A depleted Berwick Rangers, minus flu victims Ross Gray and Fraser McLaren and the suspended Stevie Notman, lost their unbeaten home league record to an impressive Montrose. Berwick could have few complaints but some fans had and the Ducket terracing started emptying well before the final whistle.
Berwick made a promising start and in the 9th minute, Damian Gielty found plenty of space down the left to send Darren Lavery away for a beautifully taken goal. Rangers didn’t even have time to become complacent as two minutes later, the Angus men were level, Leighton McIntosh netting when the home defence failed to clear a corner.
Eleven minutes on, Lee Currie gave away the ball allowing the Gable Endies to engineer a slick move which led to Jamie Winter putting them in front. John Ferguson appeared to have equalised but the ‘goal’ was chalked off for offside.
A low, angled drive from Lavery which ended just beyond Sandy Wood’s far post was Berwick’s best effort during a sustained spell of second half pressure. However, Montrose who were well organised and often the more decisive in the tackle, always looked capable of causing damage when they got into the Rangers’ half.
Disaster struck in the 80th minute. Keeper Ian McCaldon, who had already spectacularly dealt with one free kick, allowed another from Paul Watson to drop from his grasp making it easy for Scott Johnston to pop the ball into the net. Four minutes later, McCaldon stopped a Lloyd Young shot only for the same player to return it goalbound at the second attempt.
Manager Ian Little used all three permitted substitutes. Phil Addison and the Reserves’ leading scorer Josh Morris were followed by Kenny O’Brien, also from the Reserves, making his first team debut. But discerning spectators were left to appreciate how Montrose have worked their way up the table into a play-off spot. This win took their unbeaten league run to six matches.
Berwick Rangers: McCaldon, Jacobs, Hoskins ( O’Brien 86 ), Brydon, Townsley, Currie, Gielty, Janczyk ( Morris 75 ), Lavery, Ferguson ( Addison 75 ), McDonald
Official attendance: 484