John Coughlin’s first home match back in charge of Berwick ended in disaster as he watched his side hit for five by a David Gormley-inspired Clyde.
Gormley netted his first of his four in the 21st minute, striking sweetly into the top corner before unleashing a super effort past Kevin Walker five minutes after the interval.
Scott Linton made it three on 58 minutes when he met Gormley’s set up at the back post, and in the last 10 minutes it just got worse for the ‘Gers as the striker smashed home twice in three minutes to complete the rout.
After a spirited defeat against table-topping Annan a week previously, Coughlin named an unchanged side but probably couldn’t have imagined how things would pan out – although the ‘Gers were handed a warning just two minutes in when Scott Ferguson thought he’d rolled the ball past Walker, only to be denied for offside.
In response, Jonny Fairbairn headed straight at keeper John Gibson from a deep free-kick while from closer range, Ewan McNeil saw his 25-yard effort go narrowly over the bar.
But in truth, that was as good as it got for the ‘Gers as Gormley struck midway through the first half, seizing upon some poor defending to launch a sweet strike past Walker.
After Michael McKenna stung the fingers of keeper Gibson in Berwick’s only remaining decent chance of the half, the visitors found themselves further in front just five minutes after half-time when Gormley beat the offside trap from a long pass and fired a first time shot past Walker.
Just before the hour mark, it got worse and with poor defending to blame once more. Gormley capitalised on an error from captain Fairbairn and evaded a half-hearted challenge from his centre-back partner Craig Halkett, before chipping the ball to the back post where Linton nodded in with ease.
Fairbairn offered brief hope of pulling one back when his header from a corner hit the top of the crossbar, but it was just a glimmer as Berwick were again the masters of their own downfall as Barry Ferguson’s men made it four in the 82nd minute.
Substitute Ross Drummond’s wayward pass was easily intercepted by Linton and he played it forward to Gormley, who was afforded far too much time by the ‘Gers centre-backs to pick his spot past Walker and complete his hat-trick.
But there was still time for him to get a fourth, and it arrived just two minutes later. A cross from the right was headed away by Halkett but only into the path of the on-fire Gormley, who volleyed straight at Walker but, in what epitomised the team’s showing all afternoon, the keeper could only parry it onto the post before it trickled over the line.
By Martin Inglis