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Arbroath 4 Berwick Rangers 1: Two-goal Ryan McCord praised after nearly being stuck on bench

Ryan McCord will miss game through injury.
Ryan McCord will miss game through injury.

Arbroath boss Dick Campbell admitted he almost dropped Ryan McCord from his starting line-up – but was delighted when the midfielder responded by scoring a double as the Lichties came from behind to crush Berwick Rangers

Michael McKenna earned the Borderers a half-time lead when he blasted high into the net in the 13th minute, but four goals in the final half-hour gave Arbroath the win which closed the gap on Forfar at the top of the table to five points.

Campbell said: “I came very close to dropping Ryan McCord today. I pulled him in beforehand and told him, but he’s a good player and I was delighted with the way he took his goals.

“Berwick outplayed us in the first half and deserved to go in ahead. I was angry with that. I had a few things to say at half-time but there was a big difference in the second half and I’m delighted we got four goals. The crosses that Josh Skelly and Bobby Linn put in for the second and third goals were really good.”

McCord hauled the Lichties back into the match in the 64th minute when he latched on to a pass from David Gold and powered into the box, jinking past a couple of defenders before drawing keeper Sean Brennan and firing into the far corner.

Berwick responded and Gold had to come to the Lichties’ rescue by heading a Brian Martin effort clear from under the bar.

But the home side’s tails were up,the pressure began to build on the visitors and seven minutes after his first, McCord was on target again, heading home a perfectly flighted cross deep to the far post from sub Skelly.

Skelly and fellow subs Martin Scott and Gavin Malin all made a big impact on the game as the Lichties continued to pressurise a Berwick rearguard that was creaking under the strain.

It was no surprise when Scott made it 3-1, less than a minute after coming on to replace Eddie Ferns, getting on the end of a Linn cross from the left to head beyond Brennan.

The young Berwick keeper, who was promoted from the bench when first-choice stopper Kevin Walker picked up an injury in the warm-up, suffered a nightmare moment in the final minute when the ball bobbled from his foot as he attempted to clear, leaving Malin with a simple task of shooting into the empty net.

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