Saturday, July 20th, 2013
BERWICK RANGERS 2 FORFAR ATHLETIC 2
Darren Lavery opened and completed the scoring in this entertaining friendly played on an excellent Shielfield surface. Owen Ronald, one of five trialists in the Berwick starting line up, had a hand in both.
The first came after 5 minutes. Ewan Saunderson’s determination to regain possession paved the way for Ronald to dribble down the right. Lavery hit the number 7’s inside pass into the far corner of the Forfar goal.
No sooner were Rangers ahead than the Loons equalised. Stuart Malcolm beat Paul Grant with a free header from a corner.
Twice Lavery was taken out by crude tackles. Another trialist, Lewis Turner, showed the right way with a sliding tackle on Forfar trialist Bryan Deasley before he could fire from 5 yards. But the same player put the visitors in front after half an hour. Ross Campbell weaved his way across field past several defenders before passing to Deasley to finish off.
In the second half, Turner, who made a bigger impact in this game than in the midweek defeat by Whitehill, set up Lavery only for Forfar goalie Darren Hill to save at point blank range from the Berwick striker for the second time in the game. Ben Miller was unable to stroke home the rebound.
In the 73rd minute, a fierce spinning ball from Turner bounced back off the post before Hill used both fists to punch away another Lavery strike.
With 7 minutes left, Turner beat tackles to supply Ronald who again provided Lavery with the vital pass from which to score.
Grant scrambled across his goal to push away a late Forfar effort but overall, a draw was about right.
Official attendance: 188
Three days later, Berwick Rangers were at Olivebank to play another pre-season game against Musselburgh Athletic. The second half was played in torrential rain with thunder and lightning not far away but the conditions did not deter Berwick from lifting their game to come from behind to beat their Junior opponents.
Both sides created first half chances. Lewis Turner strode 30 yards before passing to fellow Rangers’ trialist Liam Buchanan who fired way too high. Buchanan was also out of luck when his solo run finished with the ball inches the wrong side of the post. The same fate befell Stevie Notman on the end of a trademark jinking run by Ross Gray.
Thus, when Musselburgh won a penalty following a Jonny Fairbairn indiscretion, Michael McKenna took the chance to put the East Lothian side in front.
The introduction of Ross Brady at half time helped inject extra zest into Berwick’s play and Brady was soon on the scoresheet following excellent footwork by Owen Ronald out on the left. Three minutes later, Ronald added a second goal.
Musselburgh never seriously threatened Billy Bald in the Berwick goal as they had done in the opening 45 but his opposite number made a string of good saves. Buchanan also hit the post.