Rangers dumped by hat-trick hero Hemmings

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BERWICK RANGERS 0, COWDENBEATH 5

Berwick were bundled out of the League Cup in the first round when Cowdenbeath went nap against them at Shielfield on Saturday.

Kane Hemmings was the hat-trick hero for the visitors, with the Fifers’ other goals coming from Kyle Miller and substitute Greig Stewart.

Rangers’ manager Ian Little had to admit afterwards that his team had been second best on the day and he said his hope was that his players could pick themselves up for their opening league game away to Clyde next weekend.

“After last week’s win over Livingston in the Ramsdens Cup this was like chalk and cheese,” said Little.

“Last week we got stuck in and competed well, but in this match we allowed ourselves to be outplayed.

“Cowdenbeath passed the ball well and at times we just didn’t have an answer.

“I thought we started reasonably well, but it was disappointing to go in at half time two goals down, and when we lost a third goal early in the second half I knew that was it.

“Again we gave some of the younger players a run out to give them some experience.

“We are thin on the ground for numbers at the moment, but we have one or two lads coming back from injury and the chairman has told me there is some money going to be made available after we drew Rangers away in the next round of the Ramsdens Cup so hopefully we might be able to strengthen the squad.”

Hemmings struck twice in two minutes in the first half to put Cowdenbeath in the driving seat.

He opened the scoring after 35 minutes when Jordon Morton did well to beat two players on the left and crossed into the box for the ex-Rangers’ striker to turn the ball past Paul Grant.

Less than 90 seconds later he burst through the middle and doubled their advantage when he finished well with a shot with the outside of his right foot into the bottom corner.

Miller made it 0-3 just four minutes into the second half when he slammed home the rebound after a corner was cleared off the line.

Substitute Stewart added the fourth just two minutes after coming on when he tapped in from the edge of the six yard box with his first touch after being set up by Miller. This was a well worked goal by Cowdenbeath up the left when they literally sliced open the Berwick defence.

And Hemmings completed his treble with a header from a high ball into the box from the right in the 87th minute.

Berwick’s best effort came in the first minute of the game when Darren Lavery burst through, but stood on the ball when he broke into the box, whilst at the start of the second half the striker also had a shot cleared off the line.

Scott Dalziel also had an early chance but fell when he tried to make a connection in the penalty area.

Overall, this was a disappointing performance from Berwick, coming as it did on the back over their impressive Ramsdens Cup victory over Livingston.