Rangers fail to seal play-off place - it’s all down to last game of season

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BERWICK RANGERS 0, ANNAN ATHLETIC 2: Berwick’s play-off hopes are hanging in the balance after a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Annan on Saturday

They can still achieve a top four finish but must avoid a heavy defeat at Ibrox against Rangers next week in their last game.

Manager Ian Little said: “It was disappointing because we had a chance to sew it up today and we didn’t take it.

“Now we go to Ibrox on the last day needing to be looking over our shoulder.”

Berwick went into the game knowing that a win would virtually guarantee a top four finish and qualification for the play-offs.

The first half was a nervous affair but it was Berwick who had the best two early chances, Athletic goalkeeper Alex Mitchell twice coming to his side’s rescue, saving at close range from Stevie Notman after Darren Lavery created the opening and cut the ball back to him in the box, and then from Kevin McDonald, who saw a close range header clawed off the line after he met a cross from the left.

Annan went close when Lewis Hawke cut in from the right but was denied by Berwick goalkeeper Mark McCallum.

Rangers lost leading scorer Lavery who limped off after 41 minutes and was replaced by Scott Dalziel.

But the visitors struck right on the verge of half-time when Rangers lost possession in the box and Steven Sloan cut the ball across the face of the goal for Scott Chaplain to volley the ball into the net from close range.

In the second half Mitchell again denied Notman, his parried shot falling for McDonald who pushed it wide as he slid in.

A Michael Daly header from a corner was just wide of the Berwick goal, but in a game of few chances substitute Josh Morris had a great chance when a long ball down the middle fell into his path, but he volleyed wide with just Mitchell to beat.

With only four minutes remaining Berwick’s afternoon of misery was completed when they were reduced to ten men, Lee Currie being sent off for a second yellow card, and in injury time Martin McNiff added a second with a long range effort on the break, after goalkeeper McCallum went upfield for a corner.

Berwick: McCallum 6, Jacobs 7*, Townsley 6, McLean 6, Gielty 6, Notman 6, Janczyk 6, Currie 7, McDonald 6 (Morris 62, 5) Easton 6 (Carse 75, 5) Lavery 5 (Dalziel 41, 5).

Annan: Mitchell 6, Chisholm 6, McGowan 6, Watson 6, Swinglehurst 6, Sloan 6 (McKechnie 82, 5), Monaghan 6, Chaplain 7, Daly 7, Hawke 6 (Hopkirk 65, 5) McNiff Referee - Alan Newlands

Attendance: 627.