BERWICK RANGERS 2, ELGIN CITY 3
Elgin staged a dramatic second half fight-back to record their first ever win at Shielfield on Saturday, inflicting the first home league defeat on Berwick in the process.
Rangers led 2-0 at half-time with goals from Darren Lavery and Dean Hoskins, but they missed a penalty after the break and two second half strikes from Shane Sutherland, plus a penalty from Paul Harkins, saw the visitors hit back to take all three points.
Elgin had never won at Shielfield in 16 previous league attempts and trailing 2-0 at the break it looked as if that run was going to be extended.
But Sutherland pulled a goal back when he shot past the advancing Paul Grant from a short free kick after 55 minutes.
After 61 minutes they drew level when Sutherland rounded Grant and shot low into the net from a tight angle.
Berwick then had a great chance to restore their advantage when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Stevie Notman, but Lavery pushed his shot wide.
In the build-up to the penalty Lavery cut in from the left and hit the post, whilst Raymond Jellema did well to save a shot from the same player on the rebound.
The winning goal came when Sutherland was fouled by Michael Dunlop after going past two defenders in the 74th minute and Harkins netted from the spot.
Berwick had reverted to a more traditional 4-4-2 formation with Dean Hoskins replacing Stephen Tulloch in the heart of the defence and Damien Gielty dropping in at left back.
After last week’s cup win over Peterhead, goalkeeper Paul Grant and skipper Lee Currie were both available again and this meant Rangers went with Lavery and Scott Dalziel up top.
In a frantic start Craig Gunn twice had early chances to put Elgin ahead inside the first four minutes.
First of all he shot wide after only 40 seconds after being set up by Harkins. Then he latched onto a long ball down the middle which was misjudged by Hoskins, but again pulled his shot wide as Grant pushed out to try and close him down.
In between, Elgin keeper Jellema made a good point blank save from Dalziel, but he had no answer when Lavery headed in unchallenged from a Currie corner at the back post after 28 minutes.
And it was from a second Currie corner after 41 minutes that Hoskins slammed in the loose ball for a second.
Early in the second half Dalziel headed over unchallenged, but Elgin changed their formation and with Sutherland prominent in attack they managed to turn things around.
The missed penalty was obviously one of the major turning points in the game, but after turning in a sublime first half performance their lack of concentration after the break was a major disappointment.
As they chased the game Rangers went close on a couple of occasions, but by then the damage had been done.
Notman (Carse 87)
Lavery (Morris 84)
Gray (O’Brien 68)
Subs not used
Niven (Beveridge 54)
Subs not used
Referee: David Somers