This was a poor game of football, ultimately settled by a brilliant free-kick from Berwick's Jordan Sinclair - his second such strike already this season.
The game started very bitty with both sides battling for supremacy in the early stages of the match.
Under pressure, still Braves looked a threat. In the 19th minute, following a foul on Berwick’s Jack Wright by Jamie Watson, the subsequent free-kick was cleared and began a counter as Smith held up the ball bring Winters, Sinclair and Watson into the game. Though it didn’t come to a clear-cut chance, it showed that the home side could turn pressure into attack very quickly.
Just before the break, it was clear that the Braves were very much in the ascendancy. They had chances to go in front but couldn’t quite get the right connections in the box. Going direct, Andy Dowie found Smith with a long pass, the striker jinked past on-rushing defenders before firing a low cross, Berwick were let off the hook as there were no takers to capitalise on the chance.
Despite this, it was the visitors who got themselves the best chance of the half from a free kick, positioned centrally about thirty yards from goal. Jordan Sinclair’s audacious shot flew just wide of Alex Marshall’s goal. A grim foreshadowing for the Braves.
As the match restarted, the game was very much contested in midfield with neither side giving up much space to their opponent.
Soon began a series of chances for Berwick to take the lead - the first being for Lewis Allan following a cut-back from Kieran Somerville, but the former Hibs and Raith striker fluffed his lines.
With the visitors turning the screw, David Winters was drawn into making a foul on Jack Wright. Although the tackle was necessary, it gave Jordan Sinclair another opportunity to test Marshall with another free kick, this time from a closer range.
The chance was taken and the home side fell behind. The free kick was placed into the bottom left corner of Marshall’s net. The goal gave