East Kilbride vs Cove Rangers – First Leg Preview

It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for. Play-off action begins on Saturday…

east kilbride vs cove rangers

by Craig Edwards

It’s that time of the season again as the battle for promotion reaches boiling point as the Lowland and Highland league champions face off for the right to play the side bottom of League Two.

East Kilbride host the first leg against Cove Rangers with both sides hoping to go one better than they have in the past couple of years.

Two years ago, East Kilbride beat Buckie Thistle but missed out on promotion through a penalty shoot-out against Cowdenbeath. Twelve months later and it would be Cove Rangers who would be denied a spot in League Two by the Blue Brazil.

Cove won the Highland League for a second straight season by eight points from Brora Rangers and disposed of Spartans this time last year in the playoffs. They have only suffered one league defeat this season away to Fraserburgh back in December. With 100 league goals in 34 matches, Cove will certainly fancy themselves to get on the scoresheet.

East Kilbride have suffered two league defeats this year but won the Lowland League by a more comfortable margin of 11 points to runners-up BSC Glasgow. Stuart Malcolm’s side had the meanest defence in the league with only 12 goals conceded and will need that to stay firm and hope top scorer Craig Malcolm can trouble the Cove defence.

The second leg takes place next weekend at the Balmoral Stadium and both sides will hope to take an advantage up North and continue their quest for SPFL football next season with a final most likely against Berwick Rangers. That could be confirmed this weekend if Berwick fail to beat Albion Rovers.

There is a hint of sadness surrounding this first leg after the news earlier this week about Cove Rangers manager John Sheran and everyone at the Scottish Lowland League sends their best wishes to him and we hope for a speedy recovery.

Ones to watch

east kilbride – craig malcolm

cove rangers – mitchel megginson