Disappointment as Rangers fail to ‘win it for ‘Pea’’ at Shielfield
Berwick Rangers 1-2 Stirling Albion
Berwick manager Johnny Harvey was disappointed not to have been able to end a ‘difficult week’ for the club with a win on Saturday.
Following on from the death of club legend Ian ‘Pea’ Oliver, who had over 50 years service as a player, coach, physio, groundsman, caretaker manager and kit man, Harvey had been hoping his side could end their eight match winless run and get their season back on track.
But a first half penalty from Dylan Macklin and a second half header from Darren Smith put Stirling in the driving seat.
Lewis Barr netted with a tremendous late strike from 25 yards to give Rangers some hope, but they were unable to complete a fight back.
“There wasn’t a lot between the sides in the first half,” said Harvey, “but the match turned on a controversial decision for the penalty.
“Lewis Barr’s late goal was a tremendous strike and it gave us some hope, but sadly it was not to be.”
“It’s been a difficult week for the club and our thoughts are with ‘Pea’s’ family at this time, it’s just a shame we couldn’t get a result for him.”
The result meant Stirling made it five wins out of six in the league, keeping them in with a chance of the end of season play-offs, whilst Berwick have now picked up only two points from a possible 27 and remain second from bottom of Scottish League 2.
Twice in the first half hour Albion had the ball in the Berwick net, but twice they were denied by a flag for offside
During that time, Berwick’s best chance came from a free kick when Tunisian Ahmed Aloulou, on his home debut, brought a full stretch save from Stirling keeper Calum Ferrie.
Dougie Brydon, on his debut after re-signing in midweek, then fired wide with a volley at the back post from a cross by Ross Brown after 35 minutes.
But it was the visitors who took the lead after 43 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for a hand ball in the area and Mackin converted from the spot.
In the second half Stirling started well and Macklin headed over from a corner. Wright brought out a fingertip save from Brennan with a shot from outside the box and Brennan also had to tip over an effort from Ross McGeachie.
As Berwick struggled to get out of their own half, Dominic Docherty pulled a shot wide for the visitors. They eventually went 0-2 up after 79 minutes when Smith glanced a header into the far corner after a good run and cross on the right from Evan Horne.
Less than a minute later Smith might have had his second when he broke through, but he could not get his shot in on goal.
Late on Brennan saved Berwick again with a good reaction block from a shot by Jordan McGregor before Barr pulled a goal back for Berwick after 88 minutes with a cracking drive from 25 yards.
Harvey said: “We have to believe we can turn things around. We have a good bunch of players, boosted by some new additions, and they just need game time to settle in.
“There is no reason why we can’t go on a run at some stage and pick up a few points.
* Berwick have no game this coming weekend. They were due to face league leaders Edinburgh City (away), but they are involved in a cup replay.
Berwick: Brennan, Forbes, Orru (Adamson 67), Wilson, Brydon, Barr, Hume (Knox 82), McIlduff, Brown, Aloulou (Ogilvie 73), Healy.