It was ‘flare’ play to both sides

A goalmouth scramble.
A goalmouth scramble.

Culter 1

Berwick Rangers 1

Culter earned a replay against League Two side Berwick Rangers after a hard fought draw at Crombie on Saturday.

The Scottish Cup third round tie was played in heavy rain but the two sides managed to entertain the 680 people in attendance right until the end.

The game started off with some controversy, and was only two minutes old when a Berwick Rangers fan threw a flare onto the pitch, which saw the game delayed for three minutes.

After the delay, it was the visitors who started the game better with some early chances to possibly take the lead. Scott Dalziel nearly scored two minutes after the restart, but was denied by a double save from Neil Duffy in the Culter goal.

Berwick were threatening Culter every time they broke forward and the ball over the top, sliding off the surface, was troubling the home side.

Dalziel latched onto one of the balls over the top, but a great last-ditch challenge by Neil Reid denied a certain goal.

Culter had to respond to the pressure and did with a free kick that was floated into the box. George McBain managed to head the ball across goal to Jamie Mcallister who got too much on the header and headed just over.

After the early chances for both sides, the game went into a lull, where both teams were sussing each other out.

The junior side were holding their own and could have taken the lead just before half time when Allan Youngson managed to manoeuvre his way past three Berwick players, but just before he was away to pull the trigger he was fouled.

The referee did not agree with the home fans who felt aggrieved at the decision.

HT 0-0

The players emerged in the second half to worsening conditions. Despite that, however, both teams started well with the first chance coming for Culter. Neat play by McBain to find Mcallister in the box saw the latter take the ball wide of the goal but his shot was saved by Berwick keeper Billy Bald.

Two minutes later, Berwick’s Steven Notman broke the deadlock with a fine left-footed strike from 22 yards out which nestled in the bottom left corner on the 52nd.

In the immediate aftermath of the goal, Culter made a substitution with Scott Mcarthur being replaced by Steven Rintoul to freshen up the home side’s midfield.

Berwick were now looking for a second and had a couple of half chances to double their lead with Darren Lavery nearly taking advantage of a mistake in the Culter defence.

Ten minutes after Berwick took the lead, the junior side equalised when Michael Dunlop headed into his own net from a David Greig cross via the right by-line.

Darren Lavery could have given the English side the lead just after Culter’s equaliser, but the striker shot wide after beating the offside trap.

After his miss, Lavery was taken off to be replaced by Josh Morris.

The game was now finely poised and it was the Deeside outfit that took the game to the visitors.

Neil Reid, who was having a great game, had a header cleared off the line by Stephen Tulloch from a corner.

Culter made some changes towards the end to try and push for a winner. Shaun Taylor replaced Allan Youngson and Michael Taylor replaced George McBain.

It was end to end towards the final stages of the game with Berwick putting lots of pressure on the Culter defence, who were struggling to get the ball clear.

A counter-attack by Culter saw them get a corner in the 93rd minute, a goalmouth scramble in the box seeing the ball drop to Ian Leith eight yards out. He had his 
chance to put the junior side into the fourth round, but hit his shot straight at the goalkeeper.

The replay will be this Saturday, November 9, at Shielfield Park.