Cove Rangers and Queen of the South fall to lower-league opponents in Premier Sports Cup

Cove Rangers and Queen of the South suffered opening-day defeats to lower-league opposition in the first round of Premier Sports Cup group matches in Scotland.
Paul Hartley's Cove Rangers side fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2 before losing an injury-time goalPaul Hartley's Cove Rangers side fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2 before losing an injury-time goal
Paul Hartley's Cove Rangers side fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2 before losing an injury-time goal

Dundee United and Hamilton had recorded 1-0 wins on Friday night at Kelty Hearts and Edinburgh City while three of Saturday’s matches were forfeited due to Covid-19 cases with Morton, Dumbarton, and Ross County all unable to play and Stranraer, St Mirren, and Forfar Athletic the teams to benefit.

In Group A, Stirling Albion recorded a 3-2 win at Cove Rangers as Nathan Flanagan netted a 94th-minute winner for the League Two binos against the Aberdeenshire side.

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Rabin Omar had given Kevin Rutkiewicz’s side the lead on the half-hour mark with Flanagan doubling their advantage ten minutes into the second half.

Iain Vigurs set up Fraser Fyvie to reduce the deficit on 69 minutes and the pair combined again with fewer than ten to play to level matters, until Flanagan secured three points for the visitors deep into injury time.

In Group B, Arbroath needed a late goal from Luke Donnelly at Borough Briggs to defeat Elgin City and join Dundee United on three points at the top.

Livingston comfortably won at Glebe Park against recently relegated Brechin City. New signing Tom Parkes scored inside the opening 60 seconds from a corner, while fellow debutant Ayo Obileye also netted on his first start, heading home Josh Mullin’s corner just after the 30-minute mark.

Bruce Anderson was denied twice by Jack Wills in the Brechin goal and substitute Jack Hamilton also failed to find the net before Jackson Longridge wrapped things up in injury time as he converted Alan Forrest’s low cross.

Raith Rovers joined the Lions at the summit of Group D after Lewis Vaughan’s 21st-minute goal was enough to see off Fife rivals Cowdenbeath at Central Park.

In Group F, Queen’s Park recorded a win against Championship side Queen of the South courtesy of Calum Biggar’s first goal for the Spiders while the home side hit the post through Ruben Soares Jr.

Airdrie needed a stoppage-time equaliser from Matthew MacDonald to take their match with Annan to penalties after the Galabankies had gone ahead through Tony Wallace’s opener from the penalty spot.

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Annan scored all five of their spot-kicks with Callum Gallagher’s miss for the Diamonds handing the visitors the bonus point at the Penny Cars Stadium.

Dunfermline came from behind to record a 4-2 victory over Partick Thistle at Firhill to join St Mirren on three point in Group H. Brian Graham gave Ian McCall’s side the lead after a quarter of an hour but three goals in 13 minutes from Nikolay Todorov, Aaron Comrie, and Kyle MacDonald had the Pars in the driving seat.

Todorov scored a fourth early in the second half with a cheeky chip before Zak Rudden pulled one back for the hosts.

Albion Rovers stunned Ayr United at Cliftonhill, beating the Honest Men 4-2 on penalties after holding them to a goalless draw while Montrose eased past Highland League representatives Brora Rangers thanks to goals from Martin Rennie, Blair Lyons, and Lewis Milne from the penalty spot.

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