Monday, September 11th, 2017
SPFL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE EAST
BERWICK RANGERS 3 FORFAR ATHLETIC 1

In one way or another, Grant Rose was involved in all three Berwick goals as the Under 20s followed up last week’s opening away success over Cowdenbeath with another victory in their first home game in this season’s Development League on a Shielfield pitch which attracted a number of favourable comments from spectators. Amongst them was a scout from Hearts. He saw Jonny Fairbairn and Greg Rutherford in the Rangers’ line up.

First teamer Johnny Fairbairn featured in the starting line-up last night.

Berwick went one up in the 14th minute. Rose was tripped. There was no protest from the Forfar players when Colin Whyte pointed to the spot. Keeper Jason King got a touch to RUTHERFORD’S kick before it went in via the post.

The ball was in the Forfar net again after 22 minutes as a result of Jamie Chapman’s long free kick but the linesman signalled that a teammate had encroached offside. Rangers might still have been home and dry before the interval if King hadn’t come out on top against Rutherford on two other occasions. Crisp passing saw Jack Murray supply Rose on the right who in turn crossed to Rutherford. He wasted no time in shooting but King held on to the ball.

Coach Neil Oliver directed Rose and Bradley Barrett to switch flanks with an almost immediate result, King saving from the latter after he dispossessed an unsuspecting Connor Sampson. Barrett then created a great chance when he slipped the ball through to an onside Rutherford who made ground before again being defeated by the keeper’s hands.

Though Rangers had the better of the first half exchanges, the visitors had chances too. Only MacAuley Jarrett’s foot prevented Joseph Johnston scoring after Fairbairn was confused by the bounce of the ball. The Loons won a corner off a dangerous cross from right wing Jamie Gill who swapped sides to take it himself. It was headed away and Gill’s return delivery was booted further downfield.

Forfar equalised just after an hour had been played. Jarrett was beaten by Morgan Miller’s free kick from midway between the touchline and the edge of the penalty area. It came as they enjoyed their best spell of the night. Matthew Aitken was able to turn and shoot but off beam. Gill still put over a cross even though he pulled in three in black and gold towards him to try to deny him the possibility. Johnston didn’t connect with it the way he wanted and Rangers got a goal kick. Kyle Clark was next to try and his volley did pack a punch but flew a few feet over the bar.

Matters changed with Chapman’s 72nd minute corner. Jack Cook headed it down and ROSE moved smartly to knock it past King at the near post. Berwick perked up with their three replacements playing their part. The first, a trialist, had already shown an appetite to run at the opposition. Kieran jack had a couple of good runs. Now it was Scott Sutherland’s turn. After his pass across goal found no one in support, he was fouled in the middle of his own half. Forfar’s defending of Chapman’s free kick was questionable as Rose, out left, was able to run behind his marker and pass for SUTHERLAND to score with ease in the final second of normal time.

Sutherland came on for Rutherford (pictured) and sealed the win with a goal in injury time shortly after his arrival.

Berwick Rangers: Jarrett, Aitchison, Herriot, Murray ( Trialist 52 ), Cook, Fairbairn, Gillan, Chapman ( capt. ), Rutherford ( Sutherland 84 ), Rose, Barrett ( Kieran Jack 73 )
Unused subs: McKenzie, Dolan, Windram, Heath

Match report provided by Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust
Words: Michael Smyth Pictures: Ian Beresford