Berwick Rangers 1-0 Montrose

Blair Henderson celebrates his winning goal.
Blair Henderson celebrates his winning goal.

Berwick gave themselves some much-needed breathing space at the bottom of the table when they beat Montrose 1-0 at Shielfield on Saturday.

Blair Henderson scored the only goal of the game which saw Rangers open up a five point gap over basement side East Stirling, who lost to Elgin.

The win also lifted Berwick to within three points of their guests, who are immediately above them in the table.

Early in the game Darren Lavery hooked a shot over following a free kick. And on seven minutes Henderson picked the ball up on the left, surged forward, but his shot was turned aside by goalkeeper Jordan Millar.

At the other end Gary Fraser shot narrowly over from 20 yards snd Terry Masson did likewise just a few minutes later.

After 26 minutes Lavery was unlucky with a header which drifted inches wide, snd not long after he had a shot from distance safely gathered by Miller.

Sandy Cunningham shot over after a run forward for Berwick, but there was a set-back for Montrose when Fraser was forced to leave the field, substituted by Ryan Ferguson after. 35 minutes.

On 37 minutes Ewan McNeil hit a tremendous shot when a corner eventually landed at his feet 20 yards out, but his low first time strike was brilliantly parried away by Millar.

Lavery then headed wide again from a Brian Martin cross, whilst a Ross Campbell free kick from 30 yards out was deflected wide for a corner, but at half-time it remained 0-0.

On 53 minutes Berwick had a great chance when Lavery slipped the ball to Cunningham, who managed to beat the keeper, but the effort unfortunately bounced off the outside of the post.

But Montrose still sensed a victory and Ferguson was played in after 63 minutes, only to see his shot, under pressure, go over when he looked certain to open the scoring for the visitors.

A few minutes later Masson, who was one of the visitors’ better players, was unlucky when his curled effort from outside the box was deflected onto the outside of the post.

But the breakthrough came at the other end when Henderson found the net, heading in from a twice-taken Graham free kick on the left after 72 minutes.

Rangers survived a few anxious moments in the final 20 minutes, but managed to hang on for what was a vital victory.

Berwick: K Walker 6, McNeil 6 (Beveridge 83), Crane 7, Notman 7, McGregor 8 (Wilson 76), Fairbairn 7, Graham 7, Cunningham 6 (McKenna 69), Henderson 7, Lavery 7, Martin 6.

Montrose: Millar 7, Pascazio 6, Martinuik 6, Masson 7, Clarke 6, Steeves 6, Commie 7, Templeman 6, Fraser 5 (Ferguson 35), Campbell 7, Mallagaray 6 (Hester 80).