Matthieu Judor ( in front ), who played the first 60 minutes against Livingston in the Development League game at Dalkeith. Photo courtesy of Alan Bell.
Livingston 3 Berwick Rangers 0 ( Monday, October 13th, 2014 ): A last minute goal from a free kick put a slightly flattering gloss on the final scoreline in this SPFL Development League East game played at Kings Park, Dalkeith.
Berwick played Paul Willis in the striker’s role but he struggled to make an impact up against Livi’s experienced Simon Mensing. Upfield, the ‘home’ side had other seasoned professionals in Rob Ogleby, David Robertson and Mark Burchill. The latter pair were involved in the opening goal in the 20th minute. Robertson committed Rangers’ trialist goalkeeper Nils Bleakley leaving Burchill to stroke the ball into an unguarded net.
Livi keeper Connor Quinn’s attempt to break up a Berwick attack by falling on the ball near the perimeter of his box ended in failure on the wet surface giving Dean Horribine the chance to aim for goal. Quinn’s blushes were spared by full back Darren Moffat who hooked away the ball to safety before it could travel the full distance. Ben Miller then struck from 25 yards only to see the ball clear Quinn’s bar by six inches.
Berwick were giving Livingston too much freedom in midfield and paid the price when the lanky Slovene Nejc Praprotnik put Ogleby through and following up, was on hand to knee the number nine’s return cross into the net at the far post two minutes from half time.
To compound Rangers’ woes, Euan Bauld, for intemperate language to the referee and Miller and Devon Jacobs, for fouls, were all booked inside the opening 45 minutes.
At the interval, the visitors replaced Swiss debutant Jonas Burkhard with Jordan Easton. Berwick’s defence had a couple of narrow escapes early in the new half. They got another reprieve when Robertson lifted the ball over the bar from eight yards out to end a snappy move featuring Moffat and Burchill but for the most part, Berwick defended solidly in the second period. They went on to take the game to their nominal hosts in the last twenty minutes, putting together some promising moves. Miller started one of them and ended it with a fierce 20yard shot which Quinn turned over his bar with one hand.
That luck wasn’t going Berwick’s way was exemplified when Horribine’s shot at the end of a Miller-Bauld move was deflected off target by an unsuspecting defender. Then in stoppage time, Zak Khouiel was booked for pulling back an opponent. With the last kick of the match, Burchill paid little heed to the defensive wall and with consummate skill sent the ball from 28 yards to shake the netting in the corner of Bleakley’s goal.
Berwick Rangers: Bleakley–T, Jacobs, Sutherland ( Watson 69 ), Judor ( Khouiel 60 ), Monin, Fairbairn ( capt. ), Bauld, Miller, Willis, Horribine, Burkhard ( Easton 46 )