Goalmouth action from Easter Road (Copyright Kevin McCormick)
HIBERNIAN 4 BERWICK RANGERS 0 ( Sunday, March 8th, 2015 )
Berwick Rangers’ seven match Scottish Cup run was ended by Hibernian in front of 11,259 spectators and the Sky Sports TV cameras at Easter Road in Edinburgh.
Rangers welcomed back Stevie Notman who hadn’t played since leaving the field during the first half of the 5th Round replay at home to Spartans on February 17th. Captaining the side, ‘Notty’ gave his usual wholehearted performance.
Berwick acquitted themselves quite well in the opening twenty five minutes but two goals in two minutes meant it would be an uphill struggle from then on. Jason Cummings’ 26th minute goal was from an unlikely angle and Lewis Stevenson doubled Hibs’ lead soon afterwards.
Rangers rode the storm for the remainder of the first half and opened the second with a spell on the attack. However, the Championship side’s superiority in pace and skill led to two further goals from substitute Sam Stanton in the 66th minute and Liam Fontaine eight minutes from time.
The Berwick fans, congregated in the South Stand, continued to urge their team on in the hope of seeing a consolation goal. Overall, Rangers produced few real scoring chances though a notable first half effort from Lee Currie whizzed across the front of Mark Oxley’s goal.
There were perhaps around a thousand fans shouting for Berwick and it is to be hoped that as many as possible are at Shielfield this Saturday ( March 14th ) to encourage the team in their SPFL 2 match v. Annan Athletic (k.o. 3:00 p.m.). With the Cup run over, Berwick must concentrate hard on the league in which, after three successive defeats, they have slipped to second from last in the table. Bottom club Montrose cut the gap between themselves and Berwick to only four points by beating local rivals Arbroath 3-0 the day before the Easter Road game. For much of the season, the talk has been of Berwick reaching the promotion play offs. This might remain a possibility but the number one priority now is surely to avoid the wooden spoon and the play off with a non-league side to decide which plays in SPFL 2 next season.