A combination of a poor first half performance and numerous missed chances in a second half they dominated cost Berwick’s Under 20s their unbeaten Development League record. They also lost defender Adam Forrest who was carried off with a hamstring injury in the 65th minute.
A twenty minute spell of rain began right on cue as the game kicked off but it was not the cause of Rangers’ nervy start. Alloa almost scored from a 1st minute corner with the visitors’ defence looking decidedly shaky.
The Wasps played with two old-fashioned wingers in Mark Greene and Adam Martin and the latter opened the scoring in the 7th minute. He did well in the first instance to keep the ball in play when a hard hit pass came in his general direction. Beating Ally McDonald, he then curled a shot towards the far post. Grant Goodfellow tipped it on to the upright from where it went in.
McDonald was given a hard time by the outside left as was Kyle Scott when he dropped back to assist in defence but Martin had nothing to do with the second goal on 28 minutes. Dylan Monaghan had several options but, spotting Goodfellow off his line, was successful with a crack from beyond 30 yards. Throughout the first half, there was the added danger posed by striker John Cunningham’s shoot on sight policy.
Berwick did forge a couple of good chances. Gary Dolan and Daniel Watt linked to put Kyle Scott through for what would have been a well worked goal had Kyle not been offside. Keeper Andy Wilson made a good save from the same player after Dolan supplied the pass.
Whatever was said at half time helped transform Berwick. When, with only three minutes played, Watt’s short pass led to Dolan’s goal, it was game on. Gaps were found which enabled Watt and Stephen Scott in particular to get behind an Alloa defence which, under sustained pressure, looked anything but secure. Luckily for them, Berwick’s finishing let them down. Sam Jones missed two glaring chances, Stephen Scott a couple too, whilst Wilson saved from him after Scott surged past Jack Crumlish.
Alloa, who switched Greene and Martin for a spell, occasionally got deep into Berwick territory but the incisiveness shown in the opening 45 minutes had largely disappeared. Berwick continued to strive for that elusive second goal and Kyle Scott’s short cross looked good but Watt couldn’t get a proper header on it. Soon afterwards, the full time whistle was blown to the obvious relief of the home supporters.
Berwick Rangers: Goodfellow, McDonald, Herriot, Forrest (Dickinson 65), Swaney, Hogg, K.Scott, Jones (capt.), Watt, S.Scott (Henderson 80), Dolan (Watters 80)
Unused subs: Allan (GK), King, Anderson
Match report courtesy of Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust.