Rangers end winless run with victory over leaders

Berwick Rangers 2-0 Peterhead

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 08:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 08:18 am

Berwick turned the tables on league leaders Peterhead when the Scottish second division strugglers won 2-0 at Shielfield on Tuesday.

It was Rangers’ first win in 17 games, a run which stretches back to November, and afterwards a delighted manager Johnny Harvey admitted it was a huge relief.

“That has to be one of our best performances of the season,” he said. “We were up against it with injuries and suspension and then Aidan McIlduff had to pull out of the team in the warm-up, which forced us to change our plans.

“But the players showed tremendous effort throughout the 90 minutes. They were full of running, were determined and I couldn’t be happier for them. After the run we have been on it’s been a long time coming. I am also really pleased for the fans. It’s a huge relief.”

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Peterhead, five points clear at the top, arrived on the back of a six-match winning run, but they were undone by first half goals from Lewis Barr and Cameron Blues.

Barr gave Rangers the lead after 13 minutes, sliding in at the back post to net from close range following a good run and cross ball from Jack Ogilvie on the left.

There was then a further set-back for Peterhead after 17 minutes when Derek Lyle limped off and he was replaced by former Berwick midfielder Paul Willis.

The visitors tried to press, but on 30 minutes Rangers doubled their lead when Cameron Blues netted from close range after a good break from their own half. Calum Adamson crossed into the box and Ogilvie’s flick was saved low down by Greg Fleming, but spun into the path of Blues who netted from eight yards out.

With their confidence up, Berwick had a great chance to make it 3-0 just four minutes later when Ogilvie broke through but he dragged his shot narrowly wide.

Peterhead, without inspirational striker Rory McAllister, who was unavailable as his wife is expecting a baby, never really threatened in the first half.

They searched for an early breakthrough in the second half and Scott Brown had a low shot blocked by home keeper Sean Brennan before William Gibson dragged a free kick wide.

Substitute Callum Home then saw a half volley tipped onto the crossbar by Brennan at full stretch after 56 minutes.

With ten minutes remaining Jack Leitch also limped off for the Blue Toon, whilst keeper Fleming made a good save from Daryl Healy.

Berwick thoroughly deserved their victory and Harvey said: “It’s a great three points, and gives us a bit of breathing space over Albion Rovers at the bottom of the table, but they are still breathing down our necks and now we have seven cup finals to play before the end of the season (starting away to Stirling Albion on Saturday).

“If they players show the same level of commitment and desire they did tonight then I will have no complaints.”