Stenhousemuir 0 Cove 2: Woe for Warriors in Irn-Bru Cup

Stenhousemuir manager Brown Ferguson says he has himself to blame for the poor start the Warriors have made to the season.

Coves Ryan Strachan brushes aside the attentions of Stenhousemuir pair Thomas Halleran and Michael Dunlop (pic by Michael Gillen)
Coves Ryan Strachan brushes aside the attentions of Stenhousemuir pair Thomas Halleran and Michael Dunlop (pic by Michael Gillen)

After taking just one point from their opening two league games, Stenny’s woes continued on Tuesday night with anIrn Bru Cup first round exit at home to Highland League side Cove Rangers.

Ferguson said: “From our perspective it wasn’t a good enough performance and I’ve got to look at myself first and foremost.

“I’ve got a lot of faith in the players, so I really need to look and see how I’m setting the team up and try and instil more confidence into them.”

The warning signs for the Warriors were apparent from the first minute, with Jamie Masson linking up well with Mitch Megginson down the left hand side, the former getting a low shot away from inside the area which was well held by Chris Smith.

Eddie Ferns was next to create a chance, cutting inside from an excellent run down the left wing, but was foiled by visiting ‘keeper Stuart McKenzie as he tried to dink the ball over him at close range.

However it was the visitors who got their Irn Bru Cup campaign off to a dream start on 19 minutes, when an inswinging corner hit home defender Ross Dunlop and squeezed past Chris Smith, much to the delight of the small band of Cove supporters who had made the arduous trip.

Stenny responded well with Marc McGuigan linking up with Ferns shortly after, laying the ball off to the winger on the edge of the box, but his effort fizzled over the bar.

But the home side found themselves further behind on 35 minutes.

Ruaridh Donaldson was booked for bringing down Mitch Megginson when he looked to be clean through on goal, and the wide man made no mistake from the resulting penalty, sending Smith the wrong way.

Much to the home side’s dismay, the second half went by without much incident as they failed to break down an extremely organised Cove Rangers side.

Nathan Blockley and Colin McMenamin were brought on to turn things around midway through the second period, and the latter was unlucky not to pull one back for the Warriors late on, heading Ferns’ corner goalward, but Stenny’s miserable evening was concluded when his effort was cleared off the line by the extremely impressive visiting captain Eric Watson.