Berwick 1-1 Rangers: Little comfort for Gers as McLaren rescues a point for hosts

The Gers continue to find life hard as they are forced to settle for a second consecutive away draw in the Scottish Third Division on Sunday afternoon at Shielfield Park

A second-half strike by substitute Fraser McLaren snatched a point for Berwick Rangers as Rangers were forced to settle for another away draw.

After a stalemate with Peterhead in their first Third Division fixture, the Ibrox side looked to have claimed all three points when Andrew Little scored before the break, only to see the midfielder grab a share of the spoils.

Rangers, on their first visit to England for competitive league action, arrived without the services of two of their key players with both Lee Wallace and Dean Shiels unavailable through injury, but Ally McCoist was able to hand a debut to Greek defender Anestis Argyriou.

The visitors didn’t start well, with both Lewis McLeod Emilson Cribari failing to hit the target in good positions.

And it was a similar story for the home side as they struggled to muster much more than long-range drives from Kevin McDonald and Neil Janczyk all of which failed to trouble Neil Alexander in the Rangers goal.

McCoist’s side could again have gone into the lead as Black managed to find Little with a neat pass into the box, but unfortunately for the young Northern Ireland international he was called offside before he could put the ball into the net.

With just over five minutes left in the half Rangers started to take control as Francisco Sandaza raced in towards goal, but before he could get a strike off Dougie Brydon slid in to deflect the ball away for a corner.

From that set-piece McLeod played the corner to the back post, were Lee McCulloch headed the ball back to Black who rifled a shot towards goal, but his effort hit off a Berwick defender for another corner.

Deep into injury-time the visitors finally took the lead, as Black chipped a free kick into the box for McCulloch, who once again headed the ball back the way, this time into the path of Little who smashed the ball into the net to open the scoring.

The forward play of both sides continued to be poor at the start of the second half, with the only real chance early on coming the way of the home side, as former Hibernian youngster Phil Addison tried his luck with a long-range effort that flew well wide.

Just after the hour mark the home side got back on level terms as Lee Currie found substitute McLaren, who got in behind Cribari and managed to direct the ball beyond the arms of Alexander and into the net.

Rangers should have got back into the lead as Little got onto a long ball and played it to the onrushing McCulloch, but his strike from just inside the box went just wide of the Berwick goal.

With 15 minutes left the Borderers nearly gained the upper hand when  McLaren got in behind the Rangers defence once again, but this time his effort ended up going well wide of Alexander’s left hand post.

Another chance went begging for the home side in the last minute as firstly McLaren got the ball off of Black in the middle of the park and unleashed a powerful strike which forced Aleeander into a superb save and, from the resulting corner, Townsley managed to put the ball into the net, only to be penalised for a foul in the build-up

Rangers managed to hang on and continued their undefeated run in the Third Division by claiming a second away draw.