Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
SPFL Reserve League 2 Shielfield Park
BERWICK RANGERS RESERVES 3 AIRDRIEONIANS RESERVES 1
Berwick struck early on an initially windy night at Shielfield. Airdrie were unhappy about a free kick awarded to the home side out towards the Main Stand touchline but it set up the position from which DANIEL PURVES hit the ball into the net in the 5th minute. Purves went on to have an outstanding game with his dribbling skills to the fore.
The free kick count proved to be high but there was sufficient good football from both teams that it didn’t detract from the game as a spectacle.
Rangers may have gone on to score another two goals but this win was as much due to an excellent defensive performance. Berwick’s rear four included the Eyemouth boys Evan Smith and Gary Windram as the outside backs with Matthew O’Connor and Bruce McCrorie in between them. This quartet, sometimes assisted by Jack Murray and Andrew Dempster, put in the tackles and made the blocks when it really mattered. As a result, despite edging first half possession, the visitors had nothing to show for it when the half time whistle went. The closest they came was when Fraser Scott hit the post following a quickly taken free kick.
Berwick had already doubled their lead in the 41st minute. Dempster sent a long pass to GRANT ROSE who teased his marker before unleashing the ball low into the far corner of Tony Sharkey’s goal. It could even have been three or four before the break. Marc Malloy robbed Robbie Leighton but then saw his shot curl over the bar and it was only Sharkey’s knee which prevented Rose getting another after collecting a long lob from Windram.
It meant that the home side had to wait until the 53rd minute to further extend their lead. Rose found Purves unmarked, MALLOY’S chip changing the direction of the ball to claim a goal which otherwise might have been Purves’ second of the night.
Seconds after Patrick Pyott hit the bar, DYLAN MONAGHAN scored a fine 65th minute goal for Airdrie by which point the wind had eased. As the Diamonds kept up the pressure, Rangers’ debutant keeper from Whitehill Welfare, Shea Dowie, saved from the same player. This added to his string of stops, the best a leap to send another Scott effort for a corner midway through the first half.
Berwick Rangers Reserves: Dowie, Smith, Windram, O’Connor ( T ), McCrorie, Murray ( capt. ), D.Purves ( C.Trialist 77 ), Dempster ( B.Trialist 73 ), Rose, Malloy, Blair ( Brown 61 ) Unused sub: Allan ( GK )
T = Trialist