Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018
SPFL Reserve League 2
EAST KILBRIDE RESERVES 3 BERWICK RANGERS RESERVES 1
These teams had already represented their respective clubs in last season’s City Cup Final which was played earlier this season at the K-Park Academy situated within East Kilbride’s Calderglen Country Park. On that occasion too, the home side won 3-1 but though the margin may hint at a comfortable victory for ‘Kilby’, Berwick were on top for a fair chunk of this game stretching from the final stages of the first half well into the second. They had fought back from two down but effectively, the killer punch was delivered by JAMIE LONGWORTH around the 66th minute. A proven goalscorer with SPFL clubs such as Stranraer and Queen’s Park, he showed why with a 35 yard shot which carried sufficient bounce that trialist keeper Cammy Sandilands from Longniddry Villa had little chance of stopping it.
After Rangers’ Daniel Purves came close to scoring with an early low header, the hosts began to ratchet up the pressure. Longworth’s 13th minute strike was deflected over the bar whilst Gary Windram headed a long free kick to safety over the same piece of metalwork. Sandilands’ initial save and the unnamed trialist’s excellent tackle prevented the South Lanarkshire side from gaining any reward from another free kick taken a yard outside the box and directly in front of goal. However on 26 minutes, after Berwick struggled to control the ball, LIAM CRAIG fired his team in front from much the same spot.
Two Berwick chances were then lost. Grant Rose was wide after the quick thinking Matthew O’Connor sent an excellent long ball over to Purves and as Marc Malloy tried to position himself to beat keeper Kieran Bell, Conor Bell came between them, a factor in the Berwick man hitting the ball in the wrong direction for a goal kick.
East Kilbride went two up in the 37th minute when JAY McINALLY seized upon a weak back pass from Rangers’ A.N.Other. The visitors responded quickly, ANDREW DEMPSTER slamming the ball into the net after goalie Bell was unable to keep hold of Purves’ cross from the right wing.
In the 55th minute, Windram made fully fifty yards on the left, Purves again the middle man, Dempster’s shot from 18 yards ending a foot wide of the post. East Kilbride’s defence was once more cut open when Rangers again surged forward but in trying to finish in style, O’Connor blasted the ball over the bar.
Following Longworth’s goal, O’Connor was involved with Malloy leaving Rose with only Lewis Sanderson to beat but the second half keeper positioned himself well causing the striker to shoot straight at him.
A late fourth home goal seemed imminent when Craig set up sub Andy Brown but Sandilands saved from East Kilbride’s number 14.
Berwick Rangers: Trialist, Ashford ( Smith 74 ), Windram, Trialist, McCrorie, Trialist, D.Purves ( Brown 74 ), Murray ( capt.) ( Russell 57 ), Rose ( Blair 83 ), Dempster, Malloy ( Trialist 83 )
Unused sub: Dowie ( GK )