Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 SPFL 2
BERWICK RANGERS 2 PETERHEAD 3
Berwick Rangers fought back from two nil down to level the scores in this rearranged SPFL game before the Blue Toon clinched victory with a goal from Jack Leitch. Rangers made one change from the starting eleven at Cowdenbeath four days earlier, Steven Notman, back after suspension, slotting into the position occupied by Darren Lavery who this time was unavailable because of illness.
David McCracken messed up an early chance for the visitors when the ball came his way after William Gibson’s free kick. However, after a glut of Peterhead throw ins, it was McCracken who headed his team in front in the 15th minute following the first corner of the game also taken by Gibson.
A couple of free kicks offered Berwick chances to equalise. Steven Thomson was just wide with the first from 30 odd yards in the 25th minute. Two home players got a touch to the ball following his second from a much tighter angle before the visitors got the ball away.
Rory McAllister doubled the lead from the penalty spot in the 40th minute after referee Scott Millar decreed that Oliver Fleming fouled sub Jordon Brown. Leitch then came close, heading a great cross from Gibson a fraction over Robby McCrorie’s bar. Yet, the Aberdeenshire men did not go in two up at the break as a couple of minutes beforehand Jack Hamilton finished with aplomb after pouncing on an unsuspecting defender and taking the ball off him.
Seconds into the new half, McCrorie made a good save from Brown before Berwick enjoyed their most dominant spell of the game. Seven minutes after the restart, they were back on level terms, Ousman See knocking the ball in at the far post after Gary Phillips sent over a good cross from the left.
Having lost a limping Jamie Stevenson in the first half, Peterhead suffered another casualty in the 58th minute. Nicky Riley was taken off on a stretcher with Russell McLean coming on.
Berwick’s hopes of going on to victory were dealt what turned out to be a mortal blow in the 71st minute. During a spell when neither side was able to keep possession, the ball fell to McAllister. He managed to play it across from the left to Leitch who beat McCrorie from close range despite the keeper getting a touch of the ball on its way in. Just ahead of Berwick’s first change, Aaron Murrell for Declan O’Kane, Gibson hit the far post after firing from the right.
See created a chance for Murrell with a low ball into the box but the new man couldn’t get a decent strike of it. At the other end, Fleming’s indecision almost led to Mclean scoring but the ball slowly rolled outside the post.
Rangers made another change with five minutes remaining. Paul Simpson took over from Notman who left the field clutching his ribs.
When McCracken hit the ball way over the bar, it was as much a piece of time wasting as a serious attempt to score, Peterhead sensing that, barring disasters, the points were theirs. After a late Thomson free kick, the home bench’s shouts for handball were more in hope than out of conviction. Nor could there have been any complaints when Keiran Stewart was booked for pulling down Gibson as Peterhead went forward after an attempted Berwick attack was spoiled by a misplaced pass.
Berwick Rangers: McCrorie, O.Fleming, Notman ( Simpson 85 ), Fairbairn, Thomson, Phillips, Petkov, Stewart, O’Kane ( Murrell 75 ), Hamilton, See