Points dropped as Rangers let another lead slip

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Annan Athletic 2, Berwick Rangers 2

BERWICK manager Ian Little was again left to bemoan a lack of concentration after watching his side twice concede a lead at Annan.

Prior to the game Little had said his players needed to focus for the entire 90 minutes of a match, and in particular highlighted the period either side of half time and immediately after scoring.

Fraser McLaren had put Rangers 2-1 up in the 67th minute, striker Scott Dalziel having given the visitors the lead in the first half.

But just three minutes after retaking the lead Berwick conceded and as a result let two vital points slip from their grasp.

“In quite a few games recently we just haven’t been able to hold on to leads and this was another example,” said Little.

“The players really do need to learn to concentrate for the entire 90 minutes, otherwise our play-off hopes really are going to suffer.

“We won on Tuesday (at home to Elgin) and another three points against Annan would have been a real boost.

“Now we must hope we can bounce back to winning ways against Stirling Albion this Tuesday, but they have been showing a good run of form lately and it will be another difficult game for us.”

Berwick went into the game without the suspended Stevie Notman and midfielder Dylan Easton, who has now missed two games after picking up an ankle injury against Rangers the previous week.

Kevin McDonald was available again after his two-match ban, but under the circumstances it was no surprise the Borderers fielded the same 11 who had come from behind to beat Elgin just four days earlier.

Scott Dalziel, who scored his debut goal for Berwick in the 2-1 midweek win over Elgin, headed Berwick in front after 14 minutes at Galabank, nodding in an inswinging corner from McLaren.

Scott Chaplian shot over the bar just two minutes later as Annan went in search of an equaliser, but chances were at a premium in the first half and at the break Rangers led 0-1.

The outcome of the game hinged on an eight minute spell after the hour mark when three goals were scored.

On the hour Berwick goalkeeper Marc McCallum saved from Alistair Love, but just a minute later Love equalised with a right foot shot from inside the area (his tenth goal of the season) after being set up by David Hopkirk.

McLaren headed Berwick back in front after 67 minutes, meeting a cross from Damien Gielty, but their lead lasted just three minutes as Chaplain headed the home side level for a second time following a cross from the left by Christopher Jardine.

Annan then went close on three occasions with Daniel Orsi heading over the bar, a Hopkirk shot being saved by McCallum and a Chisholm corner being cleared at the near post by Devon Jacobs.

Berwick substitute Dean Carse shot over the bar in the last minute.

In general Berwick looked vulnerable down the left but it was their inability to hang on to a potential match-winning position which ultimately led to another two dropped points.

Annan: Mitchell, Chisholm, Swinglehurst, McGowan, Love, McNiff, Sloan (Murray 56), Jardine, Orsi, Chaplain, Hopkirk.

Berwick: McCallum, Jacobs, Hoskins, Townsley, Brydon, Janczyk (McDonald 81), McLaren (O’Brien 81), Currie, Gielty, Lavery (Carse 64), Dalziel.

Referee: Greg Aitken.

Att: 427.