Point at Elgin, but Rangers let a two goal lead slip from grasp

Elgin City 2-2 Berwick Rangers

By The Newsroom
Monday, 03 April, 2017, 08:29

Berwick took a point from a 2-2 draw away to play-off hopefuls Elgin at Borough Briggs on Saturday.

But there was some disappointment in the result in that they let a two goal lead slip from their grasp, after strike pair Greg Rutherford and Aaron Murrell netted twice within a minute just before half-time.

Elgin pulled a goal back just minutes later and then equalised from the penalty spot in the second half following a hand ball.

Berwick had eased the pressure on themselves in the lower reaches of the table by beating leaders Forfar at Station Park a week earlier.

They travelled north again knowing that Borough Briggs was not their happiest of hunting grounds, but with Elgin having failed to win in their previous six matches, the visitors arrived with a certain degree of optimism.

Elgin made their intentions clear from the start and Chris McLeish had an early shot from outside the box saved by Sean Brennan.

Rangers’ striker Aaron Murrell also had a shot saved at the other end by home keeper Waters, before David Brownlie shot over for Elgin and McLeish had another effort saved by Brennan.

Greg Rutherford twice went close as Berwick tried to force the tempo, his first attempt being saved by Waters, his second, a header, going the wrong side of the upright.

But Elgin also looked dangerous, and Brennen had to make two more saves to deny Brian Cameron and Mark Nicholson, with a header.

There was a set-back for Berwick when central defender and captain Pat Scullion was forced to leave the field with an injury after 35 minutes, and he was replaced by Jonny Fairbairn.

But just minutes before the half-time break, Berwick struck twice in less than 60 seconds to take control of the game.

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First of all Rutherford headed in from a David Verlaque cross to open the scoring after 41 minutes, and just a minute later strike partner Murrell doubled the advantage, finding the bet after being set up by Michael McKenna.

But on 44 minutes Elgin pulled a goal back to give them some hope going into the interval, Thomas Reilly converting from a free kick after Stevie Notman had fouled McLeish.

St the start of the second half, Berwick were dealt another injury blow when Kevin McKinlay was replaced by new signing Greg Page, who was handed his debut.

Murrell shot over for the visitors, but on the hour mark Elgin went close again when Brennan saved from McLeish before Daniel Moore had an effort blocked.

Substitute Alisdair Sutherland also had a shot from outside the box blocked as the home side went in search of an equaliser.

As they cranked up the pressure, Cameron and McLeish both went close, but on 82 minutes they managed to haul themselves level when Fairbairn handled in the area and Cameron converted from the spot.

Nicholson then pulled a shot wide as they probed for a winner, whilst in the closing minutes, last week’s hero Brennan came to Berwick’s rescue again, saving from Sutherland after 88 minutes and Reilly after 89 to ensure the side left with a point.

Elgin: Waters, Finnamon (Stewart 46), McHardy, McPhee, Reid (Sutherland 63), Nicholson, Reilly, Moore, Brownlie (Gunn 70), Cameron, McLeish.

Berwick: Brennan, Verlaque, Scullion (Fairbairn 35), Spark, McKinlay (Page 47), Notman, McKenna, McKirdy (Thomson 89), Philips, Rutherford, Murrell.

Referee: Kevin Graham.

Attendance: 588.