Queen’s Park 0-4 Berwick Rangers

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A hat-trick from Scott Dalziel and another goal from strike partner Darren Lavery helped Berwick ease to a comfortable win over bottom-of-the-table Queen’s Park on Saturday.

The game was played at Airdrie because of work being carried out at Hampden which stages the Commonwealth Games in 2014, but from the moment Lavery fired wide in the first minute there was never any doubt as to which way the three points were going.

The victory, which followed on from their 2-0 home win over East Stirling a week earlier, lifted Rangers up to sixth place in the table, just two points adrift of the play-off places and eight behind leaders Peterhead, whom they face at Shielfield Park next weekend.

Dalziel has often been criticised by the Berwick fans for his lack of goals, but his festive treble, just four days before Christmas, took his tally for the season so far to nine.

He fired Rangers in front after 21 minutes, and after Lavery doubled the advantage with his 12th of the campaign three minutes into the second half, he went on to complete his hat-trick with further goals after 74 minutes and in injury time.

With Stephen Tulloch still out injured, Berwick fielded a similar side to that which beat East Stirling.

Lavery pulled a left-foot shot wide after just 37 seconds and Michael Dunlop headed over from close range before Blair Spittal shot high and wide from outside the box.

After 17 minutes skipper Lee Currie had a shot from outside the area saved by Blair Lochead, but the home keeper had no answer when Dalziel headed past him from a Currie cross just four minutes later.

Queen’s Park, who have only won one game all season, then forced a series of corners as they tried to haul themselves back into the match, but they had to wait until the 44th minute before they had their first serious attempt on goal when Spittal’s shot was saved by Billy Bald.

The second half was just three minutes old when Lavery doubled Berwick’s advantage, firing home from the middle of the box after being set up by Ross Gray.

Joao Pereira Vitoria shot high from close range for Queen’s, but as Berwick pressed forward again Lavery saw an effort saved by Lochead, just a minute before Dalziel made it 3-0 with a shot from the middle of the box.

Kenny O’Brien then shot wide from distance. Queen’s, who had lost five in a row, then saw shots from David Anderson and Vitoria both saved by Bald within the space of a minute, and at that stage it was obvious they were heading for six.

In the 85th minute Dalziel went close to nabbing his hat-trick when he headed wide, but he was not to be denied, and he went on to complete his treble in the 92nd minute when he headed in from a well-executed Currie free kick.

Queen’s Park: Lochhead, Fisher (Gallacher 45), Burns (Coll 77), McVey, Brough, Lamie, Davison (Gormley 72), Keenan, Vitoria, Anderson, Spittal.

Berwick Rangers: Bald, Jacobs, Gielty, Hoskins, Dunlop, Gray, Notman (Miller 81), Currie, O’Brien (Ronald 76), Lavery (Morris 77), Dalziel.

Referee: Gavin Ross.

Attendance: 302.