Berwick manager Johnny Harvey watched on as his injury-hit squad kicked off the New Year with a defeat at Cowdenbeath on Saturday.
With Paul Willis, Declan O’Kane, Sean Murphy and Daryl Healy all injured, Harvey had managed to secure the services of Matthew Knox on loan from Livingston, and the 19 year-old started on the bench. He was introduced as a second half substitute, by which time Rangers were 2-0 down and down to ten men.
Cowdenbeath were the better of the two sides in the first half, creating several chances. Kyle Miller shot wide in the first minute, David Cox shot over and Fraser Mullen had an effort saved by Berwick keeper Allison.
Cox and Kris Renton both headed wide as the Central Park outfit made all the running, whilst Berwick’s sole effort in the opening 45 was a shot from John Neill saved in the bottom corner by home keeper McGurn.
It looked as if the sides were going to go in level at the break, but in first half stoppage time the Blue Brazil broke quickly upfield and netted through Cox’s effort into the bottom corner to take a lead into half-time.
In the second half Lewis Barr shot over for Berwick, but on 61 minutes the visitors conceded a penalty when full-back Andrew Forbes fouled Cox in the area and Harvey Swann netted from the spot to make it 2-0.
On 67 minutes Rangers were reduced to ten men when Ross Brown was shown a straight red card for a foul by referee Gavin Duncan. Cowdenbeath tried to push home their advantage and Gary Fraser went close whilst Jordan Allan had a shot saved by Allison.
Again Rangers found chances difficult to come by and Jordan Orru had a shot from a tight angle saved by McGurn whilst new signing Matthew Knox also fired wide.
The defeat means Berwick remain ninth in the table, now seven points ahead of bottom-of-the-table Albion Rovers, who picked a point in a 2-2 draw with eighth place Queen’s Park.