Berwick Rangers 5-0 Montrose

Scott Dalziel fires home the fifth in a one-sided match
Scott Dalziel fires home the fifth in a one-sided match

Berwick Rangers got their faltering play-off hopes back on track by recording their biggest win of the season at Shielfield.

Goals in the first half from Darren Lavery, Steven Notman and skipper Lee Currie, who added second-half penalty before an injury-time fifth from Scott Dalziel completed the rout, saw Rangers leapfrog the Gable Endies into sixth place in the table.

Scott Dalziel controls the ball before scoring Berwick's final goal as Montrose players Alan Campbell and Jonathan Crawford try to stop him

Scott Dalziel controls the ball before scoring Berwick's final goal as Montrose players Alan Campbell and Jonathan Crawford try to stop him

It takes Berwick to within four points of the top four.

Player-manager Colin Cameron rang the changes with Billy Bald replacing Michael Andrews in goal, Stephen Tulloch, Jonny Fairbairn and Steven Notman all returning to the side, and Cameron himself back in action for the first time in three matches.

With just a minute gone, Darren Lavery found himself with just the goalkeeper to beat, but scuffed his shot straight at Stuart McKenzie.

But he made amends after five minutes when he burst through the middle and shot low past McKenzie to give Berwick the lead with a neat finish.

Andy Russell might have doubled the advantage after 16 minutes, but he headed over a cross from the right inside the six yard box with the goal at his mercy.

But Rangers effectively killed the game off with two goals in the space of two minutes. First of all Notman forced the ball over the line from close range from a cross by Ross Gray on the right after 23 minutes, and then Notman turned provider, crossing for skipper Lee Currie to head in from close range after 25 minutes.

Montrose were seldom seen as an attacking force and their first effort on goal came after 37 minutes when Bryan Deasley headed straight at Bald.

In the second half Lavery cut in from the right and tried to find Russell at the back post, but the ball was too strong.

But as Rangers continued to make the running Rangers made the game safe with a fourth, Lee Currie picking himself up after he was floored in the box to net from the penalty spot after 61 minutes.

Substitute Paul Currie also had the ball in the net, but the effort was ruled out for offside.

Substitute Dalziel made the afternoon complete when he chested the ball down on the edge of the six yard box in injury time, twisted and beat his marker before finding the bottom corner for the fifth.

Berwick manager Cameron described this as “the best performance by the team since I took over.”

Cameron said: “We controlled the game from start to finish, passed well, scored goals, and never gave Montrose a chance to create anything.

“After last week’s defeat against Annan I was looking for a response, and I have to say I got it from the players.

“The win takes us back to within four points of the play-off places, so we are right back in the frame.”

Berwick Rangers: Bald 6, Jacobs 7, Drummond 6, Cameron 7 (P Currie 63), Fairbairn 8, Tulloch 7, Gray 7, Notman 7, (Gielty 73), Russell 6 (Dalziel 67), L Currie 8, Lavery 7. Subs not used: Dunlop, Carse, Morris, Andrews.

Montrose: McKenzie 5 Crawford 5, McIntosh 4, Campbell 5, Wood 4, Masson 5, Webster 5 (McCord 65), Watson5, Johnston 5, Deasley 5, Gray 5 (Sturrock 65),Subs not used: Wilson, Duguid, Bonar, Bell, McCafferty.

Bookings: Wood 64 mins foul; Masson 84 foul.

Referee: David Somers.

Attendance: 410.