34 years to the day since that historic win over Rangers- and we so nearly
recorded another cup shock. A bit of luck and composure in front of goal
would have seen us progress into the next round at the expense of the
'super-stars' of Hearts. Instead, a money spinning replay will just have
to do. But who's complaining.
EVERY player did Berwick Rangers Football
Club proud, to be disappointed with a draw against and SPL outfit is
something Berwick fans could have only dreamed about a few years ago.
Hearts failed to sell all their tickets,
so sections of the Ducket were a bit sparse. However the Berwick section
was full to bursting, infact about 100 fans were forced to stand in front
of the stand and behind the goal because there was no room in the stand.
Referee John Rowbotham kicked the game
off in glorious sunshine. After two minutes Gary Wood fired a warning shot
to Hearts with a 20 yard shot which was held by Niemi.
Kirk looked lively on the left, but Grant McMartin had no real difficulty
in dealing with him. This was in evidence when Kirk tried to outsmart
McMartin with clever foot work but Grant quickly knocked Kirk off the ball
and cleared the danger.
Berwick were looking very dangerous on
the break and weren't surrendering the ball easily. A long ball from Alan
Neill was chased by Gary Wood eventually got to the ball only to slice his
A jinxing run from Darren Smith saw him
beat a couple of Hearts defenders before laying the ball off to Marc
Anthony who shot inches wide with Niemi beaten all ends up.
Our best chance of the game came about
five minutes before the break. Barry Elliot chased and harried Murray, as
Murray tried to clear up field Elliot jumped and the ball rebounded off
his backside, Murray slipped and Elliot took possession of the ball and
moved in on goal- he shot from a narrow angle and Niemi gathered.
half time there was an air of disbelief amongst the home fans. We were
actually getting the better of Hearts and we were perhaps unlucky not to
be 1-0 up at half time.
A ten minute period in the second half
saw Hearts exert some pressure on Berwick, but the visitors were reduced
to long range shots- most of which sailed over the bar and into the car
park. Mark McLean pulled off an outstanding save to deny Gordon Durie and
he also did well to save an Andy Kirk close range effort with his feet.
A sweeping counter attack on the hour
mark saw some great link-up play between Anthony and Wood. Unfortunately
Wood lacked the required poise in front of goal and fired wide.
Mark Duthie was introduce to the action
with about 20 minutes to go. Craig Findlay also came on in place of
With only a few minutes remaining Gary
Wood released Martin Neil who burst into the area and unleashed a flashing
shot which hit the stanchion. And in the final minute Gary Wood and Craig
Findlay broke forward in a two-on-two situation, but
Gary Wood waited just a little bit
too long before trying to release Craig Findlay and his pass was cut out.
Referee Rowbotham added two minutes
injury time and blew his whistle. Jeers from the Hearts fans was drowned
out by cheers from the home supporters.
The replay is a week on Wednesday at
Tynecastle. This match won't be all ticket, you just pay at the gate. Can
we possibly put up another magnificent fight? You just never know...