Berwick Rangers 1 – 1 Arbroath – Match Report
Match Day 10 – Ladbrokes League 2 – Season 2016 / 2017
Saturday 29th October 2016, Shielfield Park, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, 3.00pm kick off
Arbroath travelled down to Berwick-Upon-Tweed on Saturday to take on Ian Coughlin’s Berwick Rangers as the 2nd quarter of the league got underway.
The two sides had met on the opening day of the season when a Martin Scott goal was cancelled out by Steven Thomson.
Arbroath named an unchanged starting eleven for the third week in a row.
Ricky Gomes (GK) continued in goal with David Gold (RB) at right back, with Gary Phillips (LB) at left back with Ricky Little (CB) and Colin Hamilton (CB) continuing their partnership.
Mark Whatley (CM) partnered Ryan McCord (CM) in central midfield with Omar Kader (RM) and Bobby Linn (LM) on the right and left wings with Martin Scott (ST) supporting Steven Doris (ST) in attack.
Arbroath were without the services of Josh Skelly due to injury but still were able to name seven substitutes – Bryan Prunty (ST), Kane Hester (ST), Jassem Sukar (CB), Liam Callaghan (RM), Josh Thomson (RB), Gavin Malin (CM) and Robbie Mutch (GK).
Former Lichties Greg Rutherford and Jordyn Sheerin spearheaded the attack for the Wee Rangers as they kicked off attacking up the slope into the wind on a sunny Autumn afternoon.
Arbroath were put under pressure right away when a dangerous ball into the box by Lee Hamilton was cleared away for a corner by Ricky Little before it could reach the Berwick Strikers who were ready to pounce.
Berwick continued to press and after only 5 minutes there was already a moment of controversy. A long ball up field from the Berwick right back over the top let Greg Rutherford chase the ball down at goal as he escaped from Little and Hamilton.
Little persevered and got his leg in front of Rutherford to the ball and continued with the ball as Rutherford went to the ground with penalty appeals from the home fans but Referee Grant Irvine was up with play and seen nothing wrong in the challenge.
Finally Arbroath were able to attack and a fine run down the wing by David Gold was followed with a pass into the crowded box. The ball missed everyone but fell to Bobby Linn who showed great skill to lose his defender but as he turned to shoot, the challenge of two Berwick defenders was enough to block the shot and clear the danger.
The Lichties should have taken the lead when another run and cross by Gold won Arbroath a corner, and after the initial short corner was blocked, a nice move by Whatley, Linn and McCord allowed Linn to cross with Martin Scott just beating Little to the ball but his header was wide of the post.
Ricky Gomes has impressed since taking over in goal for the Lichties and again he showed his value when Sheerin played in Rutherford who wriggled past a challenge to shoot with Gomes quick to react and running towards Rutherford blocking his shot with his feet.
David Gold was enjoying the space his former team were generously giving him and in the 18th minute he smashed a shot from 30 yards out which left Kevin Walker diving through the air to block a certain goal.
However 2 minutes later and Gold did get the breakthrough goal, and what a goal it was! Bobby Linn surrounded by players on the left, found Gold running forward just inside the Berwick half. After 3 touches it looked like Gold was going to shoot again from distance, but he continued his run and with a quick step over turned Brian Martin inside out before calmly slotting home with his right foot to open the scoring in the 20th minute.
The lead should have been doubled just seconds later when Kader played an inviting ball across the goal but nobody could get a touch to slide it into the net. As Arbroath pushed, Kader took inspiration from Gold and got past 3 defenders in a similar area but his final shot was just too high.
Gomes again was called into action when he caught a near post cross from Sheerin before reacting to a Lavery cross which took a deflection off Gary Phillips and was heading straight for his goal before he punched it clear.
Half Time – Berwick Rangers 0 – 1 Arbroath
The opening minutes of the second half created another controversial moment which allowed Berwick Rangers back into the game. A slide pass just in front of the Arbroath 18 yard line seen Sheerin and Ryan McCord go for the ball with Sheerin going to the ground after both players brushed together. It seemed soft, but Berwick Rangers took full advantage as Steven Thomson curled a left foot shot into the top right hand corner of the goal leaving Gomes no chance as the ball curled past him. The game was now all square with 42 minutes remaining.
The Lichties had to refocus and a long ball over the top allowed Kader to chase and Martin was lucky when his high boot just missed the face of Kader. Kader was involved again just seconds later when a Linn cross into the box was headed back out to the edge of the box where Scott took a touch to lay it into the path of Kader but his shot was just over the bar.
