Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 SPFL 2
EDINBURGH CITY 3 BERWICK RANGERS 0
An all too familiar scoreline for Berwick this season but unlike in the 3-0 reversals at Stenhousemuir, Montrose and Arbroath, Rangers were easily the better team for the greater part of this match, periods of which were played in torrential rain. Whilst events again illustrated Berwick’s desperate need to find a convincing striker or two, luck was not on their side, in particular not on Michael McKenna’s.
In the 22nd minute, as Berwick again pressed the home defence, Keiran Stewart found McKenna with a pinpoint pass. With keeper Callum Antell wrongfooted, McKenna was a couple of inches out as he attempted an equally fine tuned finish. Visiting fans’ fears that this miss would come back to haunt the Black and Gold were to be proved well founded.
In the second half, it again looked good for their number ten when his team dissected the home defence with some more great passing but , miraculously for City, the ball was kicked off the line.
Berwick set about the Citizens from the start. Andy Irving was finally stopped inside the box after taking on and beating a trio in white. McKenna latched on to Darren Lavery’s back header to hit a fierce shot which Antell stopped with his body. McKenna did the initial work to enable Marcus Godinho to deliver a ground level ball from the right into the box but there was no one there to connect with it.
Robby McCrorie had to go down to hold an awkward bouncer from Ashley Grimes but on the half hour, Grimes scored for the fourth time v. Berwick in as many matches. Chris McDonald was outnumbered as Grimes got the last touch to send the bobbing ball beyond McCrorie’s reach.
Straight after the break, the unmarked Stewart headed Irving’s cross over the bar. McKenna’s firm shot was held by Antell though he really did deserve better after a brilliant piece of improvised play and exchange of passes with Stewart.
With City being forced to defend in strength, McKenna’s free kick floated over the bar as did Irving’s strike also from outside the penalty area.
From a rare home attack, Pat Scullion, coincidentally making his Edinburgh debut against his previous club and as a result, the target of good natured booing from a section of the away support, almost scored after Calum Hall’s free kick evaded the line of defenders formed to deal with it.
Antell lunged forward to punch away McDonald’s long range effort from the flank before Jonny Fairbairn’s departure was the prelude to to a double disaster for the Shielfield side. Scott Shepherd was left in the clear after Kevin McKinlay misjudged the ball. McCrorie was quick to come out and did well to get a hand to Shepherd’s first try but had no chance of stopping his second.
Four minutes later with McCrorie’s protectors nowhere to be seen, Shepherd collected a long ball and rubbed it in with his second goal to make it an extremely flattering three goal margin of victory for Edinburgh City. Only their third SPFL win of the season and two have been against Berwick Rangers.
Berwick Rangers: McCrorie, Notman ( capt. ), McKinlay, Fairbairn ( Murrell 72 ), Lavery ( Thomson 77 ), McKenna, Irving, Stewart, Wilson, McDonald, Godinho