Michael Dunlop’s late equaliser denied Berwick Rangers their place in the Scottish Cup fifth round draw and their progression will depend on a replay at Cliftonhill a week on Tuesday.
Darren Lavery opened the scoring in the eight minute, netting his sixth goal in four games after a fine run down the left from Ross Drummond.
But after coming under sustained pressure in the second half, the visitors equalised six minutes from time when centre-back Dunlop headed in from a Kyle Turnbull corner.
Manager Colin Cameron named an unchanged side from the 2-0 victory over Annan last week, while Scott Maxwell, Paul Currie and Billy Bald all returned to what was a strong Gers bench.
With just eight minutes on the clock, Berwick took the lead and in great style too when Lee Currie fizzed the ball into Craig Dargo who flicked it into the path of Drummond. The on-loan Dunfermline man powered down the left and played a low ball across the face leaving top scorer Lavery with the simplest of tap-ins.
John Gemmell had the ball in the net in the 14th minute but his celebrations were halted by an early offside flag and the visitors went close on a couple of occasions soon after when Marc McKenzie forced Michael Andrews into a smart save at the near post before the keeper turned away an effort from Gary Phillips.
Paul Willis cut inside and had his 20-yard shot tipped over by Neil Parry and at the other end, a free-kick from deep was headed inches over the bar from Mark McGuigan.
Ten minutes into the second half, Berwick were dealt a blow when Lavery was forced off through injury with Andy Russell his replacement. Thankfully for the Gers though, his departure with a tight hamstring was nothing more than precautionary.
Russell was immediately in the thick of the action, making a run into the right channel and forcing Parry into a near post save and when Dean Hoskins’ deep cross landed on the roof of the net, it signalled the end of Berwick’s attacking threat in the match as Albion turned the screw with most of the last 30 minutes played in the Gers’ half.
McKenzie fired over from a free-kick and a Gemmell header missed the target as the visitors pressed for an equaliser and it came six minutes from time when Turnbull’s corner was met by the head of Michael Dunlop.
With the game now level, there looked to be only one team in it as Albion continued to attack and they could’ve won it as Gemmell – who had been kept largely quiet for most of the game by Kerr Young and Jonny Fairbairn – turned 30 yards out and brought out a fingertip save from Andrews with a powerful strike.
Berwick Rangers: Andrews, Jacobs, Fairbairn, Young, Drummond,Willis, L Currie, Notman, Hoskins, Dargo (Gold 82), Lavery (Russell 54). Subs not used: Maxwell, Dalziel, Gray, Bald, P Currie.
Booked: Notman, Young, Hoskins. Goals: Lavery 9.
Albion Rovers: Parry, Reid, R Dunlop, M Dunlop, Turnbull, McKenzie, Davidson, Chaplain (Love 59),Phillips (Fisher 80), McGuigan (Mullin 72),Gemmell. Subs not used: Hughes, Pollock, Donnelly, Cusack.
Booked: Gemmell, Mullin. Goals: Michael Dunlop 84.