First Team

Match Preview: Cove Rangers (A)

17th July 2018

All the info you'll need for attending tomorrow night's Betfred Cup match at Cove Rangers

Hearts get season 2018/19 underway tomorrow night when they visit Cove Rangers.

The Jambos take on the Highland League champions at the new Balmoral Stadium in what is Craig Levein’s side’s opening Betfred Cup group stage match, kick-off is 8pm.


Team news

Steven Naismith misses out through suspension after being handed a ban at the end of last season.

New goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal is expected to shake off an ankle knock to make his competitive debut.

Kyle Lafferty has recovered from a back injury, while Bobby Burns will be evaluated after taking a knock to his knee in Saturday’s friendly win over Forfar Athletic.



Supporters travelling by car should take the Harbour Road on approach to Aberdeen, then follow the road into Aberdeen, passing Loirston Loch on the left. Turn left at the first roundabout onto Wellington Circle and follow the road round to the right, Balmoral Stadium is located behind the Royal Mail building.

Parking is available at the stadium and in the surrounding areas.


Stadium access

Hearts supporters should enter the stadium through the first two turnstiles, which will be clearly marked.

Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions, and should be purchased prior to travelling from the Hearts Ticket Office.



There have been no previous encounters between Cove Rangers and Hearts.


The opposition

Cove are reigning Highland League champions having finished 11 points clear of second-placed Formartine United last year.

Silverware has been plentiful in recent seasons, with last year’s league triumph their second in three years, and they only missed out on the 2016/17 league title to Buckie Thistle on goal difference.

With six championships under their belt, Cove added a Highland League Cup to their list of honours as recently as 2016/17, the fifth time they’ve won the competition.

Managed by former Montrose stalwart John Sheran, Cove have significant firepower in their ranks in the form of Mitch Megginson. Formerly at Aberdeen, Dumbarton, Raith Rovers and Alloa Athletic, he penned a three-year deal in 2016 and bagged an incredible 52 goals last season.

Tomorrow night’s game will be the first competitive match at the Balmoral Stadium. Work started on the stadium in 2015 and it was formally opened in Sunday’s friendly match against Aberdeen. The pitch is 4G astro, meaning three of Hearts’ first five competitive games this season will take place on an artificial surface.