Berwick Rangers denied two penalties in tight game against league leaders
East Kilbride went into the game unbeaten while Berwick Rangers have had a tough couple of weeks, seeing four players leave, with David Ferguson the latest to move, joining Saturday’s opponents on a permanent deal, as the Wee Gers look to stabilise their finances.
Manager Stuart Malcolm has recruited three young loanees, Scott Bright and Joe Ellison, who have joined from St Johnstone until the end of the season, and Andrew Gaffney. Midfielder Gaffney, 19, plays for Premiership team St Mirren and has won one Scotland cap at U17 level. All three were named as substitutes for Saturday’s game, with Bright and Gaffney both making their debuts during the match.
In a tight match, tempers boiled over as Berwick were denied what they thought was a clear penalty late in the game. Malcolm and his assistant Dean Shanks were both shown a red card for their protests.
The game was decided by a first-half strike by Marc Kelly after 25 minutes following up after a good stop by Calum Antell.
The home side created some chances, with Drew Cummings and Graham Taylor posing a threat with their hard work pressing their opponents, but failed to fashion a breakthrough.
Malcolm couldn’t hide his disappointment after the game, saying Berwick were denied two “stonewall penalty kicks, one in the first half, one at the end of the game”.
He added: “We can’t fault the players in terms of their application, their effort. First half we contained them pretty well with probably a wee lapse of concentration for the goal.”
He continued: “Second half I thought we gave as good as we got.”
Commenting on the club’s situation, he said: “The last two weeks have been challenging. Getting a squad ready for today was particularly difficult but we managed with help from some friends that we know at St Johnstone and St Mirren, so we thank them very much for their help because it is a massive help.”
Berwick are away at Musselburgh Athletic on Saturday in the South Challenge Cup third round.