Saturday, July 29th, 2017
Betfred Cup Group ‘F’
MOTHERWELL 1 BERWICK RANGERS 0
Motherwell having already qualified from group F were still looking for victory over Berwick to secure seeding in the next stage to avoid SPL clubs Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen. Betfred started Motherwell as the clear favourites at 1/7 with a draw at 7/1 and Berwick Rangers at 14/1.
The rain held off as Berwick took to the field in their new white away kit, the team setup in a classic 4-4-2 formation. Motherwell had most of the possession in the first half but the Berwick defence held strong and some outstanding tackles and clearances from Fleming and some athletic shot stopping from McCrorie will no doubt see the young defender and goalkeeper battle it out for the Berwick man of the match award.
Within the first 15 minutes Motherwell had good chances, a corner that was handled well, a shot from Andy Rose that was well saved and a shot from Cedric Kipre in a dangerous position that sailed high and right. Murrell came close for Berwick during this spell with a left footed shot from a break down the left side forcing the Motherwell keeper into a save.
Motherwell continued to dominate with several more balls into the box from the wings that the Berwick defence manage to absorb. Fleming pulling off a great block in the 44th minute to give Motherwell a corner that resulted in a header from Motherwell which sailed high over the bar. As the whistle blew for halftime there was no way anybody could tell that these 2 teams were 3 leagues apart.
The second half continued much as the first half had been, Motherwell winning 4 corners in the first 10 minutes. McCrorie pulling off a fantastic save to push a powerful shot beyond the post. Berwick then had a good spell of possession. Lavery had a right footed shot from outside the box blocked followed shortly by an attempt from Stewart that went high. Moments later Murrell found himself within range but his right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner was saved by the keeper.
The next few minutes saw the start of a few fouls for both teams. Notman winning a free kick but Rutherford and Stewart giving away minor fouls before Stewart was shown the yellow card for a bad foul in the 64th minute. Motherwell had a few more attempts at goal, the defence blocking shots and McCrorie pulling off a good save from Andy Rose in the 66th Minute.
Berwick were looking good and were looking likely to hold on for a draw if not manage a goal. With 10 minutes to go the ball was in the net but McCrorie was impeded as he leapt to save the spinning shot and it was disallowed. McCrorie then pulled off another great save, palming a powerful header over the bar.
Motherwell finally broke the deadlock 8 minutes from time. The ball was worked down the right and was put across to the middle of the area to Frear who struck the ball into the goal. Berwick looked good throughout, certainly not a team that looked out of their depth against the premier league team looking for the win.
Berwick Rangers: McCrorie, Fleming, Waugh, Notman (76 Thomson), McDonald, Lavery, Phillips (75 Donaldson), Irving, Stewart, Rutherford, Murrell (65McKenna).
Attendance 2525 (59 away Supporters).