East Fife 5-0 Berwick Rangers

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Berwick’s first away league game of the season ended in an emphatic defeat when they were beaten 5-0 by East Fife on Saturday.

Rangers, after wins in their previous two home matches over Alloa (League Cup) and Montrose, went into the fixture with a certain degree of confidence.

But their optimism was short-lived as the Fifers dominated throughout, with a Ranger from part of last season, Kyle Wilkie, scoring two goals and having a hand in two others.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Rangers had to play the final half hour with only ten men after goalkeeper Kevin Walker was shown a straight red card for hand ball outside the box.

Berwick fielded a similar side, with the only change being David Morris introduced at the expense of Dwayne Coultress.

But they were blown away in the first half as the Methil men stormed into a 3-0 interval lead at New Bayview.

Nathan Austin gave the Fifers the lead with less than four minutes on the clock when he cut in on the right and shot low past Kevin Walker after taking a pass from Kyle Wilkie.

Darren Lavery had a long range shot saved after ten minutes, but on 24 minutes Kevin Smith doubled the home side’s advantage when he shot home from just inside the penalty area, after Wilkie again created the opening.

Patrick Slattery then had a couple of attempts before Wilkie himself got on the scoresheet after 35 minutes when he turned Robert Wilson in the box and found the net after taking a pass from Gary Naysmith.

Straight from kick-off at the start of the second half, Slattery shot narrowly wide, after 49 minutes it was 4-0 when that man Wilkie did it again, finding the net with a shot off the inside of a post.

As East Fife continued to run the show, Ross Brown,Austin (twice) and Naysmith all went close, whilst Rangers were seldom seen as an attacking threat.

And to rub salt into the wounds, Walker was sent off after 64 minutes, when he rushed out his box and was deemed to have handled the ball.

He was replaced by Mark Walters, the ex-Coldstream stopper, who made his league debut, with Lavery being withdrawn up front.

But it wasn’t long before he was picking the ball out of the net as well, after Craig Sutherland, just two minutes after being introduced as a substitute, added a fifth for the Fifers after 75 minutes.

Austin almost added a sixth when he saw a shot hit a post after dispossessing Walters

East Fife continued to press and Sutherland (twice) and Wilkie both went close in the closing minutes, but Rangers were just glad to hear the final whistle.