Berwick Rangers 1 - 1 East Fife: Shielfield stalemate

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IT IS still all to play for in this play-off semi-final after substitute Darren Lavery emerged as the hero for Berwick, the club’s top scorer coming off the bench to nab a second-half equaliser after the visitors took the lead just a minute before half-time.

Scorers: Berwick - Lavery 72; East Fife - Muir 44

Referee: G Salmond

Attendance: 732

David Muir had given the Fifers the interval lead with a close-range header from a corner, but Lavery, who has now netted 19 for the season, popped up to grab the equaliser in the 71st minute when he turned a Scott Dalziel cross in from the right. In the first half there was little between the sides. Berwick threatened on several occasions, mainly through Fraser McLaren down the right, but Fifers’ goalkeeper Callum Antell didn’t have a direct save to make.

Berwick’s best chance came when McLaren got in behind the defence, latching on to a through pass by Stevie Notman, but there was no-one there to meet his his ball into the middle.

At the other end Scott McBride got in a shot which slipped wide.

Paul Willis had a free kick safely collected by Marc McCallum and Paul McManus also had a header collected under the bar.

However, in the 44th minute David Muir guided a close-range header into the net after McCallum palmed away a David White header from point blank range at a corner.

In the second half, Willis pulled a shot wide for East Fife and then struck a shot from 25 yards which McCallum turned over the top.

The game swung on Berwick’s substitutions with Lavery and Dylan Easton injecting fresh impetus into Rangers and Lavery’s equaliser was no more than they deserved.

In injury time, Easton almost grabbed a late winner but Antell made a fine save when he parried over the bar.

Berwick’s Kevin McDonald, Lee Currie, Devon Jacobs and Steven Notman were booked, with David Muir and Paul McManus yellow-carded for the visitors.