Berwick Rangers v Caledonian Braves Match Report

Berwick Rangers slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Caledonian Braves in a Lowland League mid-table clash at Shielfield Park.

The Dream Team started the game well with Jordan Sinclair’s corner being met by Callum Mackay. His header was well saved by Bernie White low to his right-hand side.

Berwick continued their positive momentum with a quality header by Jamie McCormack to give Grant Nelson space on the right. Nelson’s shot however was blocked by Braves defender Greig Stewart and Braves managed to scramble the ball clear.

Caledonian created their first opportunity on the resulting counter-attack as Kristian Gkekga played the ball to Ross McNeil, but he sliced his shot well wide of Calum Antell’s goal.

Midway through the first half Berwick created their best chance of the game. A corner from the left was cleared to Jamie Stephenson on the edge of the box. His expert cross back into the box was met by Jackson Mylchreest’s header that went inches over the bar.

Just after the half-hour mark the ball broke in midfield to Caledonian’s Cameron Breadner. The winger drove towards goal with little pressure from the Berwick players. Breadner took on a shot from 25 yards out and the ball found its way into the bottom right corner which was met by Shielfield silence as the visitors took the lead out of nowhere.

The goal seemed to stall Berwick’s attacking play as they struggled to create chances. The only other attempt for the Gers in the first half came from Stephenson as his ambitious 30-yard shot flew way over as Caledonian held a half-time lead.

The second half started with a few nasty challenges from both teams with Berwicks Callum Mackay, and the Braves’ John Guthrie and Archie Graham going into the referee’s notebook.

Berwick began to push more players forward in search for an equaliser. The Dream Team’s main threat seemed to be coming from set pieces as Sinclair delivered a terrific free-kick into the Braves box that was met by Jamie McCormack whose header again went over the bar.

Caledonian created a chance of their own as they took advantage of the extra man in midfield with Scott Cusick playing the ball to goalscorer Breadner on the left. Breadner skipped past the retreating McCormack and unleashed a shot that was saved by Antell at his near post.

Breadner’s resulting corner was met by the strong header of Daniel Martins. The centre-back got the shot on target and was expertly saved again by Antell to keep the 1-goal difference between the sides.

The Braves’ threat again came through Breadner as he received the ball and drove at the Berwick defence. Breadner’s pace was well on show as he breezed past McCormack and hit a fierce shot that crashed against the crossbar. The ball then fell perfectly for the waiting McNeil who cushioned his header into the empty net to put Caledonian Braves 2-0 up and almost certainly make it game over with less than ten minutes to play.

Berwick lost all momentum with the Braves’ knockout second goal. Their only other chance came from Sinclair whose shot from outside the box went comfortably over as Caledonian Braves rounded out an away win.

Victory for Caledonian Braves moves them to within three points of the Dream Team with three games to play for both sides this season. Berwick’s next game is on April 6th as they welcome Linlithgow Rose to Shielfield Park.