SPFL RESERVE LEAGUE 2
BERWICK RANGERS RESERVES 3 ALBION ROVERS RESERVES 4
Shielfield Park, Berwick, Tuesday, August 28th, 2018
Berwick Rangers began life in the new SPFL Reserve League 2 with a disappointing defeat though no one present would have complained about the game’s entertainment value.
Rovers struck after only four minutes and clinched victory with even fewer minutes remaining on the clock. In between, Grant Rose paved the way for two of Berwick’s goals and claimed the third one himself.
MARK GREENE, on loan from Alloa, opened the scoring, knocking the ball into the net after home keeper Stuart Allan was unable to reach Ronan Kearney’s cross from the left.
Gary Windram might have equalised but his angled shot intended for an empty net travelled beyond the far post. On 13 minutes, MARC MOLLOY did make it 1-all with an excellent finish, Rose, despite looking off balance, still managing to supply a perfect through ball.
Four minutes later, Jamie Chapman’s 30 yard free kick floated just past the crossbar meaning it was the Coatbridge team which scored next. Greene, known to Berwick as a star winger in last season’s Alloa Development team, beat two men on a sprint up the right before cutting inside. The ball hit wood before conveniently landing at the feet of scorer KEARNEY.
Rose played in KIERAN JACK, Rangers winning a corner when his shot was blocked but there was no stopping him as he nutmegged keeper Christopher Wylie after collecting Rose’s gentle lob around ten minutes from the half time whistle.
Albion Rovers thought they had retaken the lead for a third time following a goalmouth scramble four minutes from the break but referee Iain Snedden was satisfied Allan had dropped on the ball right on the line.
There was no question over the goal which put Berwick ahead for the first time just 60 seconds into the new half. A poor kick by Wylie went straight to Molloy who passed across to ROSE to fire into an empty net. Daniel Moran should have levelled nine minutes later but skewed the ball wide after it came to him off Berwick’s Jack Murray.
As Berwick countered, Windram outpaced the cover on taking another good ball from Rose but an Albion boot got in the way of his shot. Jack, who vied with Rose as home man of the match, cut in from the left to release a fierce strike which ended up a fraction over the bar. Windram raced on to another long ball, this one from Bruce McCrorie, only to be denied by Sean Fagan’s sudden appearance to send the ball away for a corner.
Ultimately, Berwick paid the price for being unable to cash in on these chances. Albion sub Jack Gordon immediately marked his 68th minute arrival with a cross which LEWIS McLEAR headed in at the back post. With normal time almost up, McLEAR repeated the act, on this occasion Lewis Wilson the provider, the ball again sent over from the right.
Berwick Rangers Reserves: Allan, J.Purves ( Blair 84 ), Windram, Trialist, Murray, McCrorie, Jack ( B. Barrett 70 ), Chapman ( capt.), Rose, Molloy, Bloomfield ( Ashford 63 )
Unused subs: L.Barrett, Smith, Briggs, D.Purves
You can watch match highlights on BRFC TV.