Peebles Rovers 1
Berwick Rangers Reserves 3
EoS DIVISION ONE
MAURICE GORDON reports from Whitestone Park
BERWICK could so easily have won this game by a bigger margin as they created the better and more numerous scoring chances over the piece.
After some early pressure from Peebles, Berwick opened the scoring after seven minutes.
Pouncing onto a loose ball in midfield, Kristian Neil made a menacing run into the Peebles box before drilling the ball past an exposed Scott Carruthers.
After a swift home breakaway, Berwick keeper Kyle McCartney instinctively saved a Michael Holness shot with his legs before Neil and Sam Young both came close to increasing the Wee Gers’ lead with good efforts.
Then McCartney was again in action, foiling Craig Edgar with a fine save at close range after some good lead-up work from Jason Girdwood and Greig Shortreed.
Peebles had a lucky escape on the half-hour mark when Young went racing into the Rovers box. Then, after going around Andrew Williamson and the Peebles keeper, seemed almost certain to score with a shot from a tight angle until Girdwood cleared the ball off the Peebles goal-line and away to safety.
Berwick added a second goal after 35 minutes when a Jamie Burstow pass sent Darren Lavery racing clear of the Peebles defence and, after rounding Carruthers inside the Rovers box, he calmly slotted the ball home.
Just before half-time, after latching on to a Liam Wallace defence-splitting pass, Lavery fired the ball just over the crossbar with a cracking shot from 16yds.
Again Berwick were the first to pose a threat after the break when from a Neil corner-kick, Young sent the ball narrowly past the post with a header.
The hosts reduced the leeway after 57 minutes with a well-worked goal. After collecting a Girdwood pass, Holness sent over a cross which picked out the in-rushing Craig Edgar, who fired the ball past McCartney.
Peebles were now enjoying their best spell of the game and from an Edgar cross, substitute Peter Conaghan sent the ball just over the Berwick crossbar with an angular header.
Berwick came close to increasing their lead when from a Shaun Hill free-kick, Lavery could only head the ball over the crossbar from six yards out when it almost seemed easier to score.
After 83 minutes, however, the visitors did seal a well-deserved win. After the home defence had failed to clear a Burstow corner, the loose ball broke kindly to Callum Hill, who drove it past the helpless Carruthers with a shot on the turn.
Two minutes from full-time, Peebles’ Ronald Fleming was sent off after picking up a second yellow card, and just before the final whistle, from a Callum Hill pass, Shaun Hill seemed almost certain to score when he coolly slipped the ball past the advancing Carruthers.
But just when it seemed that the ball was about to cross the goal-line, it slowed down in the mud and the backtracking keeper managed to grab it in the nick of time.
Peebles Rovers: S. Carruthers, R. Fleming, P. Hunter (P. Conaghan), J. Girdwood, A. Williamson, S. Watson, N. Cairns, M. McKenzie, C. Edgar, M. Holness, G. Shortreed.