Peebles Rovers’ foray across the border ended in disappointment following a 3-1 defeat to Tweedmouth Rangers at Old Shielfield Park, writes Neil Hobson.
Saul Schulz-Keith, with his seventh goal of the campaign, was the only scorer in red and white on a day where the lads simply could not beat Graeme Cain between the sticks.
The match kicked-off to the roar of a healthy crowd in Berwick, with both Rangers and Rovers keen to put on a show. The two sides tested each other early on as the game started to unwind.
Rovers arguably had the better of these opening exchanges inside the first ten minutes, with the Lamb brothers of Ross and Gregor launching surging runs from midfield in an attempt to find an early goal.
Lee Zavaroni was at his tricky best, with a potent combination of nifty footwork and electric pace keeping Rangers’ central pairing of Ainslie and Allan quiet.
However, and much to the surprise of the assembled spectators, Tweedmouth raced into the lead on 16 minutes, after Ross Moore danced into the box on the back of a Colqhoun ball, before promptly squeezing the said ball past McGinley.
But, as always, Peebles responded to such a set-back by rolling up their sleeves and diving back into the fray head-first.
Zavaroni was once again the architect of the fight-back, as he stormed up the park, beating men in orange shirts with ease, thereby allowing him to knock in a gift-wrapped ball from the left on 24 minutes.
Jason Newell attempted to put a thunderous header past Patterson, but was unlucky to see his effort miss the target by millimetres.
This was to become something of a recurring image throughout the ninety minutes, with Zavaroni teeing them up- but with his teammates missing their golf clubs entirely, as a plethora of chances went astray.
Indeed, the Tweedmouth box became a hive of activity; with the players swarming about like a small flotilla of wasps.
Needless to say, the first-half was a disappointment for all of a red and white persuasion, but the second half offered a shot at redemption.
Saul Schulz-Keith and Robbie Renwick entered the game for the second-half, replacing Jason Newell and Ross Forrest as Rossi looked to secure a result in the remaining 45.
It ultimately proved to be a shrewd switch-up, as it took just 11 minutes for the two subs to make a mark on the game.
Renwick ripped through Ranger’s midfield before pinging a delightful ball to Saul on the left, the wide man gleefully accepted this gift before tearing off like a jet.
Ainslie disarmed Schulz-Keith off this ball, but at the expense of a corner. Unfortunately for Rangers, new signing Ross Lamb showed a deft aptitude for corner-kicks- a fact that Tweedmouth will now be fully aware of.
Lamb knocked In a delightful ball, and saw it fall perfectly into the viper’s nest- with the goalmouth a churning sea of activity.
A brief game of pinball was enjoyed, before Saul made a good call and tucked the ball away with commendable aplomb.
It was a relief for Peebles, but such joy wasn’t too last as Tweedmouth bagged another two goals inside the final half-hour to secure the three points.
Niall Jones notched a near carbon-copy of the first goal on 72 minutes, and Coyne saw his effort trickle into goal, after McGinley mistimed his punch.
On the 82nd minute, Peebles won, and rued, a penalty after Ger Rossi was fouled in the box.
Zavaroni stepped up, but saw his effort pushed away to compound a frustrating afternoon in Berwick.
Peebles: McGinley, Mackay, Smith, Brown, Cockburn, Rossi, Zavaroni, Newell, G. Lamb, R. Lamb, Forrest