Rangers 4, Berwick Rangers 2
BERWICK did themselves proud by giving Rangers a run for their money at Ibrox. Ian Little’s men fought back from 3-0 down with goals from Ross Gray and Fraser McLaren to give Ally McCoist’s men a scare in front of 44,976 fans.
Andrew Little scored a hat-trick for the home side, his first coming after nine minutes.
The Northern Ireland international stabbed the ball over the line from an acute angle after Francisco Sandaza had forced his way into a congested box.
Berwick goalkeeper Ian McCaldon then did well to save from Sandaza.
Berwick’s hopes of began to fade when Little added to his earlier strike just two minutes after half time when he volleyed home a David Templeton cross from the left.
The former Hearts winger grabbed a goal of his own after 53 minutes. Little released Sandaza down the right flank and he whipped an inviting ball into the box where Templeton acrobatically connected with a volley that left McCaldon with no chance.
But Berwick refused to cave in, with Gray and McLaren pulling goals back for the Black and Gold.
Substitute Gray made an immediate impact by lashing home with his first touch of the ball after Kevin McDonald had cut the ball back.
McLaren then dispatched a bullet header into the back of the net from a Lee Currie corner after 73 minutes to claim his second goal of the season against Rangers.
Just when the travelling Berwick fans were beginning to dream of a remarkable comeback, a cool finish by Little a minute later put the game beyond the visitors.
Elgin’s late fightback had earned them a share of the points last week and Rangers manager McCoist was not surprised to see Berwick claw themselves back into this game.
He said: “I am believing everything that’s happening at the moment. As disappointed as I was when it went 3-2, I could believe it.
“There is not a lot shocking us at the moment. Believe me, it was believable.”
McCoist added: “There were three points, four goods goals and far more plusses.
“There were negatives too and I was really disappointed with the two goals we lost.
“Andy Little didn’t defend the front post area well enough at the corner. We spoke about Berwick’s corners and set-plays from that side.”
Rangers: Alexander, Hegarty (Faure 55), Perry, Emilson Cribari, Wallace, Little, Hutton, Macleod, Templeton (Crawford 83), Shiels (Aird 75), Sandaza. Subs not used: Currie, Naismith.
Goals: Little 9, 47, Templeton 53, Little 74.
Berwick Rangers: McCaldon, Jacobs, Townsley, McLean, Gielty, McLaren, L Currie, Janczyk (Notman 79), McDonald, Easton (Gray 64), Lavery (D Currie 64). Subs not used: McCallum, Hoskins.
Booked: Jacobs, L Currie.
Goals: Gray 65, McLaren 73.
Referee: Steven McLean