Report – Berwick 1 Queens Park 1

There was only going to be one winner on Saturday at Shielfield, the wind. The strong southerly gale spoiled what on paper looked to be an attractive match between two sides who like to play football the proper way, on the deck.

The visiting Queens Park side, themselves sitting comfortably in second place in the league got the better of the previous match between the two at Hampden Park, a match that was played in front of the live BBC Alba cameras, this was despite the Dream Team outplaying the Spiders for long periods of the game but unable to take their chances.

Buoyed by a fantastic 4 1 away win at Methil against East Fife last Wednesday night, the faithful were starting to believe that a play-off promotion push was back on but a win today would be a massive boost to that cause.

Berwick named an unchanged line up once more, allowing Kyle Willkie, on loan from Nairn County to make his home debut. After rave reviews from his last two games the home fans were keen to see if the reviews were merited.

A really scrappy match ensued with neither side able to string passes together as the strong wind caused havoc for both defences and it was clear from the outset that it would be more than likely be a wind assisted effort or error that would prove to be the match winner. Alongside the wind, a whistle happy referee made sure that the game was stop start for the full ninety minutes.

A flurry of corners in the opening minutes led to Blair Henderson heading one wide and with not much else to report on, it looked like a blank score line was the likely result. The visitors had other ideas and skilful play from Shaun Rooney on the by-line saw him somehow stab the ball into the six yard box where an unmarked John Carter prodded the ball over the line.  Andrews then had to look lively to palm away a free kick as Queens tried to take control.

Conditions got gradually worse, culminating in an Andrews’ clearance that was heading out over the main stand actually going out of play in front of the ducket faithful, it was becoming farcical!

A poor defensive clearance was intercepted by Blair Henderson and his cross, caught the wind and forced the keeper to palm the ball over. Then a neat cutback from Wilkie saw Ross Gray break into the area only to be pushed in the back and win a penalty. After a brief disagreement between Henderson and Willis the latter placed the ball down and dispatched it into the corner of the net for a deserved equaliser.

With very little else happening in the early part of the second half apart from a couple of poor penalty shouts, one for each side, a lapse of concentration from Fairbairn let in Carter one on one with Andrews but his shot sailed way over the bar when it looked easier to score.

A flurry of substitutions from both teams ensued, with both managers hoping to find that little bit of magic needed for the three points, but only a long range Willis shot straight at the keeper, and a Fairbairn header just wide of the goal were the only real chances created until five minutes from the end.

With time ticking down a Wilkie through ball set up Henderson, but with only the keeper to beat from ten yards he sent the ball high over the bar, signalling the end of a turgid 90 minutes of football despite the best efforts of both teams who could do nothing in that wind.