Mitch Megginson: Meet the deadliest striker you've never heard of

Mitchel Megginson

You will have heard of Alfredo Morelos and Lawrence Shankland, and probably even Blair Henderson and Kevin Nisbet, but does the name Mitch Megginson ring any bells?

The Cove Rangers striker outscored each of those Tartan Boot award recipients - given to the leading scorers in each SPFL division - last term with a staggering 49 goals in all competitions.

He is preparing to lead the line - and the team after being made captain - in Cove' historic first season in the senior leagues, and he has his eyes set on usurping Henderson as League Two's deadliest forward.

So just how prolific is 26-year-old Megginson - and can he maintain his Highland League rate of scoring in the SPFL? BBC Scotland takes a look at the stats and hears from the man himself.

Almost as many as Messi...

Megginson's father, Mike, was a Cove Rangers legend, scoring 147 times across 13 years. His son is fast approaching that feat after just three seasons with the Aberdeen club, with his tally already at 130.

The striker began his career across the city with Aberdeen, making his debut in the Europa League at the age of 17. He would go on to make 34 appearances over a four year spell, but spent the majority of his time with the club out on loan with lower-league sides.

After leaving Pittodrie, Megginson spent time with Dumbarton, Raith Rovers and Alloa Athletic, but has truly found his groove at the club he grew up watching.

The 49 goals he scored in 2018/19 was only two short of Lionel Messi's record for the season. Mind you, it's worth reiterating that the Highland League is of a lower standard than La Liga...

Still, it may not be a far cry from the lower leagues of Scottish football and, as evidenced below, Megginson has far more goals than the top scorers across the SPFL.

But can he do it in the SPFL?

Megginson's 49 goals last season could, incredibly, be described as a slight disappointment after passing the 50 mark the previous campaign. But things have clearly clicked him the last few years at Cove, as his marked increase in goals show.

It is perhaps easy to assume Megginson is only so prolific because he is facing Highland League defenders, but the quality may not be as big a step down as some would imagine.

Jevan Anderson, son of former Aberdeen captain Russell, recently joined English League One side Burton Albion from Formartine United. Megginson is keen to point out not only how that demonstrates the quality he has been up against, but also that he has nutmegged the 19-year-old a couple of times when facing him.

The striker has a track record that suggests he may well be able to continue harassing defenders in the SPFL.

Aside from scoring a respectable 12 goals for Dumbarton during their 2013/14 Championship campaign, Megginson has proved in recent years he can be prolific against teams in the SPFL - with goals against Falkirk, Stenhousemuir, Montrose and Berwick Rangers for Cove Rangers.

'I don't see why I can't keep it up'

Megginson appreciates that League Two will be a step up and is realistic about setting a lower target - but he still speaks with a quiet confidence that he can make his mark this term.

"I don't think it'll be quite as many goals, but in the Championship I scored 12 in a season so I don't see why I can't keep the form up," he told BBC Scotland. "As a striker you need to be confident, if you don't have that you won't score.

"The top scorer [Blair Henderson] got 30 last year - you want to aim for that. But the first thing is to keep the club in League Two and if I can score a few goals and do that then I'll be happy."

It is difficult to measure how top goal scorers in the Highland and Lowland leagues may fare after promotion - the only reference point being Edinburgh City after they ascended from the Lowland League in 2016. The player who lead the line for them before their step up, Ross Allum, only stayed at the club for the first half of their first season in League Two, netting just four times in 23 games before leaving.

Given the prolific nature of his last few seasons, though, it would be foolish to dismiss Megginson as a serious contender for the League Two Tartan Boot.

Top Stories