Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
SPFL Development League East
RAITH ROVERS 6 BERWICK RANGERS 1
In their first Development League game since November, Berwick Rangers Under 20s were second best to table topping Raith Rovers on a freezing night at the Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre in Glenrothes.
Berwick more or less held their own for the first 25 minutes during which Rovers lost Yaw Osei who has often impressed against them in the past. He was helped off with a leg injury after a determined challenge by Berwick’s trialist number two. It was his replacement, Lewis McCann, who fired the Kirkcaldy boys in front in the 28th minute.
Berwick came close to levelling when Aaron Murrell put over a dangerous cross from the left but with a blue shirt close by, Kieran Jack couldn’t quite reach it at the far post.
On 41 minutes, seconds after Rangers’ keeper Stuart Allan’s excellent positioning enabled him to save when Kieran Dall was clean through, McCann lobbed in his second goal.
Three minutes into the second half, McCann was involved again, sending a precision cross from the left wing which Kyle Bell headed down for Dall to finish off. Berwick had barely recovered from that one when full back Jamie Watson smashed in the best goal of the night from outside the box, the ball already over the line as it shook the inside of the metalwork.
Raith were on top form and Berwick’s struggle to contain them in midfield added to the pressure. In the 58th minute, centre back Oliver Fleming’s headed clearance went only as far as Ryan Stevenson who banged in number five.
Both sides took advantage of the new rule which allows for up to five substitutes within three stoppages of play ( excluding half time ). Berwick’s three 62nd minute arrivals included another couple of trialists plus Bradley Barrett who went on to score their consolation goal three minutes from time after Raith’s second goalkeeper, Christopher Peden, initially saved from Murrell.
By then, Raith were 6-0 up, McCann completing his hat trick with 15 minutes left when the Black and Gold defence again failed to clear the ball any distance.
Berwick Rangers: Allan, A.Trialist, Herriot, Murray, Fleming, Chapman ( capt. ) ( Windram 74 ), Jack ( B.Trialist 62 ), Gillan ( C.Trialist 62 ), Rose ( Barrett 62 ), Murrell, Simpson
Unused subs: Jarrett, Dolan, Smith