Berwick Rangers 1, Cowdenbeath 3.
Ladbrokes League 2
COWDEN’S first game under new management and it brought three vital points for the Blue Brazil at Shielfield Park on Saturday.
Gary Locke joined coaches Neil Hastings and Burton O’Brien in running the side and it certainly saw a huge improvement in the performance.
The midfield were in complete control and their promptings saw the Blues have almost 55 per cent possession.
Fraser Mullen was back in the central area of that department and he played very well alongside Brian Ross, Liam Henderson and Robbie Buchanan.
It meant that there were plenty of opportunities for Cowdenbeath and they could have won by a much bigger margin.
Kris Renton and Dale Carrick were a real threat for the Fifers and while only Renton hit the net, the pair of them posed the Rangers loads of problems.
Defensively the visitors would be disappointed not to record a rare shut-out here, for they did well in keeping the Berwick attack in check.
Jamie Sneddon pulled off a couple a fine saves while Scott Rumsby and Gerry McLauchlan did superbly well in limiting the visitors to few shots on target.
Cowden almost went ahead in 14 minutes when Carrick got in a good shot which was well saved by Sean Brennan but two minutes later the Blues were in front.
As the Rangers rearguard hesitated BUCHANAN was alert and he fired the ball low into the net with his right foot from the middle of the box.
Just before the interval Buchanan saw his 20 yarder blocked in the middle of the penalty area while Steve Notman came closest for Rangers.
A goal up at the break Cowden went two up a minute after the interval. The Berwick defence struggled with a ball slung into their box by Henderson and there was ROSS perfectly positioned to convert from close in.
You could see the Cowden confidence climbing and Buchanan’s header from close in was held by the Berwick ‘keeper.
Rangers knew that they would have to mount a real fight-back to get anything from the game and Rumsby and McLauchlan had to look lively to keep the hosts out.
Sneddon handled a couple of good crosses well and in 67 minutes Cowden got the key third goal.
Buchanan provided the pass and RENTON steadied himself before guiding his right foot shot past the ‘keeper.
But Berwick were not for giving up and with 11 minutes left, after Henderson and Mullen went close to a fourth, RUTHERFORD fired a low shot home.
Cowden went for another and Mullen was denied by the 'keeper but the points were safe.
Berwick Rangers: Brennan (6); Hamilton (5), Spark (6); Notman (5), Scullion (6) (Verlaque 68 (3)), Phillips (Fairbairn 68 (3)); Thomson (6), Lavery (6), Rutherford (6), McKirdy (6), Kessells (5) (Murrell 68 (3)). Subs not used, Donkor, Watt, Orru and Goodfellow.
Cowdenbeath: Jamie Sneddon (7); Jamie Pyper (6), Shaun Rutherford (7); Gerry McLauchlan (7), Scott Rumsby (8), Fraser Mullen (7); Robbie Buchanan (7) (Craig Johnston 76 (3)), Liam Henderson (6), Dale Carrick (7) (Lewis Moore 83 (2)), Kris Renton (7) (Gary Glen 90 (2)), Brian Ross (7)). Subs not used, Burton O’Brien, Cammy Muirhead and Dave McGurn .
Referee-Steven Reid (7).