COWDENBEATH 3 BERWICK RANGERS 0 ( Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 )
At a wet Central Park, it was more a case of Berwick Strangers as Berwick included seven trialists in their starting line up including two making first appearances for the club. Of the signed men, Ben Miller and Euan Bauld had been up to Elgin with the first team the night before and got home in the early hours. In Bauld’s case it was home at 3:00 a.m. and then up and out again at 7:00 a.m.
Manager Colin Cameron was impressed how well the Berwick team knitted together— and on a slippery pitch— particularly in the first half. But ‘the gaffer’ had to admit that whereas the home side took their chances, Berwick didn’t. The end result meant that the Blue Brazil boys have scored nine goals without reply in two Development League matches against Berwick.
Things might have been different had Josh Thomson not made a timely tackle on Miller when the midfielder was within range of goal after driving into the box. Calum Helm pierced the home defence with a ball to Daniel Watt but his shot from an awkward angle led to an easy save for Jamie Sneddon.
Watt posed a more serious threat in the 27th minute when he unleashed a bouncer on the turn, Sneddon having to look snappy to palm it away.
Whilst Gavin Stevenson was off the field receiving treatment, Berwick keeper Nils Bleakley made a double save with his legs following a corner and after another corner in the 39th minute, ‘Beath got their first goal. Bleakley tipped the ball on to the bar but when it came down, Craig Johnston belted it into the net.
Four minutes after the restart, the Fifers doubled their advantage with a well taken goal from Jack Wright whose elation matched that of a player scoring the winning goal in a cup final!
Berwick twice came close. Helm’s header off Bauld’s corner was goalbound but was headed off the line. Watt saw a shot take a deflection which allowed Sneddon to turn it over the bar.
With the two goal cushion, Cowdenbeath were looking comfortable and Johnston sought to test Bleakley with a stinging, high shot. Berwick’s goalie rose to the challenge, jumping and using both hands to push the ball off course.
With three minutes left, Zak Khouiel was felled on the edge of the ‘D’ as he dribbled his way forward. The subsequent free kick eventually led to the ball breaking to Helm and a consolation goal seemed on the cards but the young striker poked it wide.
A minute later, the hosts made it a slightly flattering three goal margin of victory. Josh Wilson spotted Bleakley off his line and from outside the penalty area, scored the best goal of the night.
Referee Lorraine Clark booked only one player, Cowdenbeath’s Liam Callaghan for a first half foul.
Berwick Rangers: Bleakley, Herriot*, Bauld ( Monin 57 ), Hogg*, R.Wilson*, Quinn*, Stevenson* ( Khouiel 46 ), Miller, Helm*, Watt*, Watson