Darren Lavery's late consolation goal was his 57th for the club.
Darren Lavery’s late consolation goal was his 57th for the club.

Berwick suffered their fifth straight Scottish League Two defeat as an Elgin side inspired by former loanee Dylan Easton took the points on what was another disappointing afternoon for new ‘Gers boss John Coughlin.

Michael McKenna gave Berwick an early, deserved lead following a positive start but were behind by half-time as Darryl McHardy headed home before Brian Cameron smashed in following great work on the left by Easton.

He was also provider for the visitors’ third, which was finished off by Craig Gunn, but the ‘Gers did get a second two minutes from time when Darren Lavery tapped in from close range following a mistake by Elgin keeper Mark Hurst.

Three weeks since the team’s last competitive outing – the 5-0 home mauling by Clyde – there were numerous changes to the line-up with on-loan Callum Crane making his debut at left-back, while Blair Henderson dropped to the bench for the first time this season, with Lavery leading the line and McKenna playing just in behind.

And within the first minute, the former Livingston man should’ve put the ‘Gers ahead, meeting Ewan McNeil’s excellent cross only for his header to be well saved by Hurst. Opposing keeper Kevin Walker was then called into action moments later, turning a Mark Nicholson header over the bar.

Fifteen minutes in, Berwick were rewarded for their bright start when the ball broke to captain Jonny Fairbairn and his shot was blocked into the path of McKenna who struck home for his second goal of the season.

Finn Graham spurned a great chance to make it two, latching onto a Lavery through ball but just failing to nick it past the onrushing Hurst, and they were soon punished as Elgin centre-back McHardy was given a clean run into the six-yard box from a corner before powering a header past Walker to level things up.

Before Elgin added their second, Lavery missed a great opportunity, dragging his shot wide from 15 yards out following a clever flick on by McKenna. Easton worked his magic in the 36th minute though, waltzing his way past three defenders on the left flank and cutting it back to Cameron, who timed his run from the edge of the box and fired in.

After starting the match well, Coughlin will no doubt be disappointed with how his team responded after the break, failing to create any chances of note with Walker making a fine diving save to his right before Kyle McLeod volleyed narrowly wide from 20 yards out. Nicholson then headed over as Elgin continued to look more likely to score.

And they did make it three with 13 minutes remaining and Easton was once again the provider, feeding Gunn who timed his run perfectly in behind Robert Wilson and finished past Walker. That effort marked the seventh time in 18 games this season that the ‘Gers have conceded three or more goals.

With that all-important two-goal cushion, the visitors took their foot off the gas a bit and allowed Berwick back into the game with two minutes to go as substitute Henderson played a clever ball to Steven Notman whose cross was spilled by Hurst leaving Lavery to apply a simple finish for his 57th goal for the club – overtaking Ian Hall and Peter Davidson to become fourth on the club’s all-time list of top scorers.

By Martin Inglis