Rangers 2 Berwick Rangers 0
With only 16,000 hearty souls inside the Ibrox stadium and the Berwick Rangers players not daunted by the experience after two trips to the Great old Ground last season this Ramsden’s cup tie was never expected to be a drama laden affair and so it proved.
A goal and an assist from Northern Ireland striker Andy Little helped ease the Bears way into the next round of the Ramsden’s Cup but it was a lack lustre affair after the thrilling demolition of Airdrie dished out by the Light Blues on Friday.
The strange rules stipulated that no triallists were allowed in this round as they were in the previous one so Rangers made three changes to the team that won six nil on it’s travels four nights ago. Emilson Cribari returned in place of Kyle McAusland and David Templeton and Dean Shiels also started by replacing ineligible Goal hero’s John Daly and Nicky Law.
There was a sense of the disappointing early season League Cup failure at Forfar being on the mind of the players and that coupled with having nothing really to gain but a lot to lose to contend with they played a good early possession game although goal chances were slow in coming.
The hard-working and ever willing Andy Little tested goalkeeper Paul Grant with a near post effort after good work from Lee Wallace who took every chance to raid from the left as usual.
The next chance came from a corner but Cribari’s header bounced down onto the grass but spiralled over the bar. The closest Rangers came to scoring in the first half was when Berwick’s Michael Dunlop made a last gasp goal line clearance from a tame Little effort that was trickling goal bound after he was played in by McLeod.
Overall the first half that developed was a repeat of much we saw last year with passing going astray and a shortage of goal chances for Rangers, it can be explained by lack of game time as a unit with these players and that lack of cohesion is highlighted even more after the crispness of recent league performances.
After the break Rangers looked more lively and took the game to Berwick much better and only three minutes into the second half Sebastien Faure’s showed excellent technique but unfortunately his lovely volley was tipped over by Grant.
It took an hour before the first goal came and it was scored by substitute Barry McKay who had just replaced Shiels and with his first touch he shot home from an angle after Little supplied the pass.
It took Rangers only 2 minutes to double their lead when Little headed home powerfully from a Robbie Crawford cross and the game was won.
Berwick will be happy with their effort on the night and were never overwhelmed by their illustrious opponents, and Rangers will be happy that the young charges did enough to have got through to the quarter finals and the revenge match up with last season’s shock Ramsden’s conquerors Queen Of The South…..and of course the welcome use of the post September 1st registrations.
highlight of the match are below