Mas­son con­fi­dence in Cove

Mid­fielder sure his side can han­dle pres­sure of be­ing pace­set­ters

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - SPORT -

Cove Rangers mid­fielder Jamie Mas­son is con­fi­dent his side will thrive un­der the pres­sure of lead­ing the High­land League.

Man­ager John Sheran’s men hold a two-point lead at the top of the table hav­ing scored more goals – 39 – and con­ceded fewer – four – than any team in the di­vi­sion.

For­mer Dons player Mas­son reck­ons con­fi­dent Cove, who also have a game in hand of near­est chal­lengers Fraser­burgh, can chalk up a fifth league win in a row against Nairn County at Station Park today. The Tur­riff United de­fender Rus­sell McBride fears his side will be on the wrong end of an­other thrash­ing un­less there is a vast im­prove­ment in per­for­mance against Brora Rangers this af­ter­noon.

Ross Jack’s team went down 5-1 against High­land League lead­ers Cove Rangers in a one-sided en­counter at Har­law Park on Wed­nes­day night.

McBride was bit­terly dis­ap­pointed with Tur­riff ’s show­ing against the High- land League lead­ers and has warned his team-mates of the con­se­quences of an­other be­low-par dis­play.

The for­mer Fraser­burgh cap­tain said: “If we play as poorly as we did on Wed­nes­day then we will get thumped again.

“Cove Rangers aren’t top of the league by chance, they are a great team but we gave them far too much re­spect.

“We have to let teams like that re­alise they are in a game when they come up against us. Cove could have scored six or seven in the first 30 min­utes against us, we changed the shape at half-time but it just seemed to be wave af­ter wave of at­tack.

“The play­ers have to re­alise when it goes like that they need to keep play­ing and limit the dam­age.

“The score didn’t flat­ter Cove. They de­served their five goals.”

Things do not get eas­ier for Tur­riff and McBride added: “We have Brora and to an end by Fraser­burgh in mid­week.

Lo­cos lost 3-1 at Bell­slea and Cooper wants a re­ac­tion when For­res Me­chan­ics visit Har­law Park today.

He said: “We didn’t want it as much as Fraser­burgh and I told the play­ers that af­ter the game. Hope­fully we can get back on the rails against For­res. We had been on a good run and I hope home ad­van­tage can help us try to build mo­men­tum again.

“It was a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult on Wed­nes­day. then For­mar­tine United the fol­low­ing week in the Scot­tish Cup. Ryan Broad­hurst hurt his ham­string in the first half while Mark Souter suf­fered a cut on his head but hope­fully both will be fine for the game.

“We missed Neil Gauld at Fraser­burgh. He’s been in fan­tas­tic form for us this sea­son and hope­fully he will be avail­able.”

The Paul Law­son era be­gins at North Lodge Park today when the play­er­man­ager takes charge of For­mar­tine United for the first time against Keith.

Law­son, who will be as­sisted

“It is a tough run of fix­tures and we need every one of the play­ers to step up as we were so far off the pace against Cove it was un­be­liev­able. We need to have more be­lief in our­selves.”

Brora Rangers mid­fielder Mark Ni­col­son hopes to get one over his for­mer El­gin man­ager Ross, who will be in the op­po­si­tion dugout this af­ter­noon.

The Cat­tachs made it four wins on the spin af­ter de­feat­ing Clach 2-1 in mid­week and Ni­col­son by for­mer Aberdeen cap­tain Rus­sell An­der­son, will be hop­ing to see his side build on its 6-1 win against Lossiemouth in mid­week.

Huntly bid to avoid a fourth home de­feat in a row when they host Clach at Christie Park.

Mid­fielder Calvin Rod­die is sus­pended for Huntly fol­low­ing his red card against Deveron­vale last week.

The Li­ly­whites have no fresh in­jury wor­ries fol­low­ing their mid­week loss at Brora Rangers. said: “Clach de­fended well and made it dif­fi­cult for us but I felt we de­served the win as we played very well in the sec­ond half. Tur­riff will want to bounce back this week­end af­ter los­ing against Cove.

“I know Ross Jack very well hav­ing played un­der him at El­gin City for five years. This is the first time I have come up against one of his teams so I know he will have them fired up, but we are on a good run and we want to keep that go­ing.” One game at a time must be the mantra from Fraser­burgh’s play­ers as they try to keep the pres­sure on league lead­ers Cove Rangers when they travel to Lossiemouth today.

The Broch have lost just one of their open­ing 10 league games and are through to the semi-fi­nals of the Evening Ex­press Aberdeen­shire Cup, but man­ager Mark Cowie is re­fus­ing to get car­ried away and said: “We’re on a good run just now but we know how quickly this game can turn.

“We know we’ve got qual­ity through the team and we’re show­ing it just now. We never get it easy at Lossie. They haven’t had the great­est of starts so they will be scrap­ping for ev­ery­thing and want­ing to turn their sea­son around, but we have to con­cen­trate on our­selves.”

Lossie man­ager Ally Ewen will be hop­ing for a re­sponse from his play­ers af­ter their 6-1 maul­ing by For­mar­tine in mid­week.

High­land League cham­pi­ons Buckie This­tle will be hop­ing to get back to win­ning ways when they travel to Strath­spey This­tle.

Mid­fielder Jay Cheyne will miss the trip to Seafield Park fol­low­ing his red card in the 3-0 de­feat at Brora a week ago, but Shaun Car­rol could fea­ture af­ter be­ing re­called from his loan to Deveron­vale.

Deveron­vale go in search of their third win in a row when they travel to Fort Wil­liam.

Man­ager Steve Dolan said: “We’re play­ing ex­cit­ing foot­ball at the mo­ment and the sup­port­ers have been en­ter­tained in re­cent games.

“We’re still a work in progress but we’ve worked on our fit­ness a lot dur­ing pre­sea­son and it shows.”

Mid­fielder Chris Black­hall is sus­pended for Vale fol­low­ing his dis­missal in the 3-1 win at Huntly.

Rothes player-as­sis­tant man­ager Daniel Moore will be un­able to help his side on the field at man­ager­less Wick Acad­emy as he serves a sus­pen­sion fol­low­ing his red card in the 1-0 de­feat at Tur­riff United last week­end.

Wick are with­out Alas­dair Stark and Ai­dan Wil­son af­ter the on-loan duo re­turned to Ca­ley This­tle.

BY DANNY LAW

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