Saturday, December 23rd, 2017 SPFL 2
CLYDE 0 BERWICK RANGERS 0
The stoppage time whistles from supporters of both sides urging referee Steven Reid to bring proceedings to an end were an indication of general satisfaction with a point apiece from a game in which the most exciting moments came in the second half. In the first, Berwick’s passing game was the more impressive but they could only muster two shots on goal whilst Clyde streaked ahead in the corner count notching half a dozen without reply.
Berwick kicked off against the wind with five men stretched along the centre line suggesting their emphasis would be on attack. After soaking up early minutes’ pressure from Clyde, it was Chris McDonald who tried first for goal but the ball drifted away from his target. In the 28th minute, and at a lower height, Michael McKenna’s curler was more dangerous but Blair Currie read it well.
Clyde frequently looked to get the ball to pony-tailed Jordan Lowdon, operating out wide on the left. At one point, he got past two Berwick players as he came inside but Robby McCrorie had his angled shot covered. McCrorie had already saved from David Goodwillie after the hosts surprised Rangers by managing to keep the ball in play despite its proximity to the bye line.
As rain began to swirl across the stadium, Kevin McKinlay cut out Max Wright’s chip destined for David Gormley who otherwise would have been away on his own. On the other side of the ground, Gormley’s clever lob reached Lowdon but he was promptly dispossessed by Marcus Godinho. Robert Wilson tracked back to to catch and foil Goodwillie when Clyde sent a long ball downfield and, close to the interval, there was more good defending from Kevin Nicoll as he stepped in to prevent Keiran Stewart making something from a good ball into the box by McKenna.
Berwick eventually won a corner four minutes into the second half. In a planned move, Stewart drifted over to the left beyond the far post from where he connected with Andy Irving’s kick but his header was too high. With Pat Scullion having left the club, Stevie Notman resumed the captaincy and had a go from 20 yards when Clyde immediately surrendered the ball after successfully disrupting a Godinho-Irving move.
Godinho soon picked up a yellow card for a lunge at Gormley as he started to take the ball away from the danger area. It also heralded a spell when the Bully Wee had the upper hand.
McKinlay brought down Gormley on the edge of the penalty area. When David Ramsay sent in the ball, there was an almighty scramble with men from both teams getting a touch. As it was cleared, another crowd formed, Rangers’ players’ ire provoked by Andrew Munro’s illicit challenge on Stewart. Munro was booked and in the aftermath of the incident so was Berwick’s Jonny Fairbairn.
Another Ramsay free kick from much the same spot produced a corner. Next, Notman fell into the net after appearing just in time to head away Goodwillie’s effort, the final phase of a three man move.
The pattern of the game changed again with the onset of substitutions. Rangers’ changes had the greater effect, hence the home fans’ relief on hearing the final whistle. Berwick’s defensive line was now positioned close to halfway which not only forced Clyde to try long balls over the top but pointed to Rangers’ intention to go flat out for a rare goal on plastic. It never came though Aaron Murrell won a corner after three men were on to him as he received the ball twelve yards out. Another corner by Stevie Thomson was missed by Currie, lucky that it wasn’t a vey challenging one. However, the keeper only held McKenna’s late strike at the second attempt.
In the middle of all this, spectators witnessed the improbable sight of McKinlay, in possession, being forced back fully thirty yards by Clyde’s incessant terrier-like snapping before conceding a throw in.
Berwick Rangers: McCrorie, Notman, McKinlay, Fairbairn, Lavery ( Murrell 79 ), McKenna ( Thomson 89 ), Irving ( Phillips 73 ), Stewart, Wilson, McDonald, Godinho