Frustration creeping in as Rangers lose at home to Annan
Berwick Rangers 0-3 Annan Athletic
Berwick went down to a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of joint league leaders Annan at Shielfield on Saturday, a game which highlighted Rangers’ lack of confidence and to a certain extent lack of luck.
Manager Robbie Horn said afterwards that with frustration starting to creep in the team just needs something to kickstart their campaign.
“We might if had that with a strong penalty shout,” he said, “but unfortunately it wasn’t given.
“It was only 1-0 at the time, early in the second half, but the referee saw it differently. If we had got that, and scored, it might have been a different game, because we played well in the second half and created a few chances.
“I can’t fault the players for their lack of effort, but we just need a little break somewhere along the line.”
Athletic, who had beaten Rangers 4-0 earlier in the season in the League Cup, took the points with a first half goal from Aidan Smith and second half strikes from Tommy Muir and David Wilson.
The opener came when Annan keeper Alex Mitchell played a long ball over the top after eight minutes, Smith ran through and managed to beat Berwick keeper Ali Adams to make connection on the edge of the box and prod it into the net with defenders back pedalling.
But the remainder of the first half was pretty mundane with goalmouth chances at a premium and at half-time it remained 0-1.
Berwick started the second half brightly and just a minute after the resumption they had the ball in the Annan net, Oliver Fleming following up after Mitchell spilled a shot from Aaron Murrell, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
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Paul Willis then got in a shot which Mitchell got down to save, whilst another Willis shot was blocked in the box.
But on 60 minutes Annan doubled their lead when Tony Wallace turned his marker twice on the left and crossed to the back post where Tommy Muir headed in.
With the game virtually won, the visitors then afforded themselves the luxury of replacing both their goalscorers just after the hour mark.
Annan might have added a third when they shot across goal and Ross Brown almost turned the ball into his own net, Adams having to save well.
Late in the game Berwick substitute Darren Lavery almost got on the end of through ball, but Mitchell beat him to it on the edge of the box.
Jack Cook also had an effort from a corner which was cleared off the Annan line and Jordan Orru headed over from a Lavery cross, but Rangers were unable to find a way through.
In injury time Annan scored their third when Wilson netted from a free kick in a central position.
“Annan’s goals came from poor individual mistakes as far as we were concerned,” said Horn.
“Frustration is starting to creep in as we go out to try and win every game, but at the moment it just isn’t happening for us. Hopefully we might be able to add a couple of new faces to the squad over the coming week ahead of next week’s game (away to bottom side Albion Rovers).”