Berwick v. Stenhousemuir at Haddington ( Photo by John Bell )
Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
BERWICK RANGERS 10 STENHOUSEMUIR 2
Berwick Rangers Development League team found themselves in the unusual position of being 6-1 ahead at half time when they hosted Stenhousemuir on the training pitch Rangers use in Haddington. Berwick went into the game needing one point to be absolutely sure of avoiding finishing last in the nine team competition and the result confirms that it is Stenny who collect the wooden spoon. Forfar have already won the league.
Rangers fielded three recognised first teamers in Kerr Young, Ross Gray and Darren Lavery, the latter needing extended game time to test his recently injured back. Only two trialists were shown on the teamsheet compared to eight for the previous match. A double substitution near the hour saw a total of five Frenchmen in the black and gold for the final thirty minutes.
Berwick took only three minutes to open their account, Lavery stroking the ball into the net at the far post on receipt of a perfect cross from Ben Miller. Craig Sutherland might have equalised after Young miscued an attempted kick but the striker’s shot was too high.
Miller was also involved in Berwick’s second goal in the 12th minute. He played the ball through to Watt who kept calm under pressure from two defenders before slipping the ball past goalie Craig Burns.
The generosity of Rangers’ defence led to Warriors first teamer Ryan Millar scoring off the post after quarter of an hour. The prospect of a high scoring game was underlined four minutes later. Another through ball, this time from Matthieu Judor, found Gray. Full back Steven Lamont was caught flatfooted as Gray ran on to beat Burns.
Before half an hour was up, Judor scored his first ever goal for Berwick with a confident strike from 20 yards. This was quickly followed by a second goal from Gray. Young began the build up with a downfield ball to Lavery and the move was completed when Watt provided the final touch to Gray to fire home from 10 yards.
Stenny’s hopes of not conceding again before Mr. Williams’ half time whistle were dashed . Out on the right, Miller left two markers in his wake. His low cross was deflected for a corner taken by Maxim Veyreinc. Lavery headed the Frenchman’s delivery over the line before Burns dropped on the ball unaware that it had already beaten him.
Nine minutes after the restart, Berwick split open the away team’s defence creating a chance for Watt. Forced wide, he again showed composure to claim his second score of the night. Barely a minute later, the Warriors were ripped apart once more, Gray completing the move with his hat trick. Judor made it three goals inside four minutes when he rose to head home a great cross from Charlie Denton.
Booked in the first half for felling Stan Chitemere, Anthony Monin was fortunate that the ref played advantage when he pulled the shirt of a trialist substitute who surged down the right to set up Stenhousemuir’s and Millar’s second goal soon after Rangers made their team changes.
Watt narrowly edged the ball past the post with his left foot following another excellent cross from Denton but he put Berwick into double figures with seven minutes to go. Another Stenny trialist was booked for bringing down Judor. Burns punched out Veyreinc’s free kick but only as far as Gray who, in a reversal of the situation five goals earlier, passed to Watt to strike.
There was still time for Young to come up and shake the bar with a header from another Veyreinc corner and further woe for Stenhousemuir when Lamont picked up a yellow card for deliberate handball after ending up on the deck in midfield.
Berwick Rangers: Bleakley, Denton*, Watson ( Khouiel 59 ), Miller ( Mangala 59 ), Monin, Young, Gray, Judor, Watt*, Veyreinc, Lavery