Berwick Rangers 2-3 East Fife

editorial image

East Fife avenged a Scottish Cup defeat at the hands of Berwick a fortnight ago with a dramatic 3-2 win at Shielfield.

But the scoreline hardly tells thestory of a match Berwick dominated for spells, onlyto lose out to a 93rd minute winner from the visitors.

Rangers won 3-2 at Methil when the Fifers had three players sent off, but despite the lion’s share of possession they were unable to complete the double over the visitors.

Allan Walker, one of the players who was dismissed at New Bayview, gave East Fife the lead after 69 minutes,.

Two goals from Darren Lavery, with Kevin Smith netting inbetween, made it 2-2, the equaliser coming in the 91st minute.

But in the 93rd minute, with just seconds of the match remaining, Jonathan Page bundled the ball over the line from close range to give the Fifers all three points in an unbelievable finish.

With skipper Stephen Tulloch sidelined with a broken cheekbone, Berwick made only one change to the side which had won their last two games, with Dean Hoskins filling in at centre back.

An early free kick from Lee Currie was parried away by goalkeeper Alan Fleming.

After eight minutes Craig Dargo twisted and turned in the box, but he pulled his shot wide and as Berwick made the early running Lee Currie saw a shot blocked on the line.

Berwick also had a strong penalty claim when Paul Currie appeared to be bundled in the box, but referee Kevin Graham waved play on.

A Lee Currie shot was deflected wide for a corner with Fleming wrong-footed on the slippery surface.

Darren Lavery then burst through and fired inches over as Berwick continued to dominate.

East Fife struggled to break out of their own half and their first chance came after 38 minutes when they had a shot cleared off the line from a corner, but for all their pressure, Berwick could not find a way through and at half-time it was 0-0.

At the start of the second half Lee Currie brought out a good full length save from Fleming with a driving shot from 20 yards out.

East Fife grew more into the game, but chances at either end were few and far between.

Then, after 69 minutes, the breakthrough came when a long free kick from the right was headed in by Walker to give the visitors the lead.

In an attempt to turn things around, full-back Ross Drummond was sacrificed for striker Scott Dalziel for the final 15 minutes.

Almost immediately, Lavery netted a spectacular equaliser when his first-time strike from 25 yards out flew off his boot. The ball was tipped onto the crossbar by Fleming and bounced behind the line.

But they were level for only five minutes, as East Fife regained the initiative with a well struck free kick from a central position by Kevin Smith after 83 minutes, which beat Billy Bald in the top corner.

Lavery netted again in the first minute of injury time with a low drive in a crowded goalmouth, but straight from the restart East Fife went upfield and Page forced the ball over the line from a goalmouth scramble for a dramatic winner.

Berwick: Bald, Notman, Young, Hoskins, Drunnond (Dalziel 76), Gray, P Currie, L Currie, Willis, Dargo (Russell 64), Lavery.

East Fife: Fleming, L Smith, Naysmith, S Campbell, Page, Mullen, R Campbell (Austin 72), Brown, Walker (McShane 88), S Smith (Barr 61), K Smith.

Referee: Kevin Graham.

Attendance: 490.