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Newtonhill 1 – 5 Cove Thistle

North of Scotland Cup Semi-Final at Heathryfold on Sunday 21st April

Report by Andy McLaren

Cove Thistle striker Mitchell Chalmers today challenged his side to win four trophies to prove they are the best team in amateur football.

The Aberdeen outfit booked their place in the North of Scotland Cup final with a convincing 5-1 win over Division One (East) side Newtonhill.

Thistle remain unbeaten in the Premier Division this season and currently sit top having scored 78 goals.

And Chalmers, who has scored over 200 goals for the Jags, believes the current crop of players are the best Cove have ever had.

He said: “Since I have been with the club, this is the best shape we have been in.

“The club is going from strength to strength and there is now talent throughout the squad, not just in the starting 11.

“Sportsmans, Woodside and Kincorth are all strong teams but I now think we are better than them all.

“We always have around twenty boys at training every week and our manager, Mikey Bradford, ensures the club is always run in the best possible way.”

Mitchell is in his sixth season with the Aberdeen side and has scored 25 goals in all competitions.

The 24-year-old made a return to Cove at the start of this season after serving a lengthy ban which kept him out of football for a year.

But Mitchell, who missed out on lifting the North of Scotland cup last season, admits the ban has motivated him to score more goals than ever before.

“It was horrible to have to watch the team from the sidelines, knowing I couldn’t play but I have definitely learned my lesson,” he said.

“During the ban, I still trained every week and I feel I’m now seeing the rewards of that during this year’s campaign.

“It’s great to have such a good season in my first one back and hopefully I can win the Premier Division with the lads.

“It’s going to be hard to sustain our great form because games are coming thick and fast but I’m confident we will fulfil our ambitions this season.”

Strike partner Craig Wilson, who spent ten seasons with the Jags, has scored over 400 goals for the Aberdeen outfit.

And the 28-year-old admits Mitchell’s return has been the catalyst for their unbeaten league run this season.

He said: “Mitchell has been amazing this season and has improved a lot since his ban.

“He helps me all the time as he is a grafter and does most of the running.

“This is the strongest the team has ever been and the lads are all having fun whilst enjoying their football.

“It’s not easy to remain unbeaten in the league and results show we are currently the best in the area.

“We have always had disappointments in the league since I have been with the club but I feel the time is right to go on and win it this year.”

Thistle started the North of Scotland tie with more purpose and almost grabbed an early lead when Chalmers could only loft the ball over the bar from 10 yards.

The Premier Division leaders opened the scoring on 35 minutes when Wilson rifled a left-footed shot past Mark Steer to make it 1-0.

Thistle doubled their advantage when Craig Thom bundled the ball home from 5 yards to make it 2-0 two minutes later.

Jordan Gill caused panic throughout the Newtonhill defence when he beat two players to angle a low cross to Chalmers, who squeezed the ball into the net on 40 minutes.

Newtonhill went into self-destruct mode as Thistle made it 4-0 two minutes later when Chalmers’ powerful shot went through the legs of Steer and into the net.

Half-time: 4 – 0

The Aberdeenshire side’s first attempt on goal came on 55 minutes but Derek McKenzie was equal to Steven Law’s ferocious volley.

The Jags made it 5-0 on 75 minutes when Wilson expertly chipped the onrushing Steer to secure their victory.

Newtonhill, who currently sit third in Division One (East), grabbed a late consolation goal on 80 minutes.

Full Time: 1 – 5