Berwick Rangers Reserves 0
Kelso United 1
EoS FIRST DIVISION
GEORGE RILEY reports from Shielfield Park
AN injury-time header from striker Des Burnett secured all three points for United at a breezy Shielfield Park on Saturday, recording their first win at Berwick since the Reserves came back to the East of Scotland league.
The pitch was in immaculate condition and both teams went close in the opening five minutes – a long-range shot from Berwick left-back Jamie Burstow just whistled over the bar, closely followed by a Damien McNulty effort which tested keeper Connor Wood.
On the half-hour mark, Steven Tait was United’s saviour when he managed to block efforts on goal from Liam Wallace and then Callum Hill. Berwick finished the stronger in the first half and a good through-ball from Wallace found Laverty bearing down on goal, but he blasted his effort over the bar.
The half-time team rollicking by manager Prof Blaikie paid dividends and United went straight on to the front foot at the start of the second half.
A right-foot shot from Jamie Swailes hit defender Peter Johnstone and Berwick keeper Connor Wood could only look as the ball looped over him – and the bar.
Kelso continued to stretch the home defence and in the 70th minute Burnett found himself through on goal with only the keeper to beat, but he blasted his effort over the bar. United had the ball in the net 10 minutes later, but referee Alan Hogg ruled substitute Chris Black offside as he latched on to long ball.
Burnett must have thought it was not going to be his day when again he found himself one-to-one with the keeper after picking up the ball 25 yards out, but this time the home keeper managed to get a leg to the shot and cleared.
In the last minute of the game, Berwick defender Kevin Carter was sent off for his second bookable offence and the game was a minute into added time when United eventually got the goal they deserved.
A free kick was awarded on the right-hand side of the field, fully 40 yards out, John McCutcheon launched a high ball to the back post and, as they say, you can’t keep a good striker down. Burnett rose above the defence to head past the Berwick keeper and clinch victory for the visitors.
Kelso United: D. Simmonds, J. McCutcheon, S. Angus, S. Tait, S. Harker, M. Lockhart (C. Black), C. Tait (J. Milner 82), D. McNulty, D. Burnett, J. Swailes, J. Lauder (C. Ferguson).