Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 SPFL 2
EDINBURGH CITY 2 BERWICK RANGERS 2
Steven Thomson’s twelfth goal of the season ten minutes from time ensured Berwick left Meadowbank with a point, sufficient to keep them two points ahead of the hosts in the lower half of the SPFL 2 table.
Even later in the game, Rangers had a chance of snatching all three points when the home defence was caught unawares. A long ball released Greg Rutherford on the right. He made ground unimpeded before crossing to Aaron Murrell. He opted to try to control the ball but had he gone for an immediate strike, might have beaten keeper Andrew Stobie, still smarting from a bad error which paved the way for Thomson’s goal. As it was, this time, he safely gathered the ball following Murrell’s first touch.
Berwick keeper Sean Brennan was soon in action diving to save from Derek Riordan. This gave City a corner, the first of five before Rangers finally won one through David Verlaque. This was some time after Darren Lavery began Berwick’s first proper attack. He made ground up the middle before getting a pass through to Rutherford but Joe Mbu took care of Rangers’ striker. Much of the rest of Lavery’s time was spent back clearing corners.
On his way to winning another kick from the flag, Murrell showed that Mbu was not unbeatable. Around the half hour, Murrell was also link man, passing Kevin McKinlay’s cross back to Rutherford who, with a fine strike, brought his personal haul to four goals in three matches.
City worked space for Lewis Allan to turn and shoot well over. Before the break, Riordan blasted over from 35 yards. Closer to goal and closer to scoring, Joshua Walker’s attempt just skimmed the top of the net.
Berwick were first out for the second half, indulging in a short warm up in preparation for the second 45 minutes. Yet after only three of them, they conceded a goal. Pat Scullion’s head unintentionally directed Craig Beattie’s cross towards Riordan on the other side of him and the former Scotland international headed an equaliser.
Thomson was wide with a shot from inside his half when he saw Stobie off his line. City’s Marc Laird had less excuse for being off target when in the clear. However, on 71 mins, Edinburgh edged in front. Verlaque got himself in a right muddle which helped a ball from Dougie Gair trickle in by the post. With numerous home heads in front of him, Brennan still managed to punch away a Riordan corner before his City oppo made a howler. Stobie let Lavery’s long free kick slip through his hands for a corner taken by Thomson. Soon, the ball was passing between Lavery, Verlaque and back to Thomson to score.
Mark McConnell was crowded out by a posse of Rangers men as Edinburgh advanced in search of a winner before Stobie’s late let off.
An improved performance by Berwick after the weekend debacle against bottom club Cowdenbeath. On the balance of play, the Meadowbankies would have felt hard done by had Berwick grabbed all three points though there would have been no complaints amongst the healthy away support in the 423 crowd.
Berwick Rangers: Brennan, Hamilton, McKinlay, Verlaque ( Phillips 83 ), Scullion, Spark, Thomson, Lavery, Rutherford, McKirdy ( Notman 89 ), Murrell