Stirling progress in Scottish Youth Cup with victory over Under 20s

Sunday, October 1st, 2017
Scottish Youth Cup Round Two

Berwick Rangers made a disappointing exit from the Scottish Youth Cup after failing to make the most of playing down the Shielfield slope with the wind behind them in the opening 45 minutes. Though they ‘won’ the first half 3-0 on corners, the number of true scoring chances for each side was about equal. Berwick owed their first to a deceptively shaky start by the visitors. Attempting to control the ball with his foot, goalkeeper Owen Klijsen lost it to Scott Sutherland but a man got back just in time to clear the striker’s shot off the line. Another was an awkward cross cum shot by substitute Gary Dolan which required Klijsen to lunge forward to take the ball.

For Stirling, after Callum Downie forced his way forward, Thomas Cowley’s effort from 20 yards floated just over the bar. They nearly took the lead through Angus Mailer when he connected with Cowley’s touchline free kick. Luck was with MacAuley Jarrett when the ball bounced off his outstretched leg.

Jarrett collects in the first half.

Members of the combined Lowland/East of Scotland Under 20s League, this was the University team’s first competitive fixture of the season whereas five of Berwick’s players had played the full 90 minutes for their weekend loan clubs the day before. Stirling assistant coach David O’Brien was to be proved correct in his belief that if his team could keep Rangers scoreless until the interval, with the advantage of the wind, the game could turn their way in the second half. Early warning came when Fabian Borzc curled the ball around the far post. Immediately after Sutherland put Dolan through for a shot from 12 yards which Klijsen saved, Stirling raced to the other end and Kieran Hall beat Jarrett from the left. Sixty seconds later with 50 minutes played and the home defence in disarray, Hall’s pass set up Borzc to double the lead with a finely judged shot .

Barrett and Sutherland close down a Stirling player.

Hall, previously with Carlisle United, was again provider for Borzc but Jarrett blocked the ball with his body a mere four yards from goal. Berwick might have pulled one back in the 74th minute when Klijsen was forced to rush out of his area to head away the ball. It soon reached Bradley Barrett but his tame shot was dealt with easily by David Lamond back covering the space vacated by his keeper.

Hall was replaced in the 80th minute, Borzc, three minutes later. The departure of this key pair could have been costly as, with four minutes of regular time to play, Berwick were back in it through a quality left footed strike from Gary Windram. This set up a tense ending as hopes rose that Berwick could force the tie into extra time but the students soaked up the pressure to make Round Three.

Goalscorer Windram (14) is amongst the Berwick players prepared to attack a free kick late in the game.

A big thanks to R.Curle and Sons, livestock agents, Bowsden for sponsoring the match.

Berwick Rangers: Jarrett, Aitchison, Heath, Chapman ( capt. ), Cook, McKenzie, Gillan ( Dolan 12 ( Windram 63 ) ), Murray, Sutherland, Jack, Barrett
Unused subs: Briggs, Smith, Hay

Report provided by Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust
Words by Michael Smyth Pictures by Ian Beresford

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