Lichties are off and running

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Arbroath boss Allan Moore was delighted to see his side stage their second half fightback to take all three points at Berwick on the opening day of the league season.

“We gifted Berwick an early goal and it knocked the boys’ confidence,” he said.

“At half-time we decided to try and change things around because Berwick were getting in behind us down our left and we knew we had to tighten up.

“We played a lot better in the second half, but some credit has to go to our goalkeeper, David Crawford.

“He made the blunder early on, but in the second half he pulled off two saves in one-on-one situations and that helped us turn it around.

“I am a demanding manager, but when the lads do well I will give them a pat on the back if they deserve it.

“It’s nice to start the league season with a win, but we have to try and cut out the loss of early goals. That’s two in our last two games and when the heads drop after that it’s not always easy to pick them up again.”

Berwick were by far the better side in the first half and they opened the scoring after six minutes when goalkeeper Crawford made a poor clearance from a pass-back, playing the ball directly into the path of WILLIS, who fired the return into the bottom corner from inside the box.

Minutes later Scott Maxwell fired in a first time shot which was comfortably collected by Crawford.

Berwick were forced to replace striker Darren Lavery, who limped off after 20 minutes, with Andy Russell.

Rangers created several openings down the right, but there was no one to meet the final ball into the box.

After 31 minutes Scott Dalziel was unlucky when he saw a shot from the right rebound off the face of the crossbar, and two minutes later he headed the ball into the net only to see referee Gavin Ross rule the effort out for a push on a defender.

Arbroath made a substitution at the start of the second half, but it was Berwick who made the better start, Dalziel seeing another header cleared off the line from a corner.

But Arbroath looked rejuvenated after the break and when they stepped up a gear Adam Hunter hit a drive from 30 yards out which Billy Bald palmed away from a corner at full stretch.

Bald made another save at point blank range from the set piece, but substitute BUCHAN slammed the loose ball into the net from close range for the equaliser after 52 minutes.

Willis had a great opportunity to restore Berwick’s advantage when he burst through after 59 minutes, but Crawford redeemed his earlier mistake with a good save.

Arbroath went straight upfield and McMANUS put the visitors in front when a free kick from 25 yards out hit the underside of the bar and the Lichties’ front man headed in the rebound from inside the six-yard box.

Scott Maxwell shot over for Berwick, but in general they were second best in the second half and were left to rue their missed chances earlier in the game.

Berwick manager Colin Cameron commented after the game: “We should have had it wrapped up before half-time, as we created a few chances. If Scott Dalziel’s ‘goal’ hadn’t been disallowed it would have given us a cushion.