BERWICK RANGERS 2, PETERHEAD 1
Second-half goals from Darren Lavery and substitute Kenny O’Brien helped Berwick Rangers come from behind to beat ten-man Peterhead at Shielfield and book their place in the third round of the Scottish Cup.
The visitors had taken the lead midway through the first half with a goal from Rory McAllister, but Berwick fought back with Lavery equalising after 53 minutes before O’Brien netted the winner with just six minutes remaining.
Peterhead had been reduced to ten men after 78 minutes when David Cox received a second booking for a foul on O’Brien.
Berwick were forced to make two changes to their team with regular goalkeeper Paul Grant unavailable in case of a recall by Hibs, and skipper Lee Currie, who was suspended.
Billy Bald was called up for his first start between the posts with Damien Gielty filling in at left midfield. Berwick also dropped Kenny O’Brien in favour of Ross Gray.
In the first half Berwick started the brighter of the two sides and after Andy Rodgers had an early shot hit straight at Bald, Rangers looked the livlier.
Scott Dalziel, who had been asked to hold the front line, went close with a glancing header from a Gielty cross after ten minutes.
Stevie Notman then pushed the ball wide when under pressure from a defender and after 29 minutes Lavery was desperately unlucky when he fired a screamer from 25 yards which rattled the crossbar after playing a neat one-two with Dalziel.
A minute later McAllister lifted the ball over the bar at the other end, but on 32 minutes he broke the deadlock when he superbly lobbed Bald with a shot with the outside of his boot after spotting the Berwick keeper off his line.
The ball was laid off to him by Andy Rodgers, and McAllister’s sublime strike simply emphasised the point his manager Jim McInally has been making for some time - that he is capable of playing at a higher level.
Berwick also started the second half well and after several half-hearted attempts, they finally managed to force their way level when Lavery picked the ball up on the right side of the Peterhead box.
He danced his way past two attempted tackles before dispatching a low shot into the far corner of the net.
Peterhead tried to rally and they went close with a header from Jamie Redman which was clawed away with a fine one-handed save from Bald.
But the Balmoor side were reduced to ten men when Cox was red carded for a second bookable offence following his foul on O’Brien.
It put the visitors at a distinct disadvantage, and whilst Peterhead boss McInally admitted later he did not know if it had an impact on the final outcome, the fact that Berwick went on to win shows that it might.
Lavery found himself on one one with keeper Smith, who saved at close range from the striker. But the loose ball broke to O’Brien who buried the rebound at the first attempt.
Berwick Rangers: Bald, Jacobs, Hoskins, Dunlop, Tulloch, Tulloch, Gielty, Janczyk, Notman, Dalziel, Lavery (Morris 89), Gray (O’Brien 72).
Peterhead: McGlinchy, Noble, McGeever, Ross (Richardson 78), Brown (Cowie 61), Cox, Redman, McAllister, Rodgers (McCann 74), McLaren.
Referee: Kevin Graham. Attendance: 356