Date : 21st October 2023
Opposition : Peebles Rovers
Venue : Home
Scorers : Ross Aitchison 2, Craig Bell 2 (1 pen)
Booked : Evan Smith, Rhys Dixon, Rhys Bloomfield, Craig Heath, Griffin Sabatini
Sent Off : None
Attendance : 41
Referee : Richard Kay
Team Lineup :
Rhys Bloomfield (C)
Riley Lightfoot on for Christian Temple 79 mins
Calum Riddell on for Ciaran Hatsell 72 mins
Craig Bell on for Idrissa Sarr 70 mins
Match Report :
Tweedmouth Rangers claimed their first points of the season with this success over Border rivals Peebles. Despite all the recent rain, the Shielfield pitch was perfectly playable.
Rangers though, got off to a bad start. Harry McGill could hardly believe his luck when defenders on either side left sufficient space for him to head Grant Wilson’s cross from the left over Ryan Dunn who was a yard or so off his line.
That 3rd minute lead should have been doubled seven minutes later. The home defence again looked shaky and a second McGill goal seemed inevitable as he rounded the last man but he slightly misjudged the angle and his last kick rolled a few inches outside the post.
Dunn made a good save from Wilson and then stopped Kyle Kivlichan when he headed Mikelanxho Bardhi’s free kick towards goal.
Though they had already launched several attacks of their own, it wasn’t until around the 20 minute point that Tweedmouth began to get a grip on the game. Keeper Ross Coats had to look sharp to hold a shot from Jack Forster after one of his teammates had kindly gifted the ball to the full back. Forster, in his best performance so far this campaign, also created an opportunity for Christian Temple, back after injury and playing up front, but again, Coats was equal to the task.
As the half hour neared, Griffin Sabatini snaked his way in from the left past a trio of defenders to deliver into the box from where Rhys Bloomfield’s shot carried plenty of venom but was successfully blocked. It wasn’t the only occasion when Sabatini troubled the opposition.
Temple’s pass to Bloomfield when he overlapped also out on the left led to Rangers’ captain hoisting the ball a shade too high on to the top of the net.
The breakthrough came a minute from the interval. Ross Aitchison seized the chance of his first goal for the club, the ball hitting a Peebles man on the way in. So, all square again at half time.
Peebles best build up of the second period came in the 54th minute but ended with Robbie Renwick just wide of the post. Four minutes later, after Evan Smith’s free kick and with the ball hanging about inside the Peebles box, Aitchison took over again, firing in a second goal to put the hosts in front.
Dunn used both hands to prevent a Gregor Lamb leveller and also cleared the resulting corner but, encouraged by their lead, Rangers’ organisation when under pressure was much better than in the early stages of the game. Peebles’ task was made even harder in the 74th minute. Aitchison was clattered by the keeper as he attempted to meet a great ball from Forster. Sub Craig Bell, who felt unwell before the match, was still able to smash home the spot kick.
The visitors suffered a further blow with the 79th minute sending off of Ross Lamb for another foul on Aitchison. (Peebles also finished with another three men on yellow cards.) With on loan Riley Lightfoot from Gala Fairydean Rovers impressive in his short spell on field, Tweedmouth looked the side more likely to score again. They had to wait right to the end to do so. Bloomfield broke through down the right to send a flat ball across which Bell ran in to crash into the net.