Cove Rangers 4 Berwick Rangers 0: Lowland League looms large

Adamson and Forbes in action against Albion Rovers.
Adamson and Forbes in action against Albion Rovers.

Berwick Rangers are on the verge of relegation to the Lowland League after a 4-0 defeat against Cove Rangers at Balmoral Stadium.

The Highland League champions ran riot in Aberdeen, crushing Berwick and surely creating a mountain that will prove comfortably too much for the Borderers to summit.

Goals from Sam Burnett, Mitch Megginson, Jamie Masson and an own goal from Aidan McIlduff gave the home side as easy a victory as they could possibly have hoped for.

After an even opening five minutes, Cove began to dominate. Mitch Megginson was the first to go close when he dragged across the box from 12 yards.

Sam Burnett and Blair Yule also had chances for the hosts before the match was ten minutes old - but the biggest early chance came on 15 minutes as Megginson's shot squirmed underneath Berwick 'keeper Ryan Goodfellow. The 'keeper just did enough to get back and grab the ball on the line.

The goal that had been coming eventually arrived on 22 minutes through Sam Burnett. A corner was half cleared and a ball back into the box caused problems - with a clearance eventually cannoning against Burnett and in for 1-0.

Berwick's best chance of the opening half came on 35 minutes when a free-kick into the box from Declan O'Kane was headed towards goal by Daryl Healy - but easily saved by Stuart McKenzie.

Three minutes later and it was 2-0 to the Highland League outfit. Darryn Kelly whipped in a perfect ball from the right and, after two unmarked forwards missed the ball, Mitch Megginson nodded in from two yards.

The start of the second half was ominous as Megginson again got in behind - this time crashing the bar from inside the box. The striker, formerly of Aberdeen, went close again five minutes later when he sliced wide.

After 65 minutes, Lewis Barr came on for Berwick - with Mitch Megginson going off injured for the hosts. This seemed to change the pattern for a few minutes and O'Kane had the best chance of the game for John Brownlie's side.

Forbes crossed the ball in and, after Healy flicked towards him, O'Kane volleyed into the arms of McKenzie from ten yards. Moments before that, Cove had struck the bar for the second time when Scott Ross met Connor Scully's corner with a powerful effort.

With just over ten minutes to go, Cove made it 3-0. Goodfellow denied substitute Jordan MacRae twice before Aidan McIlduff knocked into his own net from inside the six yard box.

And one goal followed another as it was 4-0 on 84 minutes. Jamie Masson got in behind down Berwick's right hand side, cut inside and rifled against the post and in from close range.

It was almost five a few minutes later when MacRae nodded past the post from a corner. Barr also went close with a minute left when he flicked a free-kick wide of the back post.

Berwick fans, who had let their feelings known with chants of "sack the board" and "we're on our way, to the Lowland League, we're on our way" during the match, were involved in an argument with substitute Lewis Barr at the end of the match - with the midfielder still visibly annoyed in the tunnel after the match.

A fitting end, then, to a desperate season for Berwick Rangers - with an almost impossible task now facing the club at Shielfield this Saturday.