Berwick Rangers 2-2 Annan Athletic

Annan came from two goals down to earn a share of the spoils at Shielfield.

Saturday, 14th March 2015, 5:31 pm

Second half goals by Josh Todd and substitute Junior Ogen saw the visitors cancel out two earlier strikes by Rangers’s Andy Russell

The defeat leaves Rangers struggling near the foot of the table, five points ahead of basement side Montrose, who they play next week.

And there was an added set-back for Berwick when goalkeeper Billy Bald was taken to hospital with a suspected broken hand following a goalmouth incident which resulted in Annan’s Martin McNiff also being forced to leave the field.

After losing their previous three league games, and dropping to ninth in the table, Berwick were desperate for a victory.

Annan were also looking for a win to boost their own play-off hopes.

With Ross Drummond out with a sprained ankle, Scott Maxwell was utilised at fullback with Colin Cameron and Darren Lavery also both in the side after missing out on the cup tie against Hibernian.

Andy Russell was almost gifted a chance after ten minutes when he broke through on his own, but his shot was saved by Jordan Hart, who a minute later also saved well at full stretch from Lavery.

There was a delay after 19 minutes when Martin McNiff was floored after a challenge from Berwick keeper Bald, who immediately called for assistance. McNiff was replaced by Rabin Omar. Bald also had to leave the field, with Michael Andrews taking over the gloves.

Andrews was quickly called into action, tipping a shot from Peter Weatherston around the post for a corner.

Kerr Young had a shot deflected from a Paul Willis corner which Hart collected safely.

After 38 minutes Maxwell let fly with a shot from distance which had Hart at full stretch, but the effort drifted wide.

Hart also saved at close range from aYoung header at a corner and then Jonny Fairbairn headed into his arms as Berwick tried to force the issue before half-time.

The breakthrough came four minutes into first half injury time when Russell latched onto a neat pass from strike partner Lavery and stroked the ball into the corner of the net past Hart.

At the start of the second half Gold turned and shot from 25 yards out, but his effort was always going high.

In the 50th minute Rangers doubled their lead when Andy Russell tapped in from almost on the line after a good ball across the box from the right by Stevie Notman.

But just two minutes later Annan pulled a goal back when Josh Todd finished neatly past Andrews.

Paul Willis then fired wide from a free kick right on the edge of the box as Rangers tried to reassert their authority.

Russell almost completed his hat-trick when he blasted a volley inches wide, but the game turned with substitute Junior Ogen powering in a header from a Ryan McStay free kick out on the right after 77 minutes.

Willis tried his luck from distance when he shot straight at Hart and Russell failed to hit the target when the ball arrived at him in the box and in the end both sides had to settle for a point.

Berwick:Bald (Andrews 23), Jacobs, Young, Fairbairn, Maxwell, Cameron (Currie 72), Notman, Willis, Gold (Gray 80), Russell, Lavery

Annan: Hart, Breslin, Black (Cook 67), McNiff (Omar 22), Swinglehurst, Sloan, Mitchell, McStay, Weatherston, Todd, McColm (Ogen 72).

Referee: Gavin Duncan.

Attendance: 356.