Townsley effort should have stood, says McLaren

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FRASER McLaren says referee Mike Tumilty got it wrong by disallowing Chris Townsley’s last-minute header to deny Berwick Rangers a famous victory over Rangers at Shielfield.

The substitue had scored a fantastic equaliser on the hour, but was then penalised for a foul on visiting goalkeeper Neil Alexander as Berwick defender Townsley was heading home what would have been the winning goal.

McLaren said: “It was a disappointing decision. The keeper ran into me and fell over when I was just standing my ground but what can I do about it? It should have been 2-1 to us.

“The referee just ran away and when I asked him he said it was a foul and we had to accept that. But it should have been the winner and we should have had the three points.”

Berwick manager Ian Little was more circumspect in his reaction and predicted that Rangers will emerge from their early season stupor to win the Third Division title with something to spare.

“I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed not to win the game,” said Little. “I would have jumped through hoops for a point with 10 minutes to go. I didn’t see much wrong with the goal we had disallowed but I’m just pleased with the way we played. We had a game plan to try and keep the ball and it worked pretty well.

“I feel it will be a bit of an eye-opener for Rangers coming to places like this in the first quarter of the season. Teams will have a go at them. But I think Rangers will come on strong and still win this league comfortably.”