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HIGHLIGHTS

Match highlights are courtesy of Annan Athletic TV.

MATCH REPORT

Berwick failed to extend a four match unbeaten run at Galabank on Saturday after an early barrage of attacks from home side Annan Athletic left the ‘Gers shellshocked going into the break.

Annan started on the front foot with Stuart McColm firing past Billy Bald, before Josh Todd doubled the lead within the first ten minutes tapped-in. McColm would net again after thirty-five minutes with an impressive finish from out wide.

Berwick came out stronger in the second half and pulled one back through Paul Willis before Blair Henderson netted his first for the club to give hope of an unlikely comeback. However, Stephen Tulloch’s late foul inside the area allowed Peter Weatherson to step up and secure the victory from the penalty spot.

Annan’s quick start was inspired mainly by the impressive central midfield efforts of Matthew Flynn. It would be his sweeping ball out to the right flank which found David Hopkirk, the former Queen of the South striker sliding a perfectly weighted pass across the box for McColm to rifle into the back of the net.

The ‘Gers failed to learn from the dangerous partnership and in the eight minute, Flynn found Hopkirk once more, the striker stretching the Berwick defence with ease. His overhit cross found McColm once more, the winger cutting in past Drummond before squaring for Josh Todd to tap in from two yards out.

Ross Drummond tries to drive Berwick in to Annan's half early on
Ross Drummond tries to drive Berwick in to Annan’s half early on

Around twenty-five minutes into the game, Berwick’s first real chance arrived as Ross Drummond won the ball out wide before putting a tantalising ball across the six yard box, only to see it elude onrushing strikers.

In the thirty-fifth minute Annan got their third goal when Scott Maxwell lost out in an aerial battle around the half-way line. Hopkirk layed it back to Flynn who this time went left to find McColm. The former Clyde winger would be allowed to come forward before firing across Bald from out wide and into the far corner of the net.

Berwick came out a much hungrier side in the second half, bolstered by the introductions of the experienced Craig Dargo and tricky Ross Gray.

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Darren Lavery weaving his way through the Annan defence

Their introduction saw Darren Lavery burst into life, the striker becoming a constant threat to the home defence. Inthe 60th minute he would have a golden opportunity to drag Berwick back into the game after wriggling past no less than three challenges but his effort was equalled by Alex Mitchell’s low save.

By then the ‘Gers had finally gained control of the game’s tempo, although Annan would go close to extending their lead in the seventy-fifth minute, a Josh Todd header flashing past the post.

Berwick finally got on the scoresheet after a clever run from Dargo down the left. The veteran would shrug off the close attention of Steven Swinglehurst before pulling back for Paul Willis who’d net comfortably from six yards.

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Stephen Tulloch brings down Rabine Omar

Annan were content to hit Berwick on the counter and in the eighty-fifth minute, it may have been a surprise that they didn’t extend their lead as Flynn squandered his chance. Instead, Paul Willis carried the ball out of defence before knocking the ball down the right for Ross Gray to chase. His intelligent floated cross allowed fellow substitute and ex-Annan man Blair Henderson to rise highest and head into the top left hand corner of Mitchell’s net.

However, any dreams of a fightback were swiftly ended three minutes later when Stephen Tulloch was adjudged to have tripped Annan substitute Rabine Omar inside Berwick’s penalty area. Despite protests for offside, the referee would point to the spot from which Peter Weatherson, formerly of Greenock Morton would send Bald the wrong way.

The loss leaves Berwick in fifth, Saturday’s opposition leapfrogging us into fourth in the process. However, the ‘Gers do retain a game in hand over their Border rivals.


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