McKenna hits last-gasp winner for 10-man Gers

ARBROATH 1-2 BERWICK RANGERS

Sunday, 17th April 2016, 10:32 am
Updated Sunday, 17th April 2016, 10:34 am

Berwick’s fine run of form continued when they came from behind to beat Arbroath at Gayfield, lifting themselves up to sixth place in the table in the process.

A game which lacked any inspiration for the first hour, suddenly burst into life in the final 30 minutes, when first of all Arbroath substitute Kane Hester fired the home side in front.

Stevie Notman forced Berwick level, but after Rangers went down to ten men for the final five minutes, Michael McKenna headed a last-gasp injury time winner to give the visitors all three points.

Berwick, with only one defeat and one goal conceded in the previous eight games, went into the match knowing their league status was guaranteed for next season.

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Arbroath were also in a position where, effectively, they had nothing to play for except pride.

The first half was relatively uneventful and it took almost quarter of an hour for the first shot at goal to be registered, an effort by Notman, which he pulled wide.

On 23 minutes, home player Greg Rutherford had a shot saved by Kevin Walker, but in general it was a 45 minutes where both defences were on top and at the break it remained 0-0.

Just two minutes into the second half, Berwick were forced into making a substitution, when Mark Walters replaced Walker between the posts after the Rangers’ goalkeeper picked up an injury.

The second period followed a similar pattern to the first, with goalmouth action limited, and the goalkeepers had a quiet afternoon.

Notman and McKenna were both booked for fouls, Callum Crane also going in the book later in the match, but this was a game which had little by way of excitement to keep the fans interested.

Rangers introduced Allan Walker in place of Finn Graham to try and inject fresh impetus, with Arbroath doing likewise, Kane Hester for Darren Ramsay after 66 minutes.

And it was a move which produced instant dividends for the home side, Hester finding the net after 69 minutes with a shot from close range.

Rangers got themselves back on level terms with their first shot on target after 79 minutes, Notman the scorer with a low shot from the right side of the box after Darren Lavery provided the final pass.

Later in the game, after 85 minutes, Rangers were reduced to ten men when Crane was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Arbroath tried to take advantage and Bobby Linn shot over from inside the box after 89 minutes, but just a minute later McKenna popped up to net the winner at the other end, heading in an injury-time winner from a cross by substitute Ewan McNeil.

* Berwick will play their final home game of the season against newly crowned champions East Fife at Shielfield on Saturday.

Immediately after the game, in the Black and Gold, the end of season presentations will take place.