Berwick Rangers 2-0 Elgin City 0

Berwick Rangers v Elgin
Berwick Rangers v Elgin

Two goals from Blair Henderson saw Berwick overcome the stubborn challenge of promotion-chasing Elgin at Shielfield on Saturday.

Henderson opened the scoring from the penalty spot after five minutes, and headed in a second two minutes from the end, as Rangers climbed the table to seventh.

The double strike took Henderson’s tally for the season to 15 in all competitions, whilst the Borderers made it five clean sheets in the last six games.

Brian Martin was recalled to the starting line-up following his one match suspension, whilst Sandy Cunningham and Dylan Stevenson were used at the expense of Darren Lavery and Finn Graham, who were both relegated to the bench.

It took Rangers only five minutes to find the net, and it was that man Blair Henderson again, this time from the penalty spot.

Initially a Henderson chance was cleared by goalkeeper Mark Hurst, but following a push on Stevie Notman, referee Gavin Ross pointed to the spot and Henderson coolly slotted the spot kick away, sending Hurst the wrong way.

It was the sort of start Berwick had been hoping for in a game which manager John Coughlin had stressed to his players beforehand was one they must win.

Four minutes later Notman had to leave the pitch with a head injury and he was replaced by Graham.

It later transpired Notman had sustained a cut to his forehead - some reports suggested he had managed to punch himself - and he was taken to hospital to have stitches inserted.

On 14 minutes Henderson had a glorious chance for a second goal, but headed narrowly wide from a Graham cross.

On 15 minutes Kevin Walker pulled off a good reaction save from an Elgin free kick, whilst Henderson was again unlucky when he let fly from 25 yards out, Hurst fingertipping his effort over the bar for a corner.

After half an hour Ross broke through in the right for the visitors, but shot over under pressure from a defender and there was a let-off for Berwick after 33 minutes when Mark Nicolson hit the post with a header from a free kick, but at half-time it remained 1-0.

Just six minutes into the second half Rangers were forced into another substitution,mwith Graeme Beveridge replacing Dylan Stevenson, who limped off.

The second period produced little by way of goalmouth action, with both defences on top, although Thomas Reilly scuffed a shot wide for City.

Berwick substitute Darren Lavery shot wide from distance and in the closing stages he was also presented with a free header at the back post from a Graham cross, but failed to hit the target.

However, in the 88th minute, Henderson made the game safe when he headed his second goal of the afternoon, turning in a pin-point cross from full back Ewan McNeil.