Berwick v Linlithgow Rose Match Report

Berwick were narrowly defeated 2-1 by Linlithgow Rose at a windy Shielfield Park as Lewis Barr saw red.

Linlithgow held a 2-goal lead at half-time thanks to goals from Alan Sneddon and Gary Thom. The Gers pulled one back in the second half thanks to Jackson Mylchreest but couldn’t find an equaliser after Lewis Barr’s dismissal.

The Dream Team started the game with some attacking intent from Liam Buchanan. The striker tried to catch out Linlithgow keeper Cammy Binnie off his line, but Buchanan’s effort was a comfortable save.

Only two minutes later Berwick had a great chance as a long ball from Dougie Hill found Jackson Mylchreest on the edge of the box. Mylchreest done excellently to skip past Owen Foster, but a poor touch meant his shot from a tight angle was saved again by Binnie.

The wind was well and truly playing its part at Shielfield with Linlithgow gaining the advantage of the strong gales towards Berwick’s goal. Stuart McDowell had the visitors’ first attempt with his 30-yard effort gaining the speed of the wind but was well saved by Thomas Kay.

Berwick continued their positive start as Jamie McCormack and Grant Nelson exchanged quality passes to open up the Linlithgow midfield. McCormack then swung in a cross that was met by Buchanan with his shot strongly saved and his rebound ended up miles over the bar. Unfortunately for Buchanan he was forced off shortly after, appearing to sustain a hamstring injury with Cammy Graham replacing him.

Mylchreest continued his fine play as he again skipped the challenge of Foster and was subsequently brought down before the Gers’ man could run in on goal. Foster received a yellow card for the challenge.

The resulting free-kick from Jordan Sinclair was tipped over by Binnie. Berwick’s threat from crosses was on show once more as Sinclair’s corner was met by the shin of Hill and it was Binnie again who was in the way of the Dream Team taking the lead.

On the half-hour mark the wind continued to influence the play as a clearance into the air by Hill spun back towards the Berwick goal and broke nicely for Stuart McDowell on the right. The Rose forward rode the challenge of Callum Mackay, and his cross was met by Alan Sneddon. His first shot was blocked by McCormack but his second rolled past Kay and into the bottom right corner to give Linlithgow the lead against the run of play.

Linlithgow’s opener seemed to stall the Berwick attack as they struggled to create many chances compared to the beginning of the game. A half chance for the Gers came about when Mylchreest done well again to hold the ball up and he laid off Jordan Sinclair, but his long shot went way over the bar.

A few minutes before half-time and a Linlithgow corner by the impressive McDowell was met by the powerful header of captain Gary Thom. His header went past the stranded Kay as the ball nestled into the bottom left corner to put Linlithgow two goals ahead. Berwick will no doubt feel hard done by given their domination at the start of the game.

Berwick had the advantage of the wind in the second half, but Linlithgow started the half better. A quick free-kick by Cammy Thomson sent Ogilvie down the left-hand side in space. His cross was terrific and cut open the Berwick backline but was somehow not bundled in at the back post by Laurie Devine as the Gers just about stayed in the game.

Berwick began to get forward again as a long ball found Graham on the right. Graham cut inside and whipped in a cross that was parried by Binnie but only as far as Mylchreest who slotted the ball into the goal at the near post to give the Dream Team hope.

However, that hope somewhat faltered just over five minutes later. With several yellow cards already dished out, the game became feisty in midfield. Lewis Barr lunged for the ball but caught Thom and the ref blew for a foul. Barr was then met with a red card that stunned the Shielfield crowd. Barr’s dismissal seemingly given for serious foul play, much to the dismay of Berwick manager Thomas Scobbie as his side were reduced to ten men for the closing stages.

The red card was a real blow for Berwick as it stalled the momentum of a comeback. Linlithgow showed their threat on the counter-attack as Devine played in Calum Rae, but he was met by the last-ditch challenge of Jamie Stevenson. Linlithgow’s resolute defence saw out the win at Shielfield.

The result means that Linlithgow will finish ahead of Berwick in the Lowland League table as the Gers look set for a bottom half finish. Berwick’s next game is away at East Kilbride next Saturday before the final home game of the season against Albion Rovers.