'I couldn't be happier' - Berwick Rangers manager Stuart Malcolm lauds his troops after 1-0 win over Celtic B

Berwick Rangers manager Stuart MalcolmBerwick Rangers manager Stuart Malcolm
Berwick Rangers manager Stuart Malcolm
Berwick Rangers manager Stuart Malcolm has hailed his troops for Tuesday night’s memorable 1-0 home Scottish Lowland Football League win over Celtic B at Shielfield Park.

The hosts – beaten 6-0 in Saturday’s league opener at Hearts B after having skipper Jamie Pyper red carded – defeated Celtic’s Colts side thanks to a solitary third minute strike when Lewis Allan netted a pass from Alex Harris.

Boss Malcolm told the Berwickshire News: “I’m absolutey delighted. Obviously we were a bit disappointed after Saturday with the result, with the sending off and what transpired after that.

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"So to bounce back with such a resilient performance was much needed. The players were absolutely excellent, followed out their instructions to the letter of the law.

"We had a change of shape due to missing personnel and I couldn’t be happier.”

Despite having 87 minutes to hold onto their lead, Malcolm stressed that Berwick were rarely troubled defensively.

"We restricted them to very little,” he added. “There was never really any last ditch tackles or us getting lucky at any particular time.

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"The goalkeeper’s made a couple of half decent saves but probably saves we’d expect him to make. And we’re probably a wee bit unlucky that we don’t go further ahead in the first half and possibly in the second half from a corner kick.

"We made five or six really good chances. We had to play a different way, we were much more rigid and defensive.

"We couldn’t go toe to toe with Celtic in terms of the quality that they’ve got, there would be too many spaces for them to play into.”

The win came three days after captain Pyper was red carded early in the second half for a foul which conceded a penalty – duly scored – in the heavy 6-0 loss at Hearts B.

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Berwick had trailed only 1-0 at half-time to a Connor Smith free-kick but – after Smith’s penalty for 2-0 – further Hearts B strikes arrived for Jaden Ferguson, Bobby McLuckie, Smith’s hat-trick and Callum Sandilands.

"In the first half we were probably unlucky to be 1-0 down,” said Malcolm. “But when you give an opportunity to shoot at goal for that level of player it’s going to be difficult.

"At the start of the second half we should have had a penalty for a foul on Steven Anderson. How you can have two hands on somebody’s back, pushing, and a penalty is not given I don’t know so that was a poor refereeing decision.

"Then they get their penalty – which was a stonewaller – score it and from there on in you can see the young Hearts players want the ball, they have a spring in their step and it turns out to be a very difficult afternoon for us.”

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Berwick host Gretna 2008 in the league this Saturday before a trip to Tranent Juniors in the league next Tuesday night.

Malcolm said: “Previous managers that I’ve played under have always said, if you beat the Old Firm, sub consciously you are not as good against other teams for the next five or six weeks.

"So we’ve got to be back at our work on Saturday. It’s a different animal in terms of Gretna.

"I don’t think there will be, but we have to watch that no complacency comes in because we’ve had such a good result against such a high profile side.

"We have to make sure that we go to the well to try and get three points against Gretna.”

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