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Premier Trophy Goes to Cove

Cove Thistle 4 – 3 Echt

Report by Andy McLaren

Cove Thistle manager Mikey Bradford admitted he was “thrilled” after the Jags lifted the Aberdeen Trophy Centre Premier Trophy for the first time, despite being 3-0 behind to Echt after twenty minutes.

Thistle’s boss said he always had “great belief” in his players to turn the score line around, even after their “awful” start to the match.

He said: “We have had to sacrifice a lot of points in the league for our excellent cup runs. The squad have now won two cups this season and there’s no reason why we can’t create our own bit of history and win the treble. We now look forward to an exciting derby against Kincorth in the semi-final of the Association Trophy”.

Echt were on an impressive run of form coming into the match, defeating in form Woodside to reach the final of the prestigious trophy, contested by all Premier Division clubs.

The Aberdeenshire side’s intentions soon became clear as they used the pace of Marc Lawrence and Jamie Wood to strike terror into the Jags defence. Lawrence whipped a teasing ball into the box which Fettes failed to deal with and left keeper McKenzie routed to his line leaving Greg Kane to make no mistake from close range.

Minutes later Wood was then able to play in defender Alan Douglas and his header squirmed through the hands of Derek McKenzie and in off the far post.

The atmosphere was a mixture of the tense and triumphal as Echt’s continuous onslaught of pressure snatched them a third goal. Fittingly, Echt’s Jamie Wood was at the centre of the move as his ferocious free kick picked out Matthew McDonald who calmly slotted the ball into the net to stun the Jags faithful.

Cove looked down and out until Lee Gabriel lofted a high ball into the Echt six yard box and James Fettes met the ball with an unstoppable header from the edge to reduce the deficit.

Echt manager Mike Robertson looked increasingly frustrated as his side’s sudden drop in play gifted Thistle their second goal just before half time. A typical forceful run from Craig Wilson gave him the opportunity to play in Martin Craig who duly delivered with a bullet header that rifled into the back of the net.

Half-time: 2 – 3

Despite Cove’s first half pressure, Echt still created chances and went close after Jamie Wood unleashed a strike that stung the palms of McKenzie in goal.

Cove were soon pouring forward time after time, probing Echt’s nervous defence in search of an equaliser which came on 75 minutes. A free kick was conceded dangerously close to the Echt box and it was Paul Gill who confidently stepped up to curve an exquisite strike over the wall leaving Paul Bennett with no chance.

Thistle’s winner came on 85 minutes when the prolific Craig Wilson thumped a left footed shot low into the corner of the net to leave Echt’s manager Mike Robertson and their supporters in disbelief.

Full Time: 4 – 3