Berwick Rangers 3, Clyde 3
BERWICK and Clyde fought out a six goal thriller at Shielfield, but Rangers must be wondering how they let two points slip from their grasp.
For this was a classic smash and grab raid by the visitors, who literally only had three shots on target throughout the entire 90 minutes and scored with each of them.
Ian Little’s side had the lion’s share of the play, but saw the visitors somehow escape with a draw.
In the first half in particular they were dominant with Lee Currie, Dylan Easton and Fraser McLaren all pulling the strings in midfield, Easton being the obvious outlet for top scorer Darren Lavery, who again turned in another fine performance up front.
But after creating six good openings in the first half, without finding the net, they fell behind to a sucker punch of a goal, a well taken free kick from the edge of the box and at half-time Rangers, quite remarkably, found themselves trailing.
But Berwick came from 1-0 down at the break to lead 2-1 just five minutes into the second half with quality strikes from Lavery and McLaren.
Lavery’s equaliser came after 48 minutes when Kevin McDonald and the tricky Easton combined for the latter to square the ball across the area and the striker rammed it home from close range.
Just three minutes later and Easton was again the provider, this time crossing for McLaren to head home from inside the six yard box.
But Clyde started to come out of their shell more and John Sweeney swept the ball home for the equaliser at 2-2 after 59 minutes after centre forward Kevin Watt laid the ball off in his path.
In what was a vital stage of the game Lavery netted his first ‘double’ of the season, heading home a McLaren cross after 64 minutes, and at 3-2 in front the home fans in the 500-plus crowd were hoping they might be able to hang on for what would have been a welcome and valuable three points.
But Clyde, who were on the back foot for most of the game, snatched a point with substitute Pat Scullion firing home after being set up by Stefan McLuskey.
In the first half Berwick had all the play but couldn’t score.
Lavery had two early chances, whilst central defender Chris Townsley twice headed over from close range.
Dougie Brydon had a header cleared off the line from a corner and then just before half time Lavery saw a scuffed shot come back off the inside of the post and roll across the line before being cleared.
But despite all this possession it was Clyde who held the half-time advantage, Lee Sharp finding the net with a well taken free kick from the edge of the box which left goalkeeper Marc McCallum floundering on his home debut.
Clyde manager Jim Duffy admitted his side had got out of jail - they didn’t even win a corner.
After the match he said: “I have to be honest and say Berwick were by far the better team. They will be very disappointed they didn’t win.
“We were 2-1 and 3-2 down, but we got the breaks. You often hear managers bemoaning their luck, but today I have to admit we got lucky.
“If we had won it I would have had to be wearing a mask, because Berwick really would have felt robbed.”
Berwick gave a home debut to new goalkeeper Marc McCallum, but he had very little to do - only to pick the ball out of the net three times.
They also gave a cameo appearance to new striker Scott Dalziel, who played the last quarter of an hour.
As has been the norm in recent games Rangers got the ball down and played some neat, attractive football.
They scored three goals, which on most occasions, should be good enough to win the majority of matches.
But once again defensive frailties were highlighted, with three goals being conceded and that was something which manager Ian Little admitted left him feeling frustrated.
Berwick - McCallum 5, Jacobs 6, Gielty 6, Brydon 6, Townsley 7, Currie 7, McLaren 7 (Dalziel 74), Janczyk 6 (Notman 72), Lavery 8, Easton 8, McDonald 7.
Clyde - Barclay, Kane, Sharp, Gray, Lyden, Oliver (McGachie 59), Fitzpatrick, Sweeny, Watt (Scullion 74), McLuskey,
Referee - Alan Newlands