Pic: Jamie Chapman captained the team at Kelty last night (picture by Ian Beresford)
Wednesday, September 6th, 2017
SPFL Development League East
COWDENBEATH 1 BERWICK RANGERS 4
After nine pre-season matches, the final one a 3-1 win over Craigroyston, Berwick Rangers 2017-18 Development League campaign finally got underway on the ground of new East of Scotland League club Kelty Hearts. There were half a dozen new faces in the tem which lined up in 4:4:2 formation for the kick off. Four of them got on the scoresheet. Jordan Orru and Daniel Watt, who played in part of the first team game v. Queen of the South the previous Saturday, got a full run out this time despite being involved in a particularly strenuous first team training session the night before.
The respective keepers each got an early touch of the ball before Berwick went ahead after just two minutes. Home players were probably expecting a cross from the right from GRANT ROSE. Instead, the Jedburgh lad drilled an angled shot through the defence into the opposite corner of Blair Penman’s net. In under a minute, Cowdenbeath were level again through Lyle Kellichan’s glancing header off a corner taken by former Berwick player Charlie Denton.
In the 19th minute, Rose served Bradley Barrett with a good ball across field but, snuffed out by a couple of defenders, Rangers’ number 10 took a poorly enacted dive and was promptly booked for simulation. More acceptable was the way he finished from close range four minutes later. Rose spotted an opportunity when Watt switched play infield, running into the box to take the pass and followed this with a cute back heel to BARRETT to make it 2-1.
The first half remained tight.Lewis Turnbull had already been allowed clear sight of goal after Jack Cowan broke forward but was wide and towards the end, Jack Cook headed away Denton’s free kick.
Cowdenbeath began the second period with two efforts over the bar; Cowan, after picking up a loose ball some 22 yards out and Denton with another free. After that, the home side rarely threatened, in part stifled by Berwick’s defensive line at times positioning itself almost on the halfway line. Increasingly likely that a third Berwick goal would end the game as a contest, it took a while to arrive. Before it did, captain Jamie Chapman, whose work rate was exemplary, sent a perfect diagonal ball over to sub Scott Sutherland who just missed with a low drive from out wide. Penman made a good but ultimately unnecessary save from another replacement Kieran Jack. The linesman flagged for an infringement.
With 15 minutes left, Ewan Herriot chipped the ball on to Jack GILLAN, earlier booked for blatantly pulling back Denton by his shirt. He advanced a few yards before, with a little help from the post, claiming that important third score. Penman’s foot stopped Jack Murray from quickly adding another but MURRAY eventually made it four in 90+ minutes. With a kick to Kieran Jack over defenders’ heads, Chapman launched the final move of the match. Watt was again involved by laying back the ball to Murray. Not the post this time but a deflection which ensured he wrapped up the scoring. There was only time for the hosts to kick off again before Duncan Smith blew for time.
Berwick Rangers: Jarrett, Herriot, Orru, Chapman ( capt. ), Cook, McKenzie, Murray, Gillan ( Dolan 80 ), Watt, Barrett ( Sutherland 63 ), Rose ( Jack 70 )Unused substitutes: Allan ( GK ), Aitchison, Windram, Heath