Burgh travelled down to Berwick to face Tweedmouth Rangers at Shielfield Stadium, which boasted a great set up and a excellent pitch to play football on.
Both sides are enduring a difficult period with the home side bottom of the table looking for their first points, and Burgh a couple of places above them going through a change of management. Unknown to the players, their new manager was quietly watching in the stands taking a last-minute assessment of the side before meeting his new squad after the game.
The opening 45 minutes were a fairly even affair between two sides low on confidence looking for a break through and the rub of the plush green Shielfield turf.
Kellar Harris had the Burgh’s first chance in the 10th minute when he got on the end of Elliot Jowitt’s deep free kick but was unable to find the target. Moments later, a charging run from Mitchell Sharp beat the offside trap but his final touch before pulling the trigger was a little too heavy and gave the home keeper chance to rescue the threat.
The hosts also had their chances but found David Chalmers in impenetrable form. Straughton was put through on goal on 14 minutes but the keeper was out to block with the rebounded shot from outside the area headed away by the diving Andrew Cameron. Ryan Dixon’s free kick on 17 minutes went close dipping just over the crossbar.
Sharp had a great chance on 33 minutes from a Harris Mitchell cross on the left but the Burgh man was just able to connect to get a shot at goal. On 42 minutes Callum Anderson’s volley from the edge of the area hit a team mate and deflected wide for a goal kick.
The final chance of the half fell to the home side when Bloomfield stung Chalmer’s fingertips with a powerful shot but the Burgh keeper was equal to it and pushed away for a corner.
The second half could have gone either way but it was Burgh who were able to make their chances count, whilst keeper Chalmers played a large part in making sure the home side didn’t.
On 49 minutes the opening goal duly arrived after Struan Grieve sent over a pin point cross from near the left hand touch line and Harris rose between two defenders and keeper to head home from close range.
Tweedmouth can count themselves unfortunate to find themselves up against a keeper in form and on another day could have easily have had a hatful with Aitchison and Robinson both foiled by the heroics of Chalmers.
Burgh had a penalty appeal turned down on 54 minutes after Mitchell was seemingly brought down but the referee wasn’t interested and play switched quickly to the other end with Chalmers again out quickly to dive bravely at the feet of an attacker.
Harris Mitchell had a good chance on the hour mark on the left when he beat the offside trap but his looping effort also just beat the crossbar.
The hosts had a spell of play as they chased to get back into the game with Aitchison rattling the crossbar on 67 minutes and Bell somehow blazing a chance high over the bar from close range. Grieve went close for the Burgh on 79 minutes when he rose highest to a corner but his header went just wide of the post.
A second goal was needed to kill the game off but the Burgh had to wait until the 86th minute when another determined from Sharp held off his man, drew the keeper towards him before flicking across the area for Connall White slid in to fire home.
The goal was just the tonic Burgh needed and they seemed to step up a gear in the confidence stakes and sub Jamie Fyfe had 2 very good chances saved by the keeper, with his second effort brilliantly saved by the home keeper and Ruairidh McPhate also having an effort from distance just wide of the post.
It was a tricky game and you had to feel sorry for the hosts who could have got something from the day had it not been for a Man of the Match performance from Chalmers. After a cagey opening 45 minutes, the Burgh grew into the game and got much stronger.
Some stand out performances across the park, alongside the keeper. Mitchell Sharp ran his socks off with some great runs and effort which deserved a goal, Connall White was more like the form we know he is capable of, Adam Wilson put in another promising shift and the midfield duo of Anderson and McPhate battled well. Overall, a very good second half performance and there was hopefully much to please watching new manager Rikki McNeill, as well as plenty to work on too. But a pleasing win in a must-win game.
Thank you to all at Tweedmouth for their warm and excellent hospitality and best wishes for the rest of the season.
Goals: Kellar Harris (sponsored by J19 Photography) 49 mins Connall White (sponsored by Man Glitter Creations) 86 mins
Man of the Match: David Chalmers (sponsored by Danny Ferguson).