In their first outing for a month, Berwick Rangers Reserves crashed to defeat in this Qualifying League game at Ainslie Park.
Berwick teenagers Regan Graham and Luke Dickson came on as second half substitutes, assistant manager Jimmy Rae pleased with their performances. Dean Carse brought his tally for the Reserves in all competitions to 17 so far this season with two more goals this time, but Berwick were harshly punished for defensive errors and were already trailing 4-1 at the break.
Big Mike Gray, who gave Rangers’ central defenders Allan Hay and James Elliot a torrid time, scored the Edinburgh team’s first goal and went on to add three more. David Stewart got the second, chipping the ball over the head of hesitant Berwick keeper Kieran Beveridge.
When Hay and Elliot got in each other’s way, Sebastian Pyda had time to turn inside the box and fire home. Beveridge was then caught out by Gray’s six yard header and the keeper’s nightmare continued into the second half when he failed to get to grips with a tame shot from the same player after it initially brushed his chest.
Gray’s fourth goal was more impressive, a cracking header into the top corner of the net following a free kick from the right.
With the score at 6-3--Conor Scott also found the net for Berwick--Carse looked to have completed his hat trick. Berwick believed the ball crossed the line only for Alex Brown to appear to knock it back into play with his arm. There was no dispute over Spartans’ seventh goal, the ball breaking favourably for Ian Ballantyne whose shot travelled through the assembled defenders on its way in.
Berwick Rangers Reserves: Beveridge, Finlayson, Elliot, Hay, Brady, Anderson ( Dickson ), Scott, Miller, Scanlan ( Graham ), Carse, G.Tulloch ( Gill ).