Date : 20th May 2023
Opposition : Lochgelly Albert
Venue : Home
Scorers : Regan Graham (pen), Kieran Cromarty
Booked : Rhys Dixon
Sent Off : None
Attendance : 122
Referee : Daniel Graves
Team Lineup :
Jordan Crombie (trialist)
Michael Robinson on for Joao Vieira 58 mins
Jay Atkinson on for Craig Bell 69 mins
Match Report :
It may be a truism but following a burst of three second half goals within the space of eleven minutes, in its final segment, this game really could have gone either way. Therefore, probably both sides were happy enough to hear the final whistle. An away point for Lochgelly, though with Hawick beating Newburgh, they drop to bottom of the table. Tweedmouth’s share of the spoils ensures they finish inside the top half of the East of Scotland Second Division table.
Rangers got in the first shots. Regan Graham fired just over the bar from 25 yards. After teeing up the ball for a volley, neither could Craig Bell hit the target.
After a slow start, Lochgelly went on to win a string of corners for which they had obviously practised, a quartet of players forming a pack to rush at the defence when the kicks came over. However, after Craig Heath headed away one of them, individually, Connor Murdoch posed the biggest threat so far, letting rip with a ferocious return volley which Niall Frampton tipped over his bar.
The Albert’s momentum was broken by a Rhys Bloomfield run and then a pass to Evan Smith but, not far from goal, Bloomfield kicked air rather than the ball when Smith returned it inside to him.
Tweedmouth though did not have to wait much longer to score. Bell was on his way round Gregor Brown to make it 1-0 when the keeper’s contact brought him down. It was left to Graham to give the hosts the lead with the 35th minute penalty.
On to the second half with Frampton throwing himself at man and ball to stop Lee Celentano equalising. Stephen Stark was in the clear but couldn’t turn a flat ball across the face of goal into the net. Lochgelly’s first goal came right on the hour, Sean Johnstone’s shot knocking the post on its way in.
Just two minutes later, the Fifers fell behind again. Bell’s header off Graham’s corner travelled towards Kieran Cromarty by the back post from where he also headed the ball into the corner of the net. A particularly pleasing moment for a player handed the captaincy for the day in what was likely to be his last home appearance for Rangers.
Lochgelly levelled again in the 71st minute through Murdoch. From Tweedmouth’s point of view, it was a messy goal to give away but was no more than the visitors deserved.
Both sides then had several opportunities to claim a win. Stark was once more well placed but headed Johnstone’s cross over the bar. A run by seventeen year old trialist right wing Corey Battrick, also toublesome in the first half, took him into Tweedmouth’s penalty area before he was foiled by Smith, now back in a familiar defensive role after starting in midfield.
Brown could only parry a Jay Atkinson shot but made a good save from Michael Robinson. Looking for the big finish, first Robinson spun the ball away from goal. Then, judged onside as he collected Graham’s through ball and for once free of the challenge of full back Jason McLaren who worked diligently throughout the second half to contain him, Bloomfield also shot wide.