Whitehill Welfare 1, Berwick Rangers Reserves 2: Mark Lamb’s Reserves beat Premier Division opposition for the second time in four days to go to the top of Section ‘A’ of the East of Scotland Qualifying League.
They followed up a 4-0 midweek home win over Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale with this workmanlike victory at Ferguson Park, Rosewell.
Coincidentally, like the first team at Shielfield on the same day, the Reserves found themselves playing against ten men and from as early as the 6th minute. Whitehill’s Scott Gormley was involved in a confrontation with Dene Droudge. A linesman spotted Gormley’s violent response when Rangers were awarded the free kick resulting in his receiving a straight red card from referee Billy Cooper.
This was new Whitehill manager Mickey Lawson’s first home game in charge and the ex-Spartans’ boss reshaped his formation opting to keep players camped behind the ball with only one man up front. This did not prevent the outstanding Notman, whose current SFL suspension does not apply to East of Scotland games, from putting Rangers ahead in the 15th minute with an excellently judged free kick from the edge of the box.
Against stuffy, sometimes physical opponents, Berwick increased their lead after 62 minutes. Steven Finlayson reached the by-line and whipped the ball over towards Smith positioned just inside the penalty area who produced a great header.
Whitehill pulled back a goal in the 85th minute when Rangers gave away possession 18 yards out. Steven Manson took advantage, rounding Hoskins before giving Grant Sandison no chance as the ball spun into the bottom corner of the net. It meant a nervous final five minutes for the visitors as the Welfare went all out for an equaliser.
Berwick Res: Sandison, Notman, Rendall, Hoskins, Droudge (Gill 60), Doris, Miller, O’Brien, Finlayson, Smith, Todd (Linton 84).