Toon stay top with win at Berwick

SCOTTISH LEAGUE 2'BERWICK RANGERS V PETERHEAD'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S  WILLIE GIBSON CLASHES WITH  DARREN LAVERY
SCOTTISH LEAGUE 2'BERWICK RANGERS V PETERHEAD'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S WILLIE GIBSON CLASHES WITH DARREN LAVERY

Peterhead maintained their spot at the top of Ladbrokes League 2 on Saturday with a 3-1 win away to Berwick.

Montrose’s big win away to Stirling Albion means they stay level on points with the Blue Toon with a chance to go top on Tuesday when they travel to Cowdenbeath for their game in hand.

A couple of dry days enabled Saturday’s game to go ahead after Berwick’s previous home fixture against Stenhousemuir was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

An hour before this one kicked off, the heavy rain returned and continued throughout the match.

The game’s opening chance fell Rangers’ way, Darren Lavery heading their first corner, won by Jack Hamilton, a fraction over the bar.

Lavery was back to head away William Gibson’s flag kick, much of the time in between devoted to a spate of whistling from the referee, free kicks roughly divided equally between the two sides.

A miscalculation by Steven Notman which prevented the ball running out for a goal kick let Jack Leitch make a few yards before Mclean finished from close in.

Both keepers stopped shots ahead of Peterhead’s second goal, eleven minutes after the first.

Robby McCrorie’s save led to another Gibson corner which Jason Brown flicked home to send the visitors in at the break two goals up.

Berwick made a number of changes shortly after the break with Oliver Fleming and Ousman See coming on together for Declan O’Kane and Paul Willis but 20 minutes into the half, the Blue Toon scored again.

McCrorie’s reflex reaction stopped what would have been a Fleming own goal after the ball came in from the right but as the ball came off the keeper, McLean was on hand to celebrate a personal double.

Peterhead, who were not allowing the conditions to undermine a performance which showed why they are table toppers, brought on Rory McAllister, Notman blocking him just inside the box after the prolific goalscorer raced on to a loose ball in open space.

McAllister also took a crossfield punt from James Stevenson to put through a useful looking pass to Leitch but McCrorie was on the spot to deal with it.

Rangers pulled one back on 77 minutes. The ball arrived awkwardly for See but he skilfully guided it on to Hamilton who ran on to do the rest.

There were late chances for both teams. From a near perfect position, Leitch hit the ball over the bar after Scott Brown cut in from the right.

Stewart came close for Berwick when they won a corner as a result of an attack involving Fleming, Gary Phillips and Hamilton.

The result means that Peterhead stay top of the league on goal difference with Montrose having the chance to go top on Tuesday night.

After that match both sides will have just three games remaining as the League 2 title races goes down to the wire.

Peterhead will face Cowdenbeath (H), Elgin City (A) and Edinburgh City (H).

Montrose will face Berwick Rangers (H), Stenhousemuir (A) and Elgin City (H).

Montrose’s win over Stirling also eliminated any mathematical chance of the Bions finish top leaving it a two horse race going in to the final few matches.