Reserves take points with second half fight-back

Burntisland Shipyard 2, Berwick Rangers Reserves 3

Due to the first team friendly at Shielfield the night before, this game was switched to the ground of the league newcomers.

Burntisland were seeking a second successive victory against a SFL-connected team having eliminated a Cowdenbeath eleven containing seven first teamers from the Fife Cup in midweek.

In the first half, the Reserves struggled to adapt to a tight, sloping pitch and trailed at the interval. Things might have been different if Sam Todd had done better in a one to one with home keeper Martin Melia in the eighth minute but his right foot shot was wide. Just past the half hour, Stuart Gray put the Shipyard ahead when allowed a free header from Sean Lamont’s free kick.

Following coach Mark Lamb’s ‘kind words’ at half time, the Reserves reappeared looking more purposeful. Nevertheless, after levelling, they went behind again before two late goals secured their first league win of the season. Rangers’ first equaliser came in the 65th minute. Todd worked his way close to goal only to be brought down by Paul Wilson. Todd got up to convert the spot kick himself. Six minutes later, referee Paul Hanlon ruled that Jonathon Fairbairn pushed Graeme Neish, a decision both camps agreed was harsh. Mark Brough succeeded with the penalty to put the Fifers back in front.

The classy Fairbairn compensated by getting Berwick back on level terms in the 83rd minute, slipping his marker to finish of Todd’s 25 yard free kick with a bullet header past Melia. Shortly afterwards, Burntisland were reduced to ten men. Mike Brown was shown a straight red for a rash challenge on Allan Ramsay on the halfway line.

In the last minute of normal time, Berwick’s man of the match Jordyn Gill won possession in the middle of the field and released Steven Finlayson down the right. He cut inside before sending the ball into the penalty area from where leading scorer Greig Smith, one of a quartet of eager attackers on hand, bundled the ball over the line, leaving Rangers to see out four minutes of stoppage time largely untroubled.

Berwick Res: Sandison, Brady--Trialist, Ramsay, Bennett (Rendall 72), Fairbairn, Gill, Doris, Todd, Miller, Finlayson, Smith.