Elgin 2-0 Berwick Rangers

editorial image

Another defeat, this time at Elgin, has left Berwick struggling second from bottom of the second division.

Two first half goals from Shane Sutherland were enough to give City all three points, cutting Rangers four points adrift of the teams immediately above them.

The loss, which means the Shielfielders have now only won one out of their last ten league games, is seen as another bitter blow for manager Ian Little and his team, who must now get back to winning ways quickly if they are not to lose too much ground on the pack.

Little rang the changes for this fixture with Billy Bald replacing regular goalkeeper Paul Grant between the posts.

Full back Dean Hoskins was also relegated to the bench, as was striker Darren Lavery and Ross Gray, with Damien Gielty dropping back into defence and Josh Morris and Owen Ronald making rare starts.

But it was obvious from the off that Berwick were not going to have things their own way as twice Elgin got in shots in the opening minutes from Craig Gunn and Alan McKenzie.

Morris shot over after seven minutes and five minutes later he had an effort saved by Jellema.

Mark Nicholson pulled a shot wide for City, before Morris twice went close, both shots being saved by Raymond Jellema.

Scott Dalziel then headed wide from close range before shots at either end were blocked by defenders and Ross McKinnon shot wide for the home side.

The breakthrough came after 38 minutes when the ever-dangerous Sutherland shot high into the roof of the net from a central position in the box.

As Elgin cranked up the pressure Bald had to make three saves to prevent Sutherland (twice) and Dennis Wyness from extending the advantage.

But he had no chance when the home side doubled their lead on the stroke of half time when Sutherland side-footed into the net after being set up by McKinnon.

At the start of the second half Kenny O’Brien had an early shot saved by Jellema, and the home stopper also did well to deny Ronald.

Stephen Tulloch headed wide after an hour as Berwick tried to force the issue and get a foothold in the game.

O’Brien was desperately unlucky when he saw a header come back off a post and rebound safely into a grateful Jellema’s hands.

Lee Currie, who had scored in his last four successive games, then fired in a free kick which Jellema tipped onto the crossbar.

Both sides made changes with Elgin prepared to hold on to their lead, whilst Berwick lost their sting.

It wasn’t until the final minutes that Gray shot over whilst Gunn also had an effort which was too high.

Elgin: Jellema, Niven, McMullen, Sutherland, Crighton, Duff, Mckenzie, Nicolson, Wyness (Urquhart 81), Gunn, McKinnon (Cameron 69).

Berwick: Bald, Jacobs, Gielty, Currie, Dunlop, Tulloch (Hoskins 69), Morris (Lavery 73), Notman, O’Brien (Gray 75), Dalziel, Ronald.

Referee: Gavin Duncan.

Attendance: 543.