Berwick defenders were key to victory, says Coughlin

John Coughlin was impressed by Berwick's central defence.
John Coughlin was impressed by Berwick's central defence.

EAST Stirlingshire manager John Coughlin insists his team dominated Berwick Rangers yesterday, but praised the visitors for the way they defended.

He was not the only person to leave Ochilview believing East Stirling had enjoyed the upper hand in terms of chances and possession, especially in the latter stages against ten men.

But for Coughlin, a former Berwick manager, it was the qualities of his opponents that held they key to Berwick’s 1-0 victory.

“There is no doubt we were the better team,” he said. “We played some good football and I thought we dominated the match. But they defended very well and it goes to prove what you can achieve if you have good, experienced defenders.

“I counted that we won 12 corner kicks in the second half, but we could not create anything out of any of them because each time the ball came in their big central defenders got their heads to it and cleared the danger.

“Compare that to their goal, which was a corner no-one could clear and their guy is left on his own to score.”

“It just shows how important it is to have experienced guys at the back. It can make all the difference between winning and losing a match, as they proved out there.”

Shire hit the post in injury time, but for Coughlin it was another case of his team’s inability to finish after getting into a decent scoring position.

“Too many times what we got was pass, pass, pass,” he said. “We dominated possession and at times it felt we were camped outside their penalty area. But they defended well and our uncertainty when it came to decision-making did not help us one bit.”