The stand at Gala Fairydean Rovers F.C., a listed building, from where most of the spectators at the friendly against Berwick Under 20s viewed the match
GALA FAIRYDEAN ROVERS 5 BERWICK RANGERS UNDER 20s 1
With the first team in action at Forfar**, there was no scope to include any overage players in Berwick’s Development team when they took on Lowland League Fairydean Rovers in a pre-season friendly last Saturday, July 18th. Rangers included three Bewickshire lads in their squad, Daniel Pattendale from Chirnside and Eyemouth’s Lewis MacKay and Jack Hamilton.
Despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession, the hosts led only 1-0 at the interval thanks to a 15th minute goal. After Rovers’ keeper John Dodds twisted in the air to hold Charlie Denton’s free kick, his team swept to the other end, Jamie Gibson finishing the move by beating the Berwick keeper from the edge of the box.
Berwick might have grabbed an equaliser with the last kick of the half when Daniel Watt flicked the ball back to Ewan Herriot but he shot straight at Dodds.
Whereas Gala had the luxury of seven substitutes, Berwick had only one. That the free kick count was heavily in Berwick’s favour was a reflection of the difference in physical maturity between the teams rather than any unwarranted aggression on the part of the home side. But, in the second half, these factors plus Gala’s greater experience, helped them into a 4-0 lead.
The second goal came on 52 minutes. With Berwick’s goalie exposed in his depopulated area, Ryan Clapperton sent the ball from out on the right into the opposite corner of the net. A Fairydean trialist then fired over the bar following a home corner and Gibson hit the side netting after his team counter attacked after a rare Berwick one. On the hour, former Berwick forward Stuart Noble came on and soon flashed a header wide from a Gibson cross.
At the other end, Denton took a short pass from Watt and teed up a crack at goal but Dodds positioned himself to save with his legs.
Gala finished with three goals in the last eleven minutes. Ross Aitchison headed in a pinpoint cross from the right. Four minutes later, Berwick lost the ball and Noble passed it to Dean McColm to finish. In the final minute, Noble was again provider, this time for Tommy Paterson to score with a simple tap in.
In between Rovers’ last two goals, Rangers got on the scoresheet. Despite a line of red and black shirts in proximity, the ball broke favourably for Hamilton and, judging the angle perfectly, he sent a curving shot dipping beyond Dodds.
Admission to the game on the 3G surface at Netherdale was free and about sixty spectators attended.
Berwick Rangers: Trialist, McDonald, Herriot, Hogg ( capt. ), McConnell, Denton, Hastie ( Hamilton 28 ), McKay, Watt, Pattendale, Russell
** Berwick Rangers’ first team went down 2-0 away to Forfar in their fifth pre-season game. It was also 2-0 at half time.