Rangers hold league leaders Montrose to a deserved draw

Berwick Rangers 2-2 Montrose

Sunday, 25th February 2018, 16:12 pm
Updated Sunday, 25th February 2018, 16:32 pm

Berwick and league leaders Montrose had to settle for a point apiece with a 2-2 draw at Shielfield on Saturday.

Ousman See and Paul Willis scored for the home side, who twice came from behind, with a Robert Wilson own goal and Gary Fraser netting for the visitors.

The result meant Montrose saw their lead at the top of Scottish League 2 cut to three points, whilst Rangers remained in eighth.

A strong wind blowing down the pitch and a bobbly surface made conditions difficult for both teams and goalmouth action was at a premium.

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Montrose took the lead in the ninth minute when Andrew Steeves crossed from the left and Robert Wilson, under pressure from an attacker, turned the ball past Robby McCrorie into his own net.

But on 23 minutes Berwick equalised when See ran onto a long ball through the middle from goalkeeper McCrorie and as Montrose keeper Allan Fleming rushed off his line See managed to get a toe to the ball and poked it into the empty net. It was route one, but it was effective.

In the 33rd minute Fraser almost restored the visitors’ lead when he turned and volleyed the ball goalwards. McCrorie got the slightest of touches and the ball crashed back off the underside of the crossbar to safety.

But they did manage to go back in front in the 43rd minute when Fraser turned, shrugged off his marker and found the bottom corner of the net with a shot from the edge of the box which beat McCrorie at his right hand post.

There was some protest from the Berwick players who thought the ball had taken a deflection off a Montrose player on the way through, but referee Craig Charleston allowed the goal to stand, which gave the Angus side a 2-1 advantage at the break.

Early in the second half striker Chris Templeman stooped to send a diving header narrowly wide for Montrose.

But in a half which produced few chances it was Berwick who equalised for a second time in the 63rd minute when Willis curled in a free kick from wide on the left. The ball deceived everyone and went in off the back post.

In the 72nd minute Willis went close with another free kick from closer in, also on the left, but on this occasion Fleming was equal to his effort with a save at full stretch, pushing the ball away.

As the game opened up in the final quarter there were a number of half chances at either end with substitute Jack Hamilton making a nuisance of himself, pulling one effort across the face of the goal.

But at the final whistle both sides had to settle for a point, which on reflection was a fair result.

Berwick: McCrorie, Stewart, Wilson, Todd, Phillips, Notman, O’Kane, Lavery, Willis, Thomson (Hamilton 76), See.

Montrose: Fleming, Masson, Steeves, Watson, Dillon, Bolochoweckyj, Webster (McLaren 76), Callaghan (Milne 67), Fraser, Templeman (Rennie 67), Redman.

Referee: Craig Charleston.

Attendance: 417.