Wednesday, April 26th, 2017
SPFL Development League East
BERWICK RANGERS 2 FORFAR ATHLETIC 2
Berwick Rangers Under 20s didn’t manage the victory in their last match which would have ensured runners up spot in the final table but an injury time goal from Jordan Orru…celebrated as if it were a match winner…still leaves them with a chance of achieving that target. For this game, the crowd was augmented by Berwick Juniors’ guests from Zeewolde who were particularly interested in seeing Dutch compatriot Renne Donkor in action.
Berwick dominated the first half yet found themselves 2-1 down at the break. Forfar’s Jamie Gill was wide with a long drive soon after Frankie Devine threatened with a cross in their first attack but the real pressure was at the other end. Rangers had several near misses including Orru heading Ewan Herriot’s long cross from the Main Stand side against the bar and keeper Jason King making a one handed save from Daniel Watt at close range.
Forfar went in front on 27 minutes. Donkor gave away a 25 yard free kick and his team paid the price when a trialist full back beat the wall in style. Berwick levelled eight minutes later with Euan Bauld’s penalty following a Forfar handball.
A wicked shot from Devine scooted off the underside of the bar before the game’s second penalty put Forfar ahead again three minutes before the interval. Donkor nudged Gill hard enough to put him on the floor and Andrew McKenzie beat Grant Goodfellow from the spot. Rangers then produced their best move of the half featuring Bauld and Orru but had to be satisfied with a corner after the ball was played back to Ryan Porteous for a kick from outside the penalty area.
In the second period, they struggled to put together moves of similar quality in part thwarted by a resolute Forfar back four. Soon after rolling on the ground after a hard tackle, Donkor, as part of a double substitution, went off to cheers from his fellow countrymen. No irony was intended but this was a match he will probably not wish to remember. Bauld moved into his place in a defence now being more seriously tested. Devine almost got through and with the rearguard stretched, Max Avollio fired diagonally in an attempt to take advantage of Goodfellow being out of his goal. A trialist substitute would probably have wrapped up matters had his 76th minute strike not hit the upright.
Another sub, Ben Moonie, was yellow carded for time wasting by kicking away the ball to delay a Berwick goal kick but there were still minutes left to play. King, who up to this point had looked comfortable when taking high balls, almost dropped a flick from Jack Cook close to his line. Alistair McDonald’s free kick, given for Gill’s push on Watt, was headed over by Bauld. Berwick kept at it and following a three man build up won a corner. Kyle Scott sent it over and Orru headed it in. For a split second, it seemed as if Berwick had grabbed a winner when Calum Helm kneed the ball over the line after another fumble by King but it was ruled out for an infringement.
To finish second, Rangers are now depending on Stirling Albion to take points off Forfar in the final game of the season next Tuesday, May 2nd. Currently, Berwick still occupy that place with 33 points from 18 games, with Forfar on 31 from 17.
Berwick Rangers: Goodfellow, Bauld, Herriot ( McDonald 55 ), Donkor ( Helm 55 ), Cook, Jones ( capt. ), K.Scott, Porteous, Watt, S.Scott ( Sutherland 78 ), Orru
Unused sub: Allan ( GK )
Jordan Orru headed in a late equaliser to keep alive Berwick’s hopes
of finishing runners up)