Rangers see their advantage at bottom of the league reduced

Berwick Rangers 1-1 Cowdenbeath

Monday, 11th March 2019, 9:31 am
Updated Monday, 11th March 2019, 9:32 am

“We have no control over outside influences and have to concentrate on our own situation,” ... that was the message from Berwick manager Johnny Harvey after he saw his side’s advantage over Albion Rovers dramatically reduced on Saturday.

Rangers, now without a win in 14 games, started the day seven points clear of their relegation play-off rivals.

But Rovers, boosted by the unexpected award of three points from the Scottish Football League after Clyde fielded an unregistered player against them, won only their second game of the season when they won 1-0 away to Stirling Albion, which meant Berwick’s point for their 1-1 draw against Cowdenbeath saw the deficit cut to only two points.

“Some people might say it puts pressure on us,” said Harvey, “but in truth we have no influence what happens outside our own domain and we have to concentrate on our own situation.”

Calum Adamson netted his third goal in four games when he gave Rangers a 24th minute lead, beating the offside trap to sprint clear and guiding the ball past the Cowdenbeath keeper with a calm finish in a one on one situation.

But just seven minutes later the visitors drew level when Robert Buchanan forced the ball home from close range following a cross on the right from David Cox.

In a game of few scoring opportunities, Berwick suffered an injury blow when central defender Dougie Brydon limped off after 55 minutes. He has tweaked his hamstring and is now likely to be out of action for two or three weeks.

Then, late in the game, substitute Declan O’Kane was sent off for a high foot. He was shown a straight red card which means he is now suspended for the next two games.

With nine minutes gone Adamson broke through on goal from almost half-way, but with Jamie Todd chasing him back he was unable to get his shot on on target.

After Adamson put Rangers ahead, an in swinging Berwick corner hit a post just a minute later, whilst at the other end Buchanan headed over from a cross caught up in the wind.

On 31 minutes Buchanan managed to find the net for the leveller from close range.

Jordan Allan, who had been called into the visitors’ starting line-up just minutes before kick-off, burst through for Cowdenbeath after 36 minutes, but he was denied by a timely tackle as he shot from just ten yards out.

The second half provided little by way of goalmouth action, although Brydon’s re[placement, Andy Forbes, was forced to clear a shot off the line following a Cowden corner. Substitute Blair Malcolm also fired narrowly wide following a blocked free kick.

O’Kane dismissal in the 90th minute had no effect on the game, but afterwards, manager Harvey said the sending off seemed a little harsh.

“The player came in behind Declan who didn’t know he was there,” he said. “His foot was high, it was a foul, maybe even a booking, but I didm’t think it was a sending off.

“We have two big games coming up at home this week (against Queens Park on Tuesday and Peterhead on Saturday) and losing Dougie and Declan is a blow.

“All we want to do now is finish above Albion Rovers so the job between now and the end of the season is to pick up as many points as we can to make sure that happens.”

Berwick: Brennan, Wilson, Healy, Murphy, Cook (O’Kane 59), Barr, McIlduff, Brydon (Forbes 55), Ogilvie, Adamson, Brown (Blues 75).