This match was marginally better than when the teams met at Shielfield less than two weeks ago. Like that game, this one also finished level leaving Rangers unbeaten in all four League encounters with the Spiders this season. Berwick won the other two by the same 1-0 margin.
Queen’s made the early running and in the 7th minute, Rangers’ keeper Mark Walters tipped away Sean Burns’ cross cum shot and then fell on the ball before a lurking home player could get it. Walters also punched away a couple of first half corners.
In the 14th minute, Queen’s had the ball in the net but the flag was up for offside. Two minutes later, Berwick threatened for the first time, Finn Graham’s shot on the turn resulting in a corner.
Callum Crane provided Michael McKenna with the last pass in a swift counter attack. McKenna made a decent stab at it but lobbed the ball wide. Another promising build up ended with a soft shot from Dylan Stevenson.
Seven minutes into the second half, McKenna was shown yellow for a touchline foul on Jamie McKernon. Shortly afterwards, Paul Woods set up John Carter for a strike through a gap in the line of players gathered inside the box but he misjudged the angle.
Darren Lavery cut a lonely figure up front for Berwick until joined by Blair Henderson on 66 minutes. His entry coincided with a spell when Berwick couldn’t get out of their own half, solid defensive work often undone and extra work created by giving the ball back to the opposition. Berwick’s attacks were also prone to breaking down for the same reason though at times, Queen’s weren’t much better.
Five minutes after coming on, Henderson had a shot blocked and he was unable to turn smartly enough to take advantage of the second chance. A doubt before the game because of injury, he moved gingerly and couldn’t get up to attempt to head Crane’s 77th minute cross.
The final stages were marked by a succession of free kicks to both sides. One, against Graeme Beveridge six yards beyond the ‘D’, seemed tough but Chris Duggan hit it over the top. Lavery complained about one which went against him and was booked. Minutes beforehand, Crane’s name was also noted. Peeved because he thought the ref had awarded Queen’s Park another of those frees, he refused to hand over the ball. A melee formed around him but after all this, it was only a throw-in.
Near the end, Rangers had a couple of narrow escapes. Brian Martin, probably Berwick’s best on the day,cleared off the line. Even later, Carter missed a golden chance to clinch a winner when given a free shot at goal.
Berwick supporters were well represented in the attendance of 409. The quality of football may have been moderate; the drumming of Queen’s small band of young ‘musicians’ worse. But with so much at stake for Berwick, the tension was such that gradually, their noise was barely noticed.
Berwick Rangers: Walters, McNeil, Crane, Notman (Beveridge 74), McGregor, Fairbairn, F.Graham, Stevenson (Henderson 66), McKenna, Lavery, Martin
Report Courtesy of Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust