Matthieu Judor ( in front ) who was involved in Berwick’s first goal against Stenhousemuir ( Photo courtesy of Alan Bell )
BERWICK RANGERS 4 STENHOUSEMUIR 1 ( Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 )
Berwick Rangers included two new trialists in this Development League game, Kayde Reynolds from North Berwick amateurs and Robert Wilson from juniors Musselburgh Athletic. They started as the team’s centre back pairing. The match also marked the competitive debut of a fourth Frenchman, Loick Mangala, who came on as a second half substitute.
Berwick scored after only two minutes. Matthieu Judor and Blair Henderson, in turn, slotted the ball into the right spaces before Henderson sent it across the box to Dean Horribine. He had time to control it before firing past keeper Craig Burns. Stenhousemuir levelled five minutes later, gifted a goal when Berwick goalie Nils Bleakley’s poor kick landed favourably for Lee Gallagher to shoot just inside the post.
Judor, Zak Khouiel and Ben Miller were prominent in many of Berwick’s attacks which tended to break down with the final pass. Plus Henderson was now being well guarded by Stenny number 5, Kai Wilson. However, after Judor was fouled, Burns was called upon to tip away Horribine’s free kick for a corner.
Stenny reminded Rangers that they possessed plenty of pace when they cut open the home defence but Stan Chitemere couldn’t connect with the final delivery two yards in front of goal. Bleakley saved with his foot from the same player when he was through again. In between, Miller’s surging run was stopped by James Redpath’s desperate tackle before the man of the match could unleash a shot.
Only frantic Stenny defence kept out Berwick in the final five minutes of the first half but five minutes into the second, Rangers went back in front. Horribine repaid Henderson for the first goal with the pass that sent the big man on his way to slipping the ball past Burns.
Gallagher almost equalised for a second time courtesy of another poor kick from Bleakley who was fortunate that the ball rattled the underside of his bar before dropping on to his line. Massed in numbers for David Gold’s 61st minute corner, it was Euan Bauld who got his head to the ball to make it 3-1.
Rangers’ growing confidence was clearly visible; Henderson shot wide and before and after this, Burns saved from Gold ( set up by Miller ) and Horribine ( on the end of a sweeping attack ). Gregor Watson created a good position for Gold inside the box only to witness his teammate bundled over on the turn. Henderson confidently scored from the spot with thirteen minutes to go.
Bleakley dropped on his line to save a close range header after a Stenhousemuir corner—their last chance save for a couple of shots over the bar as Berwick showed great determination not to concede any further goals.
Berwick Rangers: Bleakley, Bauld, Watson, Reynolds*, Wilson*, Khouiel ( Mangala 71 ), Judor ( Monin 60 ), Miller, Henderson, Gold, Horribine
* Denotes Trialist