Berwick Rangers made it seven points from nine this season against East Stirlingshire with this comfortable win over the Development League East’s bottom team.
Barry Hogg won the toss and opted to start downhill. Berwick almost scored immediately afterwards. Daniel Watt shrugged off the attention of a couple of ‘Shire players to get out a good pass towards the right corner. From there, Regan Graham delivered into the penalty area. Daniel Pattenden should have finished in style but scuffed the ball after mistiming his run in. His compensation came in the 18th minute when he supplied Watt for the opening goal, the striker turning to wrong foot defenders and convert Pattenden’s pass from eight yards.
Robert Wilson began the move which led to the second goal on 34 minutes. Watt carried it on, again changing direction to find Hogg. The skipper then sucked in the nearest defender leaving Graham unhindered to score from ten yards.
A minute into the second half, it was 3-0. The impetus was a free kick awarded when Jay Buist backed into Watt. Michael Fairbanks had Ethan Anderson’s low, left wing cross covered before centre half Adam Murray stepped in only to knock the ball past his own keeper.
Against admittedly limited opposition, Rangers’ centre back pairing of Wilson and Dean McConnell looked confident and composed but by the hour, Berwick had brought on all three substitutes. Whether it was the consequent rearrangements on the field or because ‘Shire never seemed likely to get back into the game, the home team lost much of its rhythm. They did have further chances but the closest they came to scoring again was when Hogg headed Pattenden’s cross against the bar. This prompted a burst of more cohesive play which the visitors survived by dint of some hard work inside their own third of the field.
Berwick keeper Mark Walters did not have a real save to make all game. In the first half, he had to look snappy to come out to take a high cross from Richard McLaughlan meant for Ryan Whannel. In the second, Wilson did his work for him, coming in behind him to clear after 40 year old Stephen Reynolds created a rare ‘Shire scoring opportunity for fellow sub Jason Weir.
With concern about the Shielfield pitch, Berwick will take to the road for their three remaining Development League matches, all officially, home fixtures. The first is next Wednesday, April 6th, against Raith Rovers at Foresters Park, Tranent, kick 7:45 p.m.
Berwick Rangers: Walters, Herriot (McDonald 52), Anderson, McConnell (Forrest 52), Wilson, Ingram (Denton 59), Pattenden, Hogg, Watt, A.Walker, R.Graham
Unused subs: Hamilton (Trialist), Cockburn (GK)
Match report courtesy of Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust.