Ultimately, goalkeeper Mark Walters won the 2014-15 City Cup Final for Berwick Rangers by saving two penalties in the post 90 minutes shoot out.
Berwick fielded a composite side but one biased towards the first team squad. Most of the regular Development team were on duty for the non-league clubs to which they have been farmed out for weekend football. Judged on the number of bookings received, there was little hint that Rangers were not taking the game seriously. Stevie Notman for a foul on Darren Smith, Blair Henderson and Dwayne Coultress for simulation and David Banjo for what some might consider to be an old fashioned shoulder charge were all shown the yellow card by David Doig.
Berwick were in the new light blue away strip whilst confusingly, the Edinburgh club’s black and yellow stripes approximated to Rangers’ traditional garb. Holding a League 2 side to a draw over the normal course of a game should be a confidence booster to the the club with the long name ahead of their forthcoming Scottish Cup tie at home to Montrose. That name came about four seasons ago with the merger of the existing East of Scotland League club Lothian Thistle with the prodigious youth set up at Hutchison Vale.
At the start and finish of the first half, LTHV had good scoring chances. In the 2nd minute, Scott Moffat fired over the bar. His team were frequently beaten by Rangers’ offside trap but near the end sprang it with a punt to Scott Gormley. Walters made a second good save from the striker having earlier dived to turn away a shot when the trail towards goal was laid by Dean Cummings cutting inside Kieran Ainslie.
As for Berwick, Ainslie twice headed over Colin Cameron free kicks. A through ball from the manager found Andy Russell but it was Kevin Swain’s turn to save well. Later, he could only knock a Coultress piledriver skywards before catching the ball with no Berwick player following through.
In the second half, Ross Drummond gained 50 yards on a run from inside his own half before crossing to nobody, an indictment of the lack of support.
Play was halted when Moffat hit the deck in a collision with Notman and was stretchered off. After the match, his club officials reported that he was back on his feet.
Another Berwick chance arose when David Morris played the ball into Darren Lavery. From a yard out, he attempted to simply tap the ball over the line giving a grateful Swain the opportunity to fall on it.
It must be a concern that Berwick were unable to wear down their EoS League opponents. In fact, in the final twenty minutes, it was a toss up which team, if either, would score what would probably have been the match winning goal. As neither did, it meant penalties. For the record, Russell, Regan Graham (who made a 70th minute first senior start), Morris and Banjo succeeded with theirs. Walters did the rest.
Berwick Rangers: Walters, Notman (capt), Drummond, Cameron (Banjo 46), Ainslie, Wilson, Morris, Hogg (Regan Graham 70), Henderson (Lavery 46), A.Russell, Coultress
Report courtesy of Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust.