Montrose 2-1 Berwick Rangers

Andy Russell shows composure and vision to curl past goalkeeper Stuart McKenzie and open the scoring on the half hour. Picture: Tony Morrison
Andy Russell shows composure and vision to curl past goalkeeper Stuart McKenzie and open the scoring on the half hour. Picture: Tony Morrison

A Berwick Rangers side minus top goalscorer Darren Lavery allowed a one-goal lead to slip away on Tuesday night, giving Montrose their first home victory since August.

Andy Russell fired Berwick ahead on the half hour, but Bryan Deasley bundled home an equaliser at the second attempt in first-half stoppage time.

Paul Watson volleyed the winner for Montrose in the 77th minute to give the home team all three points.

The win means George Shields’ team leapfrog their opponents into sixth place in League 2. Berwick drop two places to seventh.

It was an end to end match which could have gone either way on a cold Angus night.

Berwick went into the match looking to continue their recent good form which included a draw with Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

Montrose won an early free kick, but Paul Watson hit his free kick into the visitors’ wall.

In the eighth minute Montrose came close again when McIntosh connected with a McCord corner kick, but could only head the ball straight into the arms of Berwick goalkeeper Michael Andrews.

Berwick had their first opening in the 18th minute McKenzie in the home goal punched clear a Lee Currie corner kick only as far as Paul Willis, but he blasted wildly over the crossbar.

Three minutes later the home side’s Terry Masson latched on to the ball some 25 yards out, but Andrews was able to tip his effort around the post.

Despite Montrose having the better opening ,it was Berwick who opened the scoring on the half hour mark. The home defence failed to clear the ball and it landed kindly for Andrew Russell, who opened up his body to curl a beauty into the bottom corner.

Ten minutes later Russell had another opportunity after picking the ball up at the edge of the box, but he blasted well over.

In first-half stoppage time Montrose equalised after a 35-yarder from Watson on the run was tipped over by Andrews. McCord’s corner kick was cleared, but when the ball came back to the midfielder his cross picked out Deasley at the back post and he knocked the ball past Andrews at the second attempt.

Andrews kept Berwick in the match with a great save at the feet of McIntosh as Montrose looked for a second goal.

Berwick’s Devon Jacobs then tried his luck from distant, but McKenzie was equal to the task and tipped the ball wide.

Play started to get a bit ragged and Steven Notman then the home side’s Garry Wood and Masson were booked after some crunching tackles.

Montrose made the breakthrough with the all-important second goal in the 77th minute. Deasley did the spade work with a great run down the left wing and sent over a perfect cross which Watson caught perfectly to volley into the bottom corner with Andrews beaten.

McIntosh almost made it three for the home side when he latched onto a Webster cutback, but Andrews again blocked for a corner kick.

Berwick almost grabbed an equaliser in the 90th minute when Lee Currie let fly from 20 yards out, but McKenzie got down well to save.

The visitors had one last chance to grab an equaliser three minutes into stoppage time. Robb fouled Gray and was promptly booked by referee Munro. Currie fired in the free kick, but McKenzie in the home goal was able to push Russell’s header over the bar.

Montrose: McKenzie, Webster, Graham, Crawford (Robb 71), Wood, McCord, Masson, Watson, Johnston, McIntosh, Deasley (Day 78). Subs not used: O’Neil, Harkins, Trialist, Sturrock, McGovern.

Berwick Rangers: Andrews, Jacobs, Drummond (Maxwell 69), Fairbairn, Young, Hoskins, Willis (Gray 79), P. Currie, Dargo (Dalziel 76), Notman, Russell. Subs not used: Gold, P. Currie, Horribine, Bald.

Referee: D Munro

Attendance: 233