The curtain fell on the 2013/14 season for Lossiemouth as the Coasters were beaten by Cove Rangers at Allan Park. First half goals from Jamie Lennox and Chris Clark had the hosts ahead as Lossie failed to trouble the Toonsers, and Lennox doubled his tally with the final goal of the afternoon to end a mixed season for Lossie.
The visitors started with Glen Fraser getting a rare start in goals, while Shawn Scott dropped to the bench. Cove tried out Craig Reid in goals and were hoping for a win to boost their lamentable league position, and one of the worst SHFL title defences in history.
Fine weather met the sides as they trotted out onto a tatty-looking Allan Park pitch, with sections needing more time to heal after a long season and several games in quick succession. Cove had the early chances, the best falling to Barrie Stephen who saw his shot sail wide of goal. Fifteen minutes in, Cove took the lead. Youngster Stuart Taylor turned Greig Watson on the edge of the penalty area before delivering a perfect cross for Jamie LENNOX to head home.
Lossie pressed for an equaliser but found Cove tougher to break down than they had been on their visit to Grant Park only a month before. Darren Bailey went close with a long range effort that nicked the post on its way out for a goal kick.
Glen Fraser kept the Coasters in the game with a tremendous one handed save soon after. Barrie Stephen lobbed the ball into the air ahead of Michael Selfridge and the resulting header looked to be sailing in at the base of the near post, only for Fraser to push the ball wide at the last with an outstretched arm. At the other end, Tony Ross took matters into his own hands and sprinted down the wing towards goal, thumping a shot at Reid which was held at the second attempt.
Cove doubled their lead midway through the half, and Chris CLARK won’t have scored many as good as this in all his years as a footballer. Allowed time to dwell on the ball just inside the area, Clark, who started with his back to goal, managed to turn before unleashing an unstoppable effort across the face of goal and beyond a despairing Fraser.
Half time – Cove Rangers 2-0 Lossiemouth
The second half was played with all the gusto of a pre-season friendly, and the crowd seemed content with things, the Cove fans happy with their sides lead while the Lossie support were content to see their side keep the hosts at bay for the remainder of the game. Lossie almost hauled themselves back into the tie when Jamie McKinnon, possibly playing his last game for the club, powered a header goalbound, but was denied a scoring farewell as Reid met the ball and pushed it over the bar.
The save spurred Cove on and soon after they put the game beyond doubt. Poor defending saw the ball break to an unmarked Jamie LENNOX and he took a touch before curling the ball back into the box and past a stranded Fraser.
With the game drawing to a close and Cove comfortably in the lead, the last thing the thirsty crowd needed was any kind of a delay in proceedings, but a broken corner flag held things up to the dismay of all those needing back to the bar.
The defeat does nothing to affect Lossiemouths final placing in the league, which was decided a few weeks back due to Keith finding some end of season form and inching slowly away from the bottom four. Cove, meanwhile, still have games to play as they look to make up some ground on title winners Brora Rangers, who ended their season
Full time – Cove Rangers 3-0 Lossiemouth
Lossiemouth – Glen Fraser, Tony Ross, Scott Dunn, Chris Ross, Jamie McKinnon, Kevin Flett, Scott Miller, Greig Watson, Ryan Green, Liam Archibald, Darren Bailey
Cove Rangers – Craig Reid, Aaron Scully, Chris Clark, Ryan Stewart, Stuart Walker, Mark Perry, Clark Bain, Barrie Stephen, Jamie Lennox, Stuart Taylor, Michael Selfridge