Penalty miss was costly for Rangers

BERWICK produced one of their best performances of recent weeks to take a point against a resurgent Montrose outfit at a bright and breezy Links Park on Saturday.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 31st March 2010, 11:18 am

Crucially, the only thing that stood between Rangers and a well-deserved three points was a prolonged bout of wayward finishing, Alan Brazil's 13th minute penalty miss was the icing on an otherwise very pretty looking cake, and if he and Damon Gray had tuned in their goalscoring radars, Rangers would have won comfortably after they passed the home side off the park for lengthy spells of the game.

Despite their erratic run of recent form, Rangers, with the blustery wind at their backs, penned Montrose into their own half, Greenhill and Gray testing McLean in the home goal in the opening five minutes.

Thirteen minutes in and Rangers benefited from a soft penalty award, Ref Beaton penalising Campbell for what looked like an accidental handball. Brazil slotted the spot kick three yards wide to preserve equality on the field of play, and his miss was heavily punished when Montrose broke straight upfield, Daryl Nicol slaloming through four tackles, Messi-like, to slot past a bemused Mark Peat for a thoroughly unexpected opener.

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Nicol passed up a good chance to extend his team's lead in the 22nd minute, sclaffing Tosh's through ball wide with only Peat to beat. Six minutes later the outstanding Paul Currie put Brazil clean through but McLean blocked his shot and the rebound was hacked clear.

David Greenhill came to Rangers' rescue on the stroke of half time, stealing in behind Tweed to leather Brazil's flicked header in off the bar for a sublime equaliser.

With the wind in their favour, Montrose pressed hard in the opening minutes of the second half, but Currie, Notman and Greenhill took control of the game and knitted together some sharp passing moves to turn the pressure on the home side.

Brazil hooked a volley inches over in the 53rd minute, before Tweed's header was disallowed for using Kerr as a stepladder.

Peat fisted Campbell's header over the bar on the hour and then blocked Maitland's close range shot with his feet as Rangers found themselves on the receiving end for a short time.

Currie shot past McLean in the 67th minute but the goal was disallowed for an inventive interpretation of the offside rule, and a minute later Gray battered an instinctive volley off the bar with McLean beaten.

The incidents continued to flow thick and fast, and Gemmell talked himself into a daft 79th minute red card, before Brazil headed McMullan's inch-perfect cross over from virtually underneath the bar.

Six minutes from time Stuart Callaghan cracked a 25 yarder over, before Tosh was red carded for another unsolicited conversation with the referee. With the last kick of the game, Currie shot straight at McLean when it looked easier to score, to bring down the curtain on an entertaining match.

This was the pre-break Rangers, and despite a difficult run-in, if they can repeat this form in the remaining seven matches, the fourth play-off spot might not be the lost cause many believe it to be.

Peat 7, Smith 6, McLean 7, Kerr 7, Callaghan 6, Greenhill 8, Currie 9, Notman 6, McMullan 5, Brazil 6, Gray 6.