Berwick Rangers v Civil Service Strollers Match Report

Berwick Rangers edged Civil Service Strollers 1-0 in theLowland League clash at Shielfield Park.

The Dream Team went into the game eight places below the visitors with Berwick sitting 14th in the table and the Strollers in 6th.

The game started off in unfortunate fashion as Bayley Klimionek was forced off after eight minutes after a clash in the box. New signing Richard Tambwe replaced Klimionek in his first official appearance after his spell as a trialist.

After a slow start to the game, a long ball from the Berwick wing found Jackson Mylchreest who out strengthened Civil’s Lewis Duffy to create a goalscoring opportunity. Mylchreest’s shot was saved by the feet of Jacob Pazkias. Graham Taylor then followed up, but his shot was more comfortable for the Civil ‘keeper.

Civil Service Strollers looked to fight back, and their pressing of the Berwick defence won them possession high up the pitch. Harry Girdwood broke into the box and his lobbed cross was met in spectacular fashion by Robbie Cole whose overhead kick went just over the crossbar.

The best chance of the game came soon after as a Civil free-kick was met by Duffy. The centre-back’s header was saved by Antell, and the ball then fell to Matthew Shaw whose fierce shot was terrifically blocked on the line by Scott Bright.

On the half-hour mark, Berwick’s Graham Taylor powered through the midfield and fed in Mylchreest. The Berwick forward gathered the ball nicely and his effort was again saved by the feet of Pazkias. A late burst into the box by Cammy Graham saw his follow-up go just wide to the disbelief of the home crowd who cheered in anticipation of the opening goal.

The second half started with Berwick’s Blair Sneddon receiving a yellow card after kicking the ball away after an initial foul.

As the game ticked past the hour mark, the Strollers had the ball on the right with Tom Findlay and his low cross was tapped into the net by Duffy, but he was flagged offside to let Berwick off the hook.

The boggy pitch at Shielfield made it difficult for either team to take control of the midfield area but again it was Graham Taylor who began to take the initiative in the middle of the park.

Taylor’s impressive first-touch gave him space as he drove towards Civil’s box on the right-hand side. Taylor delivered a delicious cross, but Lewis Barr failed to gather on the edge. However, the ball fell to Cammy Graham at the back post whose excellent touch led to a shot on his left foot which flew across the keeper and into the bottom right corner to give the Dream Team the lead.

Civil Service Strollers sent more players forward as they searched for a quickfire equaliser. Callum Yeats’ corner from the right was again met by Duffy whose glancing header was well saved by Calum Antell who was having a strong game between the sticks.

The Gers were dealt a setback with Sneddon fouling Yeats and the Berwick right-back received a second yellow card for a professional foul. The ten men of Berwick now had twenty minutes to hold onto their slender lead.

The Dream Team began to sit deep as they looked to hold what they had rather than pushing for a second. The visitors sent long balls into the Berwick penalty area with sub Kris Amponsah laying the ball off for fellow sub Mark McConnell whose shot from the left somehow missed the target from about ten yards out. The ball seemed to skim the left-hand post and went behind for a Berwick goal kick.

Despite the constant Civil onslaught, Berwick held on for their second win in a row and extend their unbeaten home run to four games. The match attendance at Shielfield Park was 407.