Report: Raith Rovers U20’s 1-1 Berwick Rangers U20’s – SPFL Development League (East)

An honourable draw for Berwick’s Development League team at Stark’s Park where Raith beat them 5-0 in September. Rovers had enough clear cut chances this time to run up a similar tally though that doesn’t tell the whole story even allowing for Berwick goalie Craig Cockburn being in inspired form. His acrobatic save from a trialist number 10 in the 32nd minute was particularly noteworthy.

Young stopper Craig Cockburn was in inspired form

Young stopper Craig Cockburn was in inspired form

Johnny Court had missed an earlier opportunity to put Raith in front when clean through after hesitancy in the visitors’ defence but generally, Berwick were looking comfortable even though they had to wait almost 35 minutes before winning a corner.  After this, Elliot Ford headed away a cross from Dwayne Coultress before it could reach Alex Dimitrov. The Bulgarian trialist, who scored twice against Cowdenbeath in the previous game, was denied a legitimate strike on goal when a good build up ended with the ball hitting his arm.

So it remained goalless at half time but shortly after the resumption, Cockburn made another good save. Nine minutes into the half, he had no chance as Court rose above the defence to powerfully head in a corner ball. He came close to getting a second from another corner four minutes later.

Ford rushed into the Rangers’ area from the left before the ball was cut back to Ross Matthews on the edge of the box. Cockburn dived to push away his well hit shot for another corner. Matthews tried again with a fierce one from 30 yards but Cockburn just had to watch this one go wide.

Berwick’s equaliser, ten minutes from time, came out of the blue. Ewan Herriot, normally a defender, was brought on to play in midfield. Finding himself with a bit of space, he lobbed the ball from left to right in the general direction of goal. It looked likely to finish high and wide but to everyone’s surprise, it dropped into the bottom far corner of the Raith net.

Raith tried to hit back. Cockburn used both hands to knock away another Court effort. The number nine then tried an angled drive as he ran in from the right but was six yards off target. Lewis Swaney’s timely intervention disrupted the number 10’s prospects of also having a late crack.

Berwick earned the point not least because when under pressure, they never pressed the panic button. Of the outfield players, team boss Myles Allan picked out defenders Swaney and Dean McConnell and midfield men Kieran Ingram and Barry Hogg for particular praise. Daniel Watt put in his usual hardworking stint up front without getting many realistic scoring opportunities.  Berwick manager John Coughlin, watching in the stand, was delighted with what he saw welcoming an oportunity to gain more knowledge about some of the club’s younger players.

Berwick Rangers: Cockburn, McDonald (Forrest 71), Anderson, Hogg, McConnell, Swaney, Dimitrov, Ingram (Herriot 71), Watt, R.Graham (Chitemere 58), Coultress

Unused sub: S. Allan (GK)


Match report courtesy of Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust