Berwick Rangers 1-0 East Stirling

editorial image

Berwick kept their play-off hopes alive with a hard fought 1-0 win over East Stirling at Shielfield on Saturday.

Andy Russell scored the only goal of the game, just a minute before half-time.

And it was a valuable strike, for with Stirling Albion dropping two points at home to Elgin, it means The Borderers have now closed the gap to only three points with two games remaining.

With Devon Jacobs suspended, Michael Dunlop stepped in to fill the breach at right back, with Ben Miller taking the place of injured player-manager Colin Cameron.

Both sides had early chances with the best falling to Jonny Fairbairn, whose header lacked power, whilst Darren Lavery pulled a shot wide.

Max Wright shot over at the other end and Berwick keeper Billy Bald also had to clear a shot off his line with his feet.

Lee Currie flashed a shot wide for Berwick whilst Max Wright fired a shot straight at Bald.

The breakthrough came after 44 minutes when Ross Gray slipped the ball through to Andy Russell and the striker, who got his debut goal for the team in last week’s 3-1 win at Elgin, calmly slotted the ball under Craig Gordon to give Rangers a 1-0 interval lead.

Afterwards Russell said it was an important goal.

He said the win maintained their interest in the play-offs, and it gives the team something to aim for at the end of the season.

“Some people have criticised the play-offs,” he said, “but I think they are a good thing as it makes it exciting for us and gives us something to aim for, when otherwise our season might be over.”

At the start of the second half, Gordon went full stretch to make a good finger-tip save when Scott Dalziel headed down from a Ross Drummond cross.

The visitors pressed for an equaliser and Bald had to be alert when he saved well from Turner and at close range from David Greenhill. he also made a good fingertip save which he knocked onto the bar.

Gordon, meanwhile, got down well to save from Russell.

Drummond then made a good run down the left but his cross ended up on the roof of the net.

At times in the second half Berwick found themselves under a bit of pressure, but they managed to hold on and the three points were a welcome easter present.

Berwick: Bald, Dunlop (Hoskins 89), Drummond, Miller (Morris 89), Fairbairn, Tulloch, Gray, L Currie, Dalziel (P Currie 64), Russell, Lavery.

East Stirling: Gordon, Tapping (McGregor 74), Maxwell,, Townlsey, Bolochoweckyj, Thomson, O’Donoghue (Glasgow 68), Greenhill, Turner (Quinn 80), Shepherd, Wright.

Referee: Colin Steven.

Attendance: 582.