Another defeat as Rangers fail to hang on to a lead

Montrose 2-1 Berwick Rangers

Monday, 30th January 2017, 8:48 am
Updated Monday, 30th January 2017, 8:50 am
Berwick Rangers Fooball Club Crest

Berwick failed to ease the pressure on themselves in the lower reaches of the Scottish second division when Montrose came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Links Park.

On what was the 50th anniversary day of their famous 1-0 Scottish Cup win over Rangers, Berwick took the lead through Michael McKenna early in the second half.

But goals from Chris Templeman and Ryan Ferguson saw the home side claw their way back to take all three points in front of a bumper 1252 crowd.

The defeat leaves the Shielfield Park side second from bottom of the table, but in what is a very tight division they are six points behind fifth.

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Defender Euan Spark, who signed from Dunfermline on Friday, was handed a place in the Rangers’ starting Xl, whilst Sean Brennan was between the posts with regular keeper Kevin Walker sidelined through injury.

An early Berwick free kick was saved by the home keeper whilst a Gary Phillips shot was blocked.

Steven Thomson then had a shot cleared off the line as Rangers tried to force the issue with Michael McKenna firing over from 25 yards out after 22 minutes.

Montrose were seldom seen as an attacking force although Greg Pascazio went close when he headed wide from a corner, whilst at the other end Darren Lavery and Greg Rutherford both had shots saved as Berwick continued to make the running.

As the home side grew into the game, Andrew Steeves pulled a shot wide, but at half time neither side had managed to find a breakthrough and it remained 0-0.

Early in the second half Spark went close for Berwick, clipping the ball slightly high and wide.

But on 51 minutes the deadlock was finally and deservedly broken when McKenna found the net after being set up by Kevin McKinlay, who made a good run down the left.

But on 60 minutes Montrose drew level when Chris Templeman, just minutes after being introduced as a substitute, headed in from a Terry Masson corner.

McKenna, and Pat Scullion following a corner, both pulled shots wide for Berwick as Rangers tried to re-establish themselves in the rain.

But on 70 minutes Montrose struck a killer blow when they took advantage of a short pass-back by Brian Martin, Ryan Ferguson finding the net with a low shot to put the home side 2-1 in front.

Rutherford shot over as Berwick tried to force their way back and the striker also had a shot blocked inside the box. Scullion also pulled a shot wide, but in a game where Rangers created 12 chances to the home side’s four, a lack of composure in front of goal clearly led to their downfall.

Berwick: Brennan, Spark, McKinlay, Notman, Scullion, Martin (Murrell 75), Thomson (Hamilton 75), Lavery, Rutherford (Perez 88), McKenna, Phillips.

Referee: Mike Roncone.

Attendance: 1252