Berwick Rangers Under 20s wound up their Development League East programme with this ‘home’ match on the artificial pitch at the Foresters Park sports complex in Tranent where Tranent Juniors grass pitch is also located.
It was fourth placed Berwick against third in the table Forfar but the result could make no difference to the teams’ respective league positions. Six of the Berwick team were involved in the previous night’s City Cup Final versus East Kilbride.
Rangers also included overage trialist Thomas Hampson and Forfar keeper Jason King’s first save was from the Rosyth Juniors man after Daniel Watt crossed from near the touchline. Gradually, the ‘visitors’ began to put their game together and within the space of minutes, twice hit the woodwork. Kerr Hay shook the post with a 22nd minute free kick from the spot outside his area where Berwick keeper Mark Walters handled and was booked for doing so. Cameron Clark then headed a corner ball against the bar. Rangers reacted quickly and set off for the other end where King again saved from Hampson.
It was no surprise when the young ‘Loons’ went ahead on 34 minutes. Walters had already dived to make a one handed save from Hay after he worked his way forward. In similar fashion, Frankie Devine made ground before creating the opening goal for Matthew Aitken. In the remainder of the half, scoring opportunities were three to one in Forfar’s favour.
With Walters in action for the fourth time in six days, he was rested at half time and replaced by Dunbar-based trialist Stuart Allan. He had little chance of stopping Forfar’s second goal nine minutes after coming on. Hay netted from the penalty spot after being brought down by Kieran Ingram just inside the area with a tackle which was clumsy rather then malicious.
Allan saved well from Clark before Forfar had the ball in the net again but Mr. Gordon’s flag was up for offside. Berwick were too generous in the amount of ball they gave away and Forfar were good at anticipating what Rangers’ players would do next. Even so, they lost a goal in the 63rd minute. Close to the left corner, Watt’s strength saw him shrug off a challenge to send the ball across to Gary Dolan who had run into the perfect position to cash in.
Seven minutes later, Forfar scored for the third time. Ben Sivewright channelled the ball from left to right through a gaping hole in the Berwick defence. Sub Ben Moonie had only to stretch out his foot to send it trundling over the line.
Last season’s champions were not yet home and dry. Ali McDonald swung a diagonal ball over to that suspect left corner from where Hampson booted it across to the far post. King got a touch but couldn’t prevent Mark Mooney from cutting Forfar’s lead back to a single goal.
Boosted by this, in the remaining nine minutes, the odds were at least even that Rangers would score next but Forfar held on leaving Berwick still waiting for that elusive first ever Development League victory over the Angus boys.
Berwick Rangers: Walters (S.Allan* 46), McDonald, Forrest, Hogg, McConnell, Donoghue*, Denton, Ingram, Watt (Mooney* 69), Hampson*, Dolan*
Report courtesy of Berwick Rangers Supporter Trust