Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
SPFL Development League East
BERWICK RANGERS 1 LIVINGSTON 3
A second away win of the season for Livingston, a third successive defeat for Berwick and a second goal for Gary Windram in consecutive appearances as a substitute were amongst the key points arising from this game.
Berwick began as if determined to make up for their Scottish Youth Cup defeat by University of Stirling four days earlier. In the opening two minutes, two opportunities were missed, one through error, the other due to bad luck. Paul Simpson and Kieran Jack linked to create the first one for Bradley Barrett but he fluffed his lines with only keeper Jordan Petttigrew in front of him. It was more a case of misfortune when Jonny Fairbairn saw his header off Jack’s corner hit the underside of the bar and come back into play.
An indication of Rangers’ early pressure was the the award of the game’s first two free kicks but poor use was made of them. Scott Sutherland, playing as a de facto left winger, was causing problems out wide and one ball he sent over for fellow Perth-based player Paul Simpson was spilled by Petttigrew before being kicked away. The home side’s dominance was only interrupted by Jack Hamilton’s 13th minute glancing header, off a long cross from the left, which ran just outside Jarrett’s post.
After quarter of an hour, the situation began to change with Livi now a more persistent threat. Jason Gregory hit the woodwork. Jack Ogilvie blasted over after Gregory headed the ball back to him and then skewed it left of the post following a free kick from the Ducket side.
The visitors took the lead in the 32nd minute. Twice, Berwick attempted to cut out passes to break the attack but in both instances only succeeded in returning the ball Livingston’s way. The raid ended with CRAIG HENDERSON shooting into the bottom corner of the net.
Jamie Chapman sent several excellent crossfield balls to Jack operating wide right but Livingston limited his scope by usually making sure he was outnumbered. Livi’s three at the back, five in midfield formation proved particularly effective in the second half as Berwick tried to come back following the loss of a second goal on fifty minutes. Again, Rangers got two touches through blocking shots before HAMILTON made it third time lucky with an easy finish.
Berwick did get close when a four man move ended with Pettigrew slapping away Barrett’s shot for a corner. Simpson took on and beat two men on the right and though Barrett made contact with his ball towards the far post, the outcome was a goal kick.
The Tony Macaroni team had three unnamed trialists in their starting XI. One, an impressive number 10, was replaced by Scott Hay for the final quarter. After drawing Jarrett and Jack Cook towards him, Hay spurned the chance to make it 3-0 by smacking the ball across the face of an empty goal. Instead, one of their most intelligent plays of the match led to a Berwick goal. Calum Heath finished his run with a long cross to Chapman inside the penalty area. He was marked but WINDRAM, to his right, wasn’t. On receiving his captain’s pass, the Eyemouth lad comfortably slotted his second goal so far for Berwick Under 20s.
The West Lothian boys passed up another good opportunity when Ogilvie broke with home defenders too far forward as Berwick sought to add to this 82nd minute lifeline. He was under little pressure as he passed to Hamilton. Nor was he so was galled to see his shot fly over the bar. A couple of minutes from the end, a similar situation developed when Berwick gifted possession to Levi Kinchant. He also passed to Hamilton who returned the ball for KINCHANT to sweep it high into the net from almost on the goal line.
Berwick Rangers: Jarrett, Herriot, Heath, Chapman, Cook, Fairbairn, Jack ( Dolan 73 ), Murray ( Gillan 73 ), Barrett, Simpson,
Sutherland ( Windram 73 )
Unused subs: Allan ( GK ), Briggs
Report provided by Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust
Words by Michael Smyth Pictures by Caledonia photo