Wednesday, April 11th, 2018
SPFL Development League East
BERWICK RANGERS 4 FORFAR ATHLETIC 0
Berwick Rangers Under 20s broke new ground by staging this home match on the 3G pitch at Portobello High School in Edinburgh. The result increases their chances of moving up the table from their current sixth out of seven spot as it moves them to within two points of the Station Park boys with a game in hand.
Grant Rose scored three goals. Three of the four came from corners. The exception was the first one which was scored inside the opening sixty seconds. Paul Simpson made yards down the left before crossing and at the back post, Rose raised his leg to exactly the right height to gently tap the ball over the line.
Rangers keeper Macaulay Jarrett, who hardly put a foot wrong all night, was out quickly to boot it away as Ben Starkey chased a long ball. Jamie Gill fired straight at Jarrett after Starkey won the race for another long ball. These opening 25 minutes turned out to be Forfar’s best of the game as they remained in the hunt without totally dominating.
For instance, Jack Cook and Gary Windram worked the ball to Berwick’s B. Trialist whose shot was blocked. Loons’ goalie Jack Shaw recovered just in time to secure the ball following Simpson’s cross meant for Windram and after veteran captain Kevin McNaughton, ex-Aberdeen, Cardiff City and Scotland, failed to head the ball clear, it was only Shaw’s legs which prevented B.Trialist from scoring.
If he wasn’t to get on the scoresheet, Rangers’ no. 10 was instrumental in creating all three goals from corners. On 35 minutes, his inswinger was probably on its way in when, right on the line, skipper Jamie Chapman, who was in great form, made sure.
Gill soon created a chance for his team to cut the lead with a flat ball across the goal but unmarked Max Avolio managed only the faintest of touches.
Berwick’s Calum Heath received the night’s only caution for a second foul on Gill within two second half minutes. More positively, he went low to see off Ryan Stirton’s header of a corner ball which would otherwise have gone in.
Stirton, who replaced McNaughton at half time, forcefully headed another Simpson cross over his own bar. Cook knocked down ‘B’s’ corner for Rose to make it 3-0 exactly on the hour. Only three further minutes passed before Rose completed his hat trick by heading in another corner from the same man, this one taken from the other side.
With a four goal cushion, Berwick played out the rest of the game as a team very much in control. On limited possession, Forfar barely got a sniff though Avolio hit the post after pulling three men out towards him. At the opposite end, only Shaw was in the way as Stuart Briggs turned to hit a pass from D.Trialist but the ball rolled wide.
Berwick Rangers: Jarrett, Aitchison, Heath ( C.Trialist 58 ), A.Trialist, Cook, Murray ( Smith 70 ), Windram ( Sutherland 68 ), Chapman, Rose ( Briggs 70 ), B.Trialist, Simpson ( D.Trialist 68 )