Another three points for Berwick, but now back to back victories is aim

Berwick Rangers 4-3 Clyde

Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 8:12 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:52 am

Berwick’s recent upturn in their fortunes manifested itself with a gutsy 4-3 home win over Clyde at Shielfield on Tuesday which cemented their mid-table position.

Two goals from Greg Rutherford, plus strikes from Gary Phillips and Steven Thomson earned Rangers another three points which took them 12 points clear of bottom club Cowdenbeath, who they face at home on Saturday.

“It was a big win for us,” admitted manager John Coughlin, “and for the first time this season I honestly think we can say we are now looking at the teams above us rather than those who are below. But it still wasn’t a great performance. Our defending was poor, as was Clyde’s, and I think that is why both teams are where they are in the table.

“We also gave aay too many free kicks, and two of their goals came from set pieces.”

Berwick opened the scoring in 16 minutes when Phillips, after good work by Rutherford, found the bottom corner with a shot on the angle.

Clyde went close twice before Rutherford made it 2-0 after 29 minutes when he too found the bottom corner of the net after taking a pass from strike partner Aaron Murrell.

But the ‘Bully Wee,’ who have been on a poor run lately, culminating in the departure of manager Barry Ferguson, fought back and they got themselves on level terms at 2-2 when Chris Smith netted from close range after 32 minutes and Pat Scullion directed the ball into his own net just three minutes later.

However, just two minutes after that Thomson restored Berwick’s advantage at 3-2 following an assist by Darren Lavery, and that was the way it remained to half-time, despite Thomson having another effort saved in the bottom corner just a minute before the break.

Ten minutes into the second half Thomson was forced to leave the field with an injury - they had earlier lost goalkeeper Devlin Mackay in the warm-up - but on 71 minutes Rutherford struck again to make it 4-2 and a home win seemed assured.

Scott McLaughlin shot wide for Clyde and David Gormley pulled a goal back after 82 minutes, turning in a cross from McLaughlin, which made for a nervous finale, but Berwick managed to hang on for a deserved victory.

“Clyde made us work hard,” admitted Coughlin. “It was a tough game, but our results over the past few weeks have certainly picked up.

“We still haven’t recorded back to back wins this season and I think that is our next target.

“We play Cowdenbeath on Saturday, and if we can go 15 points clear at this stage of the season it would make a big difference.

“It would give the players the confidence to go out and show they want to be a top half of the table side.

“Annan and Montrose have both done it recently, now if we can string a few results together we can get ourselves up there as well.”

Berwick: Walker, Spark, Scullion, McKinlay, Hamilton, Notman (McKirdy 88), Lavery, Thomson (Orru 55), Phillips, Rutherford, Murrell (Watt 81).