BERWICK RESERVES 0 BURNTISLAND 0
The Reserves cruised to a 4-0 King Cup victory over Burntisland in March but the visitors were much improved and deserved to take a point.
Though there were two bookings for dissent, the match was played in an exemplary spirit. Berwick’s Ewan Saunderson picked up one caution. Shipyard centre forward Stephen Connor received the other but insisted the referee made a mistake and the grumbles he heard were actually from Shipyard manager Myles Allan off the field.
Marc Lancaster played his first match for months after back problems and reported no ill effects. His inclusion saw Ross Brady move into midfield where he wasn’t as effective as on his trademark runs from deep.
Visiting keeper Mikey Couser, on loan from Alloa Athletic, was soon busy, saving with one hand from Callum Wyllie after Josh Morris and Brady linked up. Couser then comfortably dealt with a Wyllie shot from further out.
Anesu Tabengwa shot feebly at Kieran Beveridge despite a good ball from Gordon Grieve. Beveridge, in his first start for the Reserves this season, dived to one-handedly save Craig McKay’s header when Alex Peoples’ free kick came over from the Ducket side.
Centre back McKay stamped his mark from the outset cajoling and encouraging his teammates and leading by example with his own actions. He returned to keep up the good work after several second half minutes off the field for treatment.
The Fifers were quick out of the traps as the second half commenced and Allan Hay cleared off the line after Dale Robertson got past two men on the right. In front of the opposite goal, Hay couldn’t get a hit on a corner ball which dropped at his feet.
Beveridge palmed away a stinging shot from Robertson who, seven minutes from time, was presented with a chance of a winner when Connor put him through but his attempted lob over Berwick’s keeper was premature and the ball sailed wide. When Rangers’ last chance fell to Keith Lough near the goal area, inevitably it was McKay who stepped in to clear the danger.
Berwick Reserves: Beveridge, Saunderson, Brady, Hay, Fairbairn, Lancaster, O’Brien, Doris ( Gill 69 ), Smith ( Lough 80 ), Morris, Wyllie ( Todd 74 )
BERWICK RESERVES 2 KELSO UNITED 3
Berwick Reserves suffered a second successive 3-2 home midweek defeat despite piling the pressure on Kelso in the final 25 minutes.
The visitors scored after only four minutes when Jonny Fairbairn turned Calum McClure’s ground level delivery from the bye line into his own net. Rangers levelled three minutes later, Josh Morris beating Scott Dowie from the spot after the ref ruled Gary McNulty guilty of a late tackle on the Berwick marksman.
The score remained locked at 1-1 until five minutes into the second period when Morris’s fine finish to a slick move featuring Jordyn Gill and Sam Todd put his team in front. Kelso were back on equal terms within a minute when Chris Black headed in Jordan Lauder’s 30 yard free kick from near the touchline.
Just past the hour, McClure also displayed a neat finish, controlling a long ball before slipping it through keeper Sandison’s legs. From then on, Berwick spent long spells encamped inside the United half but some resolute defending coupled with missed chances meant they were unable to salvage a point.
Berwick: Sandison, Finlayson (Saunderson 59), Brady, Hay, Fairbairn, Gill (Lough 78), O’Brien, Doris, Smith, Morris, Todd (Wyllie 72).