Berwick Rangers 3-0 East Stirling

Berwick's 'Ross Drummond takes on an East Stirling defender.
Berwick's 'Ross Drummond takes on an East Stirling defender.

Berwick kicked off the new year with an emphatic 3-0 victory over East Stirling at Shielfield.

Goals from Scott Maxwell, Steven Notman and Ross Drummond secured the win for Rangers, which lifts them to within a point of fourth placed Annan in the table.

The game was only three minutes old when the first chance fell to Berwick, Shire keeper Richard Barnard saving with his legs from a first-time shot by Andy Russell inside the box.

After eight minutes Lee Currie shot straight at Barnard from distance following another good build-up and as Rangers continued to set the pace, Stevie Notman was unlucky when he saw a diving header bounce back off a post.

But East Stirling had a spell of their own and after 17 minutes a trialist centre forward pulled a first time shot wide of the goal from outside the box, whilst a goalbound shot was blocked. A header from Chris Townsley at a corner was then headed off the line by Devon Jacobs as Rangers held out.

Shore were forced into making an early substitution with Andrew Kay replacing Luke Donnelly after only 19 minutes and as the home side rallied Currie tried his luck with a shot from distance straight at Barnard.

But two goals in a three minute spell settled Rangers’ nerves.

The deadlock was broken after 31 minutes when Currie slipped the ball to Russell on the right and his cross was met by Maxwell who turned it past Barnard from close range.

After 34 minutes, skipper Steven Notman doubled their advantage with a glancing header from a Paul Willis free kick on the left.

With half-time approaching Willis, who moments earlier made a great run from half-way, went close himself when he met a cross at the back post, but his effort was blocked by Barnard, who was quick off his line.

The second half was less than two minutes old when Rangers added a third, Currie feeding Russell down the right and his delayed cross was met first time by Ross Drummond, who rifled in his first goal for the club with a first time shot from just inside the box.

Billy Bald made a good save to deny Ross Gilmour from a close range header as Shire tried to make an impression, but in general Berwick ran the show and a free kick from Currie on the right stung the fingers of Bernard. Russell also had a shot straight at Barnard, but despite their superiorityRangers were unable to add a fourth.