Cove Rangers 'have to go to the wire' for League One title after Fraser Fyvie leaves it late in Airdrie

There were several signs that Fraser Fyvie’s 94th-minute equaliser was a significant strike in League One – but you won’t hear the midfielder claiming it was a title decider.

Fraser Fyvie struck late and expects League One title race to go to the wire. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Fraser Fyvie struck late and expects League One title race to go to the wire. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The Cove Rangers management team was mobbed as Airdrie players sat slumped with heads between their knees, then lined up on the half-way line for an all-out Hail Mary attack before the final whistle. Moments earlier away team goalkeeper Stuart McKenzie had sought approval to join the attack at the all-or-nothing injury time corner – but Fyvie’s spectacular looping 25-yard equaliser hit the net before the goalkeeper had even left his half and both ended up dancing in the dugout with their team-mates.

It was a fitting finale to a top of the table clash, one of Fyvie’s best, an equaliser celebrated like a winner.

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“It’s debatable between that one and [earlier in the season] at Queen of the South, but this one’s a bit more important,” the midfielder said.

“It sat up nicely and I thought ‘reverse it’ and get a good connection. Sometimes they go way over the stand and sometimes they go in, but thankfully this one gets us an important point as I thought Airdrie were also excellent.”

For more than 90 minutes the hosts thought they had made ground in the title race with Gaby McGill’s scrambled second minute goal, only to have their hopes dashed by Fyvie in dramatic, gut-punching, fashion.

He not only earned a point for Paul Hartley’s team, almost as importantly for this stage of the season, he denied Cove’s closest rivals a win and maintained a five-point advantage at the top with five games to go. It’s a healthy lead, but asked if the equaliser was a significant step towards the title Fyvie countered “I don’t think so, I think we’ve taken a big step in keeping it at five points, to be honest.

“It is really important for us to try and keep the gap. We were looking at added time, they’re 1-0 up and we’re thinking [the gap is] down to two now but then a little bit of quality from myself and we keep it at five, with five to play.

“In no way is it over and done with. You can see they’re a good side, very organised and they’ve got players who can hurt you.”

Airdrie did early on, and can still reduce the gap at the top next weekend. With Cove’s game against Queen’s Park taking place on Sunday, the Diamonds can apply some more title-race pressure at East Fife on Saturday.

“I think it goes right to the death,” Fyvie added. “You have to go right to the wire and we have a group who are willing to do that.

“In the conditions, it was really hot and the tempo wasn’t high but still we dug it out and managed to get that bit of quality in the end.”

His strike was precisely that, and he’s keen to keep contributing to the title race, though his 11th of the season won’t be bettered and few will be more significant. “It is a decent return but with five games to go hopefully I can add some more.”

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