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Football: Berwick so sick of slump; BERWICK RANGERS .........0 ALBION ROVERS ...............1.

Byline: Ian SMITH reports

CRASHING to lowly Albion at Shielfield means the slump goes on for Berwick Rangers.

The Borderers slipped from the top last week and squandered the chance to return to the head of the table with this defeat.

They have now lost their last three league encounters and failed to score in each.

Rangers in fact could easily have lost by a bigger margin if the side from Coatbridge had not let chances slip away.

Berwick carved a first-minute opening but Gareth Hutchison and Kevin Gordon just could not finish it off before home appeals for a penalty for hand ball were waved aside after a 20-yard strike by Jay Shields.

Rovers replied with Steven Noble testing Craig Coyle but the keeper comfortably collected his long curling free.

Coyle came to Rangers' rescue when he deflected an effort from George Wallace then recovered well to clear from Stephen Reid.

Soon it was Albion's turn to breath a sigh of relief as the keeper was beaten by Hutchison only for his shot to come back off the post.

Ciaran Donnelly had a gilt-edged chance for Albion when he pounced on a faulty backpass and rounded the advancing Coyle only to pull his shot wide.

Kevin Haynes then missed a sitter at the other end.

Rovers soon started to take the initiative as Scott Chaplain whipped in a dangerous long-range free kick which Haynes did well to clear then Reid lobbed over from close range on the hour mark before Coyle dived at his feet to save.

Two Albion players were booked within 60 seconds - first Steven Noble for a foul then keeper Jamie Ewings for dissent.

Berwick regrouped to press forward and make a solid chance only for Ian Little to blast over.

But Albion finally achieved the breakthrough in 70 minutes when Haynes sliced a clearance and Chris McGroarty miskicked, leaving a free Chaplain to sweep the ball out of Coyles's reach and into the net.

As Rangers made a last-gasp bid to level Gordon Lennon had to clear off the line from Hutchison before Ewings made a superb flying save
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 11, 2005
Words:354
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