By Anthony Evans
East Kilbride were no match for Highland League winners Cove Rangers as they were soundly beaten 3-0 in the second leg of their League Two relegation play off semi.
Kilby started brightly, with their front pairing of Craig Malcolm and Jamie Longworth giving the Cove defence plenty to think about in the early stages. But the hosts went in front on 27 minutes when Mitch Megginson expertly controlled a cross from Jamie Masson on the left-hand side before flicking the ball past Willie Muir.
The goal changed the game in truth, as the visitors found themselves totally on the back foot for the rest of the afternoon, having to settle for the odd counter attack.
They were given a glimmer of hope when Cove’s Martin Scott was shown a straight red card on 34 minutes for what appeared to be a stamp on Bernard Coll right next to the touchline. Tempers flared with Coll receiving a booking for his aggravated reaction to the incident.
But the dismissal did not affect the home side, and five minutes before the interval, Megginson was able to slot home for his second of the match and his 48th goal off the season, following a slack mistake in the EK back line.
Cove coasted through the second half, and on 75 minutes Blair Yule cut the ball back in the area to Jamie Masson who deceived the helpless Muir and stuck the ball in the opposite corner.
The Aberdeenshire outfit will now entertain Berwick Rangers next weekend in the first leg of the relegation play off in their quest to reach the SPFL.
EK will still have the chance to end the season with yet more silverware, when they face East of Scotland League champions Bonnyrigg Rose in the South Challenge Cup later this month.