Report & Highlights: Berwick Rangers 2-1 East Stirlingshire

Berwick bounced back from a slow start to take all three points against a dogged & well-organised East Stirlingshire on Saturday afternoon.

Goals from Blair Henderson & Darren Lavery would cancel out ‘Shire’s first-half opener to ensure Berwick survived a fright.

The first effort of the game came from over 30 yards and was hit by Finn Graham, but ‘Shire stopper and debutant Darren Dolan was equal to the shot, which fizzled out by the time it had reached him.

The ‘Shire opened the proceedings after 15 minutes however, when Ally Loy’s cross crashed off Kevin Walker’s crossbar and David McKenna saw his follow-up attempt blocked, the ball fell kindly to Nathan Shepard who met it with a well-timed run and volley into the net or his fifth goal of the season.

The ‘Gers attempts to respond led to frustration as the away side stood firm. Michael McKenna had two chances in quick succession but his header and strike from distance were dealt with comfortably by Dolan. McKenna would go close again soon after only to see his effort flash past the far post.

The winger remained in the thick of things and his fizzing cross along the six yard box had to be well cleared by opposition captain Neil McCabe when Darren Lavery looked certain to tap-in.

The ‘Gers final chance of the half saw Finn Graham meet a brilliant cross only to volley over from six yards as he stretched to meet the ball in.

Leaving the pitch to a chorus of boos, the ‘Gers knew an improvement was required in the second-half and their fans will have been grateful for a familiar combination coming to their rescue just over a minute into the new half. Ewan McNeil swang in another inch-perfect delivery from deep, Henderson shifting well to meet it and send a header past Dolan.

And five minutes later the ‘Gers had the lead, the ball coming in deep from the opposite flank this time, Ross Drummond finding Darren Lavery to nod in a carbon copy of the first.

The goal brought ‘Shire out of their shells a little but Roy failed to test Walker from 25 yards out around 10 minutes later after being teed up by McKenna.

The ‘Gers had a couple of opportunities to test Dolan further, but failed to do so as both substitute David Morris & Henderson struck wide.

Whilst Berwick failed to kill the game off, ‘Shires attempts to claw something out of the game were in vein as some steadfast defending denied them any clearcut opportunities, their best of the match coming in the final minutes as a goalmouth scramble led to Kay firing wide under pressure from out wide.