Black & Gold leave it late but magic McKenna wins thriller

Michael McKenna fires home the winner for Berwick. Picture: Alan Bell
Michael McKenna fires home the winner for Berwick. Picture: Alan Bell

Berwick Rangers 3 
Elgin City 2

New Berwick manager Robbie Horn, in his first home game in change, had a big smile on his face as he watched his side fight their way back from 2-0 down to beat Elgin 3-2 at Shielfield on Saturday.

McKenna is mobbed by his team-mates. Picture: Ian Runciman

McKenna is mobbed by his team-mates. Picture: Ian Runciman

“I thought it wasn’t going to be our day when we went 2-0 down early in the second half,” he said.

“But the lads showed tremendous character.

“They have worked really hard since I came in. Aaron (Murrell) wasn’t in the starting line-up, and I was looking for a reaction from him, which I am pleased to say I got with his two goals.

“Michael (McKenna) was a bit down at half-time when he came in after creating so many chances to score, but I told him just to stick with it, and thankfully he did.

“It’s nice to get three points under our belts.

“The fans still got behind the team when they were 2-0 down and hopefully we sent them home with smiles on their faces.”

Two goals from debutant teenage striker Bruce Anderson, one at the start of each half, put Elgin in control.

But Rangers, who had created a string of chances, particularly in the first half, hit back with three goals in the final 16 minutes.

Substitute Murrell netted twice to bring the sides level before McKenna bagged the winner just three minutes from the end.

Rangers got off to a poor start and fell behind to an Anderson goal after only four minutes.

Berwick then created a string of firs- half opportunities as they went on the attack.

McKenna had no fewer than five chances, with City goalkeeper Waters making two saves, including one from close range with his legs, to deny him.

Former Elgin player Kieran Stewart also went close twice against his old team, while Greg Rutherford headed over.

But just four minutes into the second half Elgin doubled their advantage when 17-year-old Anderson, making his first full start for the side, bagged a second.

He might have had a hat-trick later in the game when he found himself with just goalkeeper Robby McCrorie to beat, but the shot-stopper rushed off his line and spread himself well to smother his effort.

Murrell was introduced as a substitute after 70 minutes, and just four minutes later he reduced the arrears when he fired in a low shot from the left.

In the 83rd minute he equalised when he netted with a similar effort, this time pouncing on a rebound from a Stevie Notman shot which fell into his path.

Rangers now had their tails up, and McKenna, who was due a goal for his earlier efforts, duly obliged in the 87th minute with a left-foot strike from just inside the box.

“It was a remarkable turnaround,” admitted Horn afterwards.

“The players gave me everything and they deserve a lot of credit. They are buying in to what we are trying to do here – everyone has a part to play, and hopefully this is just the start.”

Matchwinner McKenna said: “It was a strange game because I don’t think we deserved to be 2-0 down. We had so many chances in the first half, but the ball just wouldn’t go in the net.

“Aaron got us back to 2-2 with two goals, and I am just so pleased to have got the winner, although we did leave it a bit late.

“The new manager has given everyone a lift. He said it’s a clean slate and everyone has a chance to prove themselves. Hopefully we can start to kick on from here.”