Agonising wait for a goal goes on as Rangers lose at home to Annan

Berwick Rangers 0-2 Annan Athletic

Monday, 15th January 2018, 08:47 am
Updated Monday, 15th January 2018, 08:51 am

Berwick made it five games without a win, and five without a goal, as they went down to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Annan at Shielfield on Saturday.

Former Berwick player Blair Henderson netted the first goal after 68 minutes, with Aiden Smith adding a second in 87.

The victory boosted Annan’s play-off hopes, lifting them up to fourth place in the table, and left Rangers reeling with only one point from a possible 15, and also goalless in 532 minutes of football.

Berwick, without a goal since their 1-0 home win over Stirling Albion on December 2, gave a debut to new striker Ousman See, who signed from Forfar in midweek and midfielder Declan O’Kane, following his move from Musselburgh Athletic.

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Annan meanwhile, handed debut to new signings Jamie Henry and Conor O’Keefe.

The game got off to a slow start with neither goalkeeper troubled, but on 21 minutes Annan had a Dan Orsi shot from outside the box at a corner cleared off the line by Gary Phillips.

And on 28 minutes Steven Swinglehurst went close with a header from another corner, this time collected by Robby McCrorie.

Rangers broke upfield immediately and Phillips forced Alex Mitchell into making a good save in the top corner.

However, neither side could force a breakthrough at at half-time it remained 0-0.

Berwick started the brighter of the two sides in the second half and James Creany almost turned a Kieran Stewart shot into his own net. Seconds later, from the resulting corner, only a goal-line clearance prevented Rangers from taking the lead.

With an hour gone Phillips volleyed wide on the left and on 62 minutes See saw a header from 10 yards out tipped over the top by Mitchell.

But on 68 minutes Annan hit the home side with a sucker punch. A poor backpass from O’Kane had McCrorie rushing off his line, he scrambled as the ball was cleared to the Annan right, it was played back in by substitute Ben Armour and former Berwick striker Henderson nipped in to stroke the ball home.

Late in the game Rabin Omar tried his luck from distance for the visitors, but the effort was smothered by McCrorie.

Then, with just three minutes remaining, Smith added a second for the visitors when he turned the ball in from close range following a cross from the right.

The defeat leaves Rangers seventh in the table, but the lack of goals is something of a concern and manager Robbie Horn is anxious that the situation is addressed sooner rather than later.

Berwick: McCrorie, Fleming (Murrell 75), Wilson, McKinlay, Stewart, Notman, Phillips, Thomson (Simpson 81), O’Kane, McKenna, See (Lavery 81).

Annan: Mitchell, Hooper, Creaney, Henry, Watson, Swinglehurst, Orsi (Horne 82), Omar (Hogg 90), Smith, Henderson, O’Keefe (Armour 63).

Referee: Euan Anderson.

Attendance: 388.