FORFAR ATHLETIC 2 BERWICK RANGERS 3
Goalkeeper Sean Brennan emerged as Berwick’s hero as Rangers beat league leaders Forfar 3-2 in an entertaining, if not nerve-wracking game, at Station Park.
Pat Scullion gave Berwick a first-half lead, only for the Angus side to drew level on the stroke of half-time.
Goals by Aaron Murrell and Greg Rutherford put Rangers in the driving seat at 3-1, but Forfar were awarded two late penalties, the first which was converted by David Cox, the second, with virtually the last kick of the game, which was saved by Brennan.
Earlier in the game, Brennan had kept Berwick in the match with a string of saves, particularly in the first half.
Berwick opened the scoring with only seven minutes played when Scullion headed in from a cross by Michael McKenna.
McKenna then pulled a shot wide from outside the box before Sean Brennan saved from a shot by Denholm.
As Forfar tried to force their way back into the match, Brennan was called into action again, this time saving from Jamie Bain and Lewis Milne within the space of two minutes.
Thomas O’Brien also headed over as Berwick found themselves on the back foot, but after half an hour the home side were forced into making a change when Michael Travis picked up an injury and he was replaced by Andy Munro.
Brennan saved again from a header by Bain as Athletic cranked up the pressure.
Greg Rutherford forced home keeper Adam into a save, but Brennan, for the fifth time in the half, came to Rangers’ rescue with another save from a header by Jim Lister.
I looked as if the visitors were going to hang on to the break, but in first half stoppage time Denholm finally managed to find a way past Brennan, heading in from a Gavin Swankie cross for a Forfar equaliser.
The second half was only two minutes old when Brennan was called into action again, saving from Eddie Malone.
And as Forfar went in search of a winner, Lister pulled a shot wide whilst a David Cox shot was blocked.
Swankie also had a shot blocked before Berwick’s Aaron Murrell and Munro both shot wide at opposite ends.
Berwick made a double substitution after 73 minutes, and within three minutes they found themselves 3-1 in front with goals from strike pair Murrell and Rutherford.
Murrell put them 2-1 up when he slotted the ball home after Rutherford created the opening, and in 76 minutes it was the turn of Rutherford to find the net after being set up by Euan Spark.
On 84 minutes Forfar were handed a lifeline when Kevin McKinlay fouled substitute Aiden Malone in the box and Cox converted from the penalty spot.
Then, in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Forfar were awarded a second penalty when McKinlay was adjudged to have handled the ball.
Cox stepped up to take his second spot kick, but this time his effort was saved by Brennan to secure all three points for a relieved Rangers.
Forfar Athletic: Adam, Bain, Travis (Munro 31), O’Brien, McLaughlin (A Malone 80), Denholm, Milne, E. Malone, Swankie, Cox, Lister (Peters 73).
Berwick Rangers: Brennan, McKirdy (Verlaque 73), Scullion, Spark, McKinlay, Notman, McKenna, Lavery (Orru 73), Phillips, Rutherford, Murrell (Kessells 82).
Referee: Ryan Milne. Attendance: 477