Aberdeenshire AFA

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Cove Complete Cup Treble

Westdyke 3 – 5 Cove Thistle (AET)

Report by Andy McLaren

Cove Thistle were crowned Assosiation Trophy champions after a sensational performance from James Fettes helped them to a gutsy 5-3 win over Westdyke after extra-time. The commanding centre back scooped the man of the match award to complete Thistle’s treble winning season.

Fettes previously spent four seasons at junior side Sunnybank and also played for Banchory and Banks O’Dee before joining the Jags. Thistle’s ace believes his time at Cove has been the “most enjoyable” of his playing career.

Fettes said: “Words can’t describe how pleasing it is to win the treble. I had a spell at Cove a few years ago but after the heroics of this season, I am defiantly here to stay. The never say die attitude of the lads is the reason why we have won so much trophies this year.”

Westdyke were unlucky not to be ahead in their first attack from the kick and were cursing McKenzies acrobatic save low at his left hand post from Stevenson.

Westdyke’s Malcolm Stevenson then had another excellent chance to put the Westhill side in front after 10 minutes but his tame effort from 6 yards was easily dealt with by Cove goalkeeper Derek McKenzie.

But the Cove keeper was beaten on 20 minutes when Fraser McLachlan unleashed a low cross that skidded across the slippery surface forcing Cove’s Keith Bradford to bury the ball into his own net.

Westdyke doubled their lead moments later when Russell Aitchison swivelled and turned to expertly side foot the ball home from 20 yards.

Half-time: 2 – 0

Cove Thistle manager Mikey Bradford made a change at the break, pushing Fettes into a more attacking role. The man of the match immediately made an impact as he grabbed his team a lifeline, nodding the ball downward into the ground and into the net to make it 2-1.

The second consecutive comeback in as many cup finals was complete as Martyn Duthie thumped an unstoppable drive past the despairing Graham Euan to make it 2-2 after 55 minutes.

Westdyke continued to rally as a Stevenson’s blistering shot rattled against the post before going out for a corner.

It was the Westhill side’s turn to feel aggrieved as the Jags’ pressure finally told and they made it 3-2 on the hour mark. Fettes was standing in an offside position, but was deemed not to be interfering with play while Duthie blasted the ball against the post and into the net but referee M Harrow waved away any appeals.

Westdyke made amends when Cove goalkeeper Derek McKenzie could only parry a tame Brad Milne shot into the net to make it 3-3 on 80 minutes.

Cove’s Martyn Duthie had another great chance with a header before full-time but found the outside of the post from 5 yards after being found unmarked by Edward Esson, whose next shot was clawed away by Westdyke’s Euan.

Full-Time: 3 – 3

The most memorable goal of the match came on 105 minutes as Cove’s Lee Gabriel showed great vision to pick out Duthie who looped an excellent lob over Euan to make it 4-3.

5 minutes later, Westdyke paid for their own adventure when an attack broke down and Cove scored on the counter attack as Fettes put the game beyond doubt with a well taken finish.

Result (AET): 3 – 5