Kelso United 2
Berwick Rangers Reserves 2
EoS FIRST DIVISION
GEORGE RILEY reports from Woodside Park
KELSO United produced a spirited display against a Berwick side who are the bookmakers’ favourites to earn promotion this season.
The Reserves were the superior outfit in the first half and had United under a lot of pressure, but the home side battled back in the second period to share the spoils.
The visitors showed their intent straight from the first whistle and Kelso keeper Scott Dowie was called into action three times in the first four minutes.
United had a sniff of a goal after 10 minutes when Jordan Lauder supplied Calum McClure, who cut inside the defence, but the tall forward’s shot went well over.
The game calmed down until the half-hour mark when the visitors took the lead. A shot from 30 yards by Ben Miller hit the upright, and the Kelso defence could only clear to Jordan Gill, who rifled a shot into the top corner of the net from the same distance out.
Berwick increased their advantage seven minutes later when United defender John McCutcheon fouled winger Steven Finlayson at the edge of the box and the resultant free kick was duly dispatched by Sam Todd, whose curling effort flew into the top corner.
The visitors almost made it three when Dowie had to look sharp to turn Todd’s shot over the bar.
The Tweedsiders started well in the second half and efforts by Des Burnett and Jordan Lauder had the Berwick defence at full stretch.
The Kelso pressure eventually paid off when they got a goal back in the 54th minute. Burnett worked hard to win the ball and cross for McClure at the near post, whose effort hit the post and rebounded out, hitting unfortunate defender Ross Brady on the back for an own goal.
And Kelso equalised just six minutes later when Burnett was again the provider with a cross which fell to Damien McNulty, who swept home from 12 yards.
Berwick had a big shout for a penalty on 66 minutes when McCutcheon appeared to clear the ball off his goal line with his hand, but referee Evan Cairns ignored the visitors’ pleas.
And McCutcheon again intervened on the goal line in injury time to hook away a Gill effort.
Kelso United: S. Dowie, J. McCutcheon, S. Angus, D. Bowie, S. Tait, D. McNulty, D. Flannigan (G. Gillie 82), L. Wallace, D. Burnett, J. Lauder, C. McClure (C. Webb 84).