], Dalziel, Bradley [Halpin 80] and Motion [Stirling 55]. Subs not used – O’Reilly and Bennett
Cove Rangers – McKenzie, Cruickshank, Black [Lawrie 62], Bain, Watson [b43], Heads, Henderson, Johnston[b69], Buchan, Webster [ Stephen 71] and Milne [McCulloch 46]. Subs not used – Reid and Windrum
Referee – Thomas Robertson Assistants – Steve Pullar and Stuart Stevenson