Peterhead 1-1 Berwick Rangers

Berwick midfielder Neil Janczyk in the thick of the action against Peterhead
Berwick midfielder Neil Janczyk in the thick of the action against Peterhead

Berwick picked up their first point in four league games when they were held to a 1-1 draw by ten-man Peterhead at Balmoor on Saturday

Rangers had beaten the Blue Toon at Shielfield in a Scottish Cup tie at Shielfield earlier in the month, but they had lost their last three league matches, despite playing some attractive football, and Ian Little’s side were keen to get back to winning ways.

Berwick welcomed back centre back Stephen Tulloch after two weeks out with a hamstring injury and he fired Rangers in front after only 18 minutes with an emphatic close range finish following a corner.

It was a lead Berwick managed to hold on to until half-time, but just six minutes into the second half skipper Lee Currie brought down Jordan Brown in the box and Rory McAllister equalised from the penalty spot.

Five minutes after that former Berwick stalwart Fraser McLaren was shown a straight red card and sent off for a reckless foul on Currie.

But despite their numerical advantage, and dominance in open play, Rangers were unable to secure a much-needed victory.

Dean Hoskins twice had efforts well saved by Graeme Smith and he also headed wide from a central position. Michael Dunlop headed wide and Currie shot wide, as did Tulloch, whilst substitute Damien Gielty also narrowly missed the target in injury time.

McLaren almost gave Peterhead an early lead when he ran though and latched onto a short back-pass, but his effort was brilliantly tipped around for a corner by goalkeeper Paul Grant.

Currie was involved in all the major incidents during the course of the game.

It was his corner which led to the opening goal. It was met by Dunlop, whose header produced a good reaction save from Graeme Sharp, who saved with his chest on the line, but Tulloch, who had also ventured upfield for the set piece, made no mistake when he rifled home the loose ball in the crowded goalmouth, shooting high into the net from only six yards out.

Peterhead, who were already short on numbers because of injury, then suffered a further set-back when David Cox was stretchered off and taken by ambulance to hospital with a foot injury.

He crumpled to the ground as he came down from an aerial challenge for the ball and landed awkwardly. It looked innocuous but one of his team’s lynchpins was unable to continue and was stretchered around the pitch with what was later diagnosed as a broken metatarsal.

His replacement, Buchan almost made an instant impact with a 20 yard effort saved in spectacular fashion by Grant.

The home side started the brighter in the second half and were rewarded with their equaliser from the penalty spot. McLaren’s dismissal put them at a disadvantage, but Berwick were unable to capitalise and had to settle for the draw.