Former Streamers manager Mark Lamb’s return to Home Park proved a memorable one as his Berwick Rangers Reserves side ran out comfortable winners in this local derby.
Despite both having qualified for the knockout stage, the game was made that bit more competitive with the visitors needing to win by three clear goals to top Group D. First team players Ben Miller, Dean Carse, Dean Hoskins & Kenny O’Brien all started in a match Lamb clearly wanted to come out on top in.
In a blustery wind, both sets of players found the unforgiving surface a problem, but it was the Shielfield Park side who got the ball down and played, creating numerous chances for their forwards. Hoskins dragged one wide before Carse toe poked another goalwards, the effort however was straight at keeper Mark Walters. Conor Devaney’s forward surges were proving to be Coldstream’s most likely source of a goal, but the Streamers just seemed to lack that cutting edge.
A glorious opportunity arose midway through the half as Sean Simpson was scythed down in the box, but having dusted himself down the striker missed his spot kick and the resulting rebound. This lifted the Reserves and when Simpson was then given his marching orders for an off the ball incident the traffic was pretty much one way for the remainder of the tie.
A slack ball played across goal was pounced on by Carse, the nippy striker firing past Walters to give his side the lead. Had it not been for the big Streamers stopper pulling off some saves from the top drawer then the men in black & gold could have been easily out of sight by the interval.
The second half saw the ‘Wee Gers’ take full control of the match with Coldstream rarely troubling their keeper. Midway through the half, Ben Miller doubled his sides lead and with top spot now in sight, Lamb’s men reached the summit when Kenny O’Brien scored direct from a corner to complete a miserable day at the office for Neil Oliver’s men.
With a thread bare squad and a trip to Lowland League side Gretna this coming Saturday, the fixtures do not get any easier as the season approaches it’s climax. The fact that it is a cup game will allow those players who are missing to get themselves ready for some huge battles as they prepare to beat the drop from the East of Scotland Premier Division in their first season back in the top flight.
Coldstream: Walters, Wales , Cannon, Ainslie, Birkett, Hebdon, Allan, Douglas, S. Simpson , Crawford (C), Devaney . SUBS - McCrudden, Baxendale.
Berwick Rangers Reserves: McMullen, Downie, Gill, Elliot, Saunderson, Hoskins (Scanlan 56), Anderson, Brady (G.Tulloch 60), Miller, O’Brien, Carse (Graham 75).