With the wind on their side, the Wee Rangers were trying to expose the Arbroath defence with long balls over the top but they weren’t aware of sweeper keeper Gomes! A pass right over the Arbroath back four let Sheerin run in at goal but Gomes came rushing out of his box and intercepted the ball with this feet, despite Arbroath winning back possession it was lost straight away allowing Thomson to shoot again from distance but his shot curled the wrong way this time past the Arbroath goal.
Arbroath were finding it tough in the final 3rd, and a long range effort from Phillips was the closest they had come in the second half but were given half a chance when Walker flapped at a cross with the ball falling to Scott, but as Fairbairn dived across Scott, he was left with an awkward bouncing ball and his shot was over the bar. Another knock down from a Linn cross allowed Kader to shoot again from the edge of the area but his strike curled away from goal.
A clever low corner kick was fed into the danger area by Martin but as the ball came across Fairbairn took a touch to control the ball but before he could shoot with his other food Gomes had dived on the ball to clear the danger.
A shot from Linn was just over the bar before Berwick had their best chance to take the lead. A beautiful cross from the wing by Thomson found Sheerin who took a touch and got goal side of Gold but as he went to strike the ball on the volley from 6 yards Gomes spread his body wide and made an incredible point blank save to keep his team in it.
At the other end a shot from the edge of the area by Mark Whatley was the closest the Lichties had come to getting on the score sheet and his shot just shaved the post.
Kane Hester was introduced for Steven Doris in the 72nd minute as Greg Hurst came on for Jordyn Sheerin a minute later as he succumb to injury.
Again Gomes showed his prowess as a sweeper keeper when he came out to again get to the ball before Rutherford, but this time the ball fell back into play but Hurst couldn’t take advantage of the open goal and shot wide.
A flurry of substitutions killed the momentum of the game with Bryan Prunty and Liam Callaghan replacing Bobby Linn and Mark Whatley in the 84th minute with Ben Stirling replacing Steven Norman for the Black and Gold, before 2 minutes later Jordan Orru replaced Lee Hamilton.
In the final minute Liam Callaghan conceded a free kick on Darren Lavery in a similar position to where Thomson had scored. As Callaghan was shown a yellow card for his tackle, Thomson again lined up the ball but thankfully this time his strike was high.
Full Time – Berwick Rangers 1 – 1 Arbroath
C’mon the Lichties!
Possession – Berwick Rangers 48% – 54% Arbroath
Total Shots – Berwick Rangers 11 – 11 Arbroath
On Target – Berwick Rangers 6 – 3 Arbroath
Off Target – Berwick Rangers 4 – 7 Arbroath
Blocked – Berwick Rangers 1 – 1 Arbroath
Corners – Berwick Rangers 4 – 4 Arbroath
Fouls Committed – Berwick Rangers 17 – 7 Arbroath
1 – Kevin Walker
2 – Lee Hamilton (Orru 88)
3 – Brian Martin
4 – Steven Notman (Stirling 88)
5 – Robert Wilson
6 – Jonny Fairbairn (c)
7 – Steven Thomson
8 – Graeme Beveridge
9 – Darren Lavery
10 – Greg Rutherfolrd
11 – Jordyn Sheerin (Hurst 73)
12 – Greg Hurst – 11; 73rd
13 – Ben Stirling – 4; 88th
14 – Daniel Watt
15 – Barry Hogg
16 – Sam Jones
17 – Jordan Orru – 2; 88th
20 – Sean Brennan (GK)
Goal – Thomson 48
1 – Ricky Gomes
2 – David Gold
3 – Gary Phillips
4 – Ricky Little
5 – Colin Hamilton
6 – Mark Whatley (c) (Callaghan 84)
7 – Omar Kader
8 – Ryan McCord
9 – Steven Doris (Hester 72)
10 – Martin Scott
11 – Bobby Linn (Prunty 84)
12 – Bryan Prunty – 11; 84th
14 – Kane Hester – 9; 72nd
15 – Jassem Sukar
16 – Liam Callaghan – 6; 84th
17 – Josh Thomson
18 – Gavin Malin
21 – Robbie Mutch (GK)
Goal – Gold 20
Bookings – Callaghan 90
Attendance – 390
Referee – Grant Irvine
Assistant Referee 1 – Ivan Stankovic
Assistant Referee 2 – Craig Ferguson