A return to Shielfield for this weeks fixture where we took on Cumbernauld Colts. They were coming off the back of a heavy defeat to Penicuik last week in the cup whilst we went looking for our first home league win since March.
There is still engineering works between Morpeth and Edinburgh therefore it is a replacement bus service from Newcastle. We therefore made the decision to drive there and back on the day.
Skipping out on the town centre, we headed straight to the Black and Gold for a pre match pint or two. We caught up with a few of the regulars before heading into the ground, abit earlier than usual.
It was bright and sunny at Shielfield but it is starting to get alot colder. The teamsheet showed just one change from the week before, with Sean Brennan being replaced in goal by Mark Walters.
We started well and applied most of the early pressure. Healy had a shot at the edge of the box which was blocked and Barr saw his left foot volley flash past the post following a good run from Balde.
Barr had a further chance after being set up from Balde again after Healy had played him in. The keeper save well with his feet. We were having alot of the play and were controlling the game without having a goal to show for it.
The referee was getting alot of stick from the home support. Barr was booked for a strong challenge, although he appeared to win the ball. Balde was next in the book for dissent after protesting for a free kick of his own.
Berwick took the lead just after the half hour mark. Kevin Waugh was found out wide from a cross field pass by Ricky Miller. Waugh got the ball out of his feet a whipped in a cross from just past the St John’s Ambulance dugout half way into the Cumbernauld Colts half. His cross was met by the head of Dan Purves and he found the back of the net.
We kept the pressure on after the goal and pushed for a second. Purves had a run at the Cumbernauld Colts defence and went over in the box. The referee booked him for diving, much to the displeasure of the Berwick players in that area who felt as though it was a penalty.
Euan Smith blazed over from the edge of the box after a good passage of play from Ciaran Brian. Smith had a very good game yesterday, particularly in the first half where he was controlling and dictating the tempo.
Cumbernauld Colts were reduced to counter attacks and won themselves a couple of corners towards the end of the first half. We dealt with the corner and tried to counter attack but Colts came back forward. A Colts player went down on the far right hand side of the box and the referee pointed straight to the spot.
The home fans on the stand side would have had a better view than I did, and they were making their feelings know to the referee. Ross Kavanagh stepped up but blasted the ball over the cross bar. That was our 9th penalty conceded so far this season. A stat that defies belief.
We went into the break 1-0 up and it was a lead that we fully deserved, if anything we should have been further in front. After a short half time break (we kicked off late in the first half so the interval was only 10 minutes long), the players made their way out for the second half.
Berwick doubled their lead 2 minutes into the second half. Waugh turned from provider to scorer, with a free kick 25 yards out on his left foot. He came close against Tranent and East Kilbride with similar efforts.
Again, we kept the pressure on after the goal with Brian having a shot from the edge of the box blocked and Ricky Miller also having a header blocked from six yards out following a corner.
Colts had a long throw themselves which was half scrambled clear and after the first shot was blocked, a volley was smashed well over the bar. Brian again had an effort at the other end which was deflected just past the post.
The away side were growing as the game went on and won a couple of corners which Walters dealt with. From a Berwick perspective, Healy had a header which went past the post after Waugh had lofted a free kick into the box. Healy also had a shot blocked not long after.
The pressure from Colts began building into the last half hour. Ricky Miller sliced a cross over his own crossbar as Colts won a couple of more corners. Walters dealt with the first, the second was cleared as far as the penalty spot but the Colts player couldn’t keep his volley down.
Cammy Lumsden was the next player in the book after he hacked down a Cumbernauld Colts player on the far touchline. The resulting free kick was headed behind for a corner by Kevin Waugh. The corner was played into the box and headed home by Lewis Bonar from close range. 2-1.
Ross Kavanagh should have levelled not long after with a header back across goal which went wide of the post. Craig Holmes had a shot which went wide and Walters had to make a low save as Colts pushed for an equaliser.
Yano responded with a double change which saw Balde and Lumsden replaced by Rose and Windram. Ciaran Brian moved over to the right hand side and it looked as though we went with two up front.
Windram, full of energy whipped a ball into the box but Rose’s effort was tame under pressure and the keeper collected easily. Windram then had a shot saved at the near post himself after beating his man in a one v one. Rose also saw a header go wide of the post after a free kick in the wide position from Kevin Waugh.
It looked as though we had weathered the earlier storm and were going to see the game out for what, in my opinion, was a fully deserved three points. That was up until the first minute of stoppage time when a cross came into the box and Bonar headed in his second of the game at the far post. It was very similar to the third goal we conceded at East Kilbride the week prior.
Really disappointing to concede so late on and draw the game after being 2-0 up and in complete control. I was really deflated after the game and it felt much more like a defeat. Having said that, Cumbernauld Colts are clearly a decent side and we are in the middle of a tricky run of games. The performance continued from last weeks positive showing and I feel like we aren’t far away from putting a few good results together.
The Spartans game is off on Tuesday so we are next up against Kelty Hearts. The only team to have beaten them this season is Cumbernauld Colts and whilst Kelty have blasted alot of teams away, we can take positives from the last couple of performances and shouldn’t be going into the game with any fear. ‘Mon the ‘Gers.