Andy Russell who scored one goal but missed a penalty at Haddington ( Photo courtesy of Alan Bell )
Haddington Athletic 2 Berwick Rangers XI 4 ( Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 ): After two weeks’ enforced inactivity due to weather-induced postponements, Berwick Rangers’ development team players got some much needed match practice in this friendly in dry but windy conditions on the artificial surface in Haddington where both clubs train. As it was a non-competitive match, normal SPFL Development League rules regarding overage players did not apply and this was refelected in Berwick’s starting line-up.
Haddington currently top their division in the third tier of East of Scotland Junior football. Former Berwick player John Ferguson led their attack. Another ex-Ranger, Arran Ponton, came on as a second half sub.
Ferguson fluffed an early chance to open the scoring after Berwick’s Haddington-based keeper Nils Bleakley saved from Scott Wright. When first half goals did finally arrive, like London Transport buses, they all came at once and were all scored by Berwick.
Ben Miller’s slick through ball set up Scott Dalziel for the first on 26 minutes. A mere five minutes passed before Andy Russell banged home the second. It wasn’t long until Dalziel made it 3-0 and the same player completed his hat trick five minutes from the break.
A fifth goal beckoned when Berwick won a penalty. Dean Horribine surged into the box but was forced wide by a foul. The referee appreciated that the former Hibs player had gained no advantage by managing to stay on his feet and correctly pointed to the spot. However, Derek Polowyj dived the right way to save Russell’s kick.
Whilst this miss alone wasn’t responsible for taking the wind out of Berwick’s sails, in the second half they struggled to maintain the speed and cohesion displayed when they were racking up the goals. Horribine was only inches over the bar with a long free kick and, near the end, a shot was cleared off the Haddington line but it was the East Lothian team which found the net twice at either end of the second period. Scott Wright’s goal came nine minutes into the new half. Much later, Paul Tansey’s luck was in. Bleakley had his shot covered but it took a deflection off Devon Jacobs and ended up inside the keeper’s near post.
Berwick Rangers XI: Bleakley–T, Jacobs, Bauld, Cameron ( Khouiel 58 ), Monin, Fairbairn, Miller ( Easton 58 ), Russell ( A.N. Other–T 58 ), Dalziel, Horribine, Gold