Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
SPFL Development League East
COWDENBEATH 0 BERWICK RANGERS 4
Two first half goals from Aaron Murrell set Berwick Rangers Under 20s on the way to a first win in four matches at New Central Park in Kelty.
Bottom of the table Cowdenbeath were more competitive than the scoreline suggests but it was a night when they didn’t get any breaks. They twice hit the metalwork in the first half and in the second, when Cameron Muirhead seemed certain to score, Jack Cook kicked the ball off the line.
Cook was prominent in a Rangers’ defence which frustrated Cowdenbeath’s best efforts. Keeper MacAulay Jarrett also played his part with some good saves to maintain a clean sheet. His first came early on after Muirhead, who like Murrell was involved in first team action as a sub the previous evening, headed the ball on to Paul Brown to race into the box to shoot.
Berwick’s team sheet suggests their nickname could be the ‘All Jacks’. With Cook and Kieran Jack already on the field, they lost Jack Gillan with a knee injury in the 16th minute with Jack Murray taking over.
Cowdenbeath had already survived some close shaves and, thirteen minutes after this enforced change, Berwick took the lead. Murrell released one of three trialists down the right. Goalkeeper Blair Penman initially saved when Grant Rose connected with the winger’s cross but was stranded as Murrell returned the loose ball into his net.
Two minutes from half time, Rose flicked on the ball with his head, Murrell resisting the challenge of Callum Watt to make it a double.
The trialist winger was again involved as Berwick stretched the margin to three goals seven minutes into the second half. Jamie Chapman ran into space to take his pass, prompting Rose to position himself in front of goal to convert on receipt of the skipper’s delivery from the right. From the other side of the pitch, Rose provided Gary Windram with the opportunity to celebrate his arrival with Berwick’s fourth goal.
In part due to a three man change of personnel just past the hour, the Fifers’ defence continued to look shaky and only the post stopped Murrell from bagging a hat trick after Windram put through a pass unhindered.
The ‘Brazilians’ did manage a late rally, Jarrett making another couple of saves which contributed to a series of home corners before referee Kyle Hall blew for time.
Berwick Rangers: Jarrett, A.Trialist, Heath ( Aitchison 68 ), Chapman ( capt. ), Cook, B.Trialist ( Smith 78 ), C.Trialist ( Dolan 78 ), Gillan ( Murray 16 ), Rose, Murrell, Jack ( Windram 68 )
Unused subs: Allan ( GK ), Briggs