Pic:Berwick’s Under 20s meet Cowdenbeath under the lights at Kelty ( Photo courtesy of Gordon Dickson )
Monday, February 27th, 2017 SPFL Development League East
COWDENBEATH 2 BERWICK RANGERS 7
Nine goals in all, five of which came inside the opening 25 minutes with Cowdenbeath claiming the first after just five at New Central Park in Kelty. Rangers made numerous changes to the squad which beat Stirling Albion last week. Renne Donkor and Ricardo Kessels were on a brief trip back to the Netherlands, Euan Bauld was unavailable and Stuart Allan came in as goalkeeper instead of Grant Goodfellow.
The home side took the lead after left winger Harvey Swann played the ball into the box to Cameron Muirhead. He scored the equaliser for Cowdenbeath’s senior side in a 1-1 draw at Shielfield back in November and now, his neat turn and finish showed why he was considered first team material.
From the left, Ryan Porteous, who did not play against Stirling, hit the far post before Berwick levelled three minutes after going behind. This time, the ball, from David Verlaque, came from the opposite side. The defence failed to clear leaving Daniel Watt to also give an illustration of how to finish. Six minutes later, the Black and Gold were ahead. Lyle Kellichan fluffed his lines attempting to clear a Porteous cross. Rangers’ captain Sam Jones took full advantage pouncing to slam the ball low into the net.
Soon it was 3-1. Verlaque’s lob did not look particularly threatening but it was good enough to beat stretching keeper Shaun Donoghue. The home team were looking vulnerable to crosses, high or low, and on 23 minutes, Donoghue was once more out of luck. He dived forward to punch away another from Verlaque only for the ball to hit defender Innes Murray and roll into the net.
This was followed by an enforced Berwick substitution. Ewan Herriot could not continue after injuring his knee in a tackle on Swann in between Berwick’s third and fourth goals. Good defence by his replacement Kieran Ingram gave the Blue Brazil a couple of corners, soon followed by another pair after similar work from Jack Cook. There was greater danger when Lewis Turnbull put Muirhead on track towards goal but he was stopped by Ingram’s tremendous sliding tackle.
A minute from the break, Rangers went nap. Upfield, Watt passed back to Porteous and from yet another cross, Jones, right in front of goal, scored his second of the night.
Cowdenbeath were more competitive in the second period which commenced with near misses by both teams before Verlaque shouldered the ball just past the post when Jordan Orru sent over a free kick from close to touch.
Substitutions helped lift Cowdenbeath’s game. No. 16, Jack McLair’s attempt to break a line of Black and Gold defenders was halted by Ally McDonald. On the hour, former Berwick player Charlie Denton was brought on and after Muirhead hit an advertising board behind Allan’s goal, Denton supplied him from midfield. This time, it was left to Ryan Inglis to aim for goal but Allan saw it coming and punched the ball off course. However, the keeper had no chance when another replacement, Ryan Connelly, beat him with an excellent 66th minute volley.
Berwick may have dropped their tempo somewhat in the second half but they finished strongly with two goals from Orru. Man of the match Jones, who had missed the two previous DL games, worked his way through the defence, Orru nipping in to ensure that his efforts ended with a goal.
Six minutes on ( 84 mins. ), Rangers won a corner when Orru, last man in a fine four man move, was stopped by Dino Leddie. It brought minimal relief to the hosts as Orru made it a personal double by converting the corner ball into goal number seven.
Berwick Rangers: Allan, McDonald, Orru, Herriot ( Ingram 25 ), Cook, K. Scott, Verlaque, Jones, Watt, Henderson ( Sutherland 65 ), Porteous ( Anderson 74 )
Unused subs: S.Scott, Chapman, Goodfellow ( GK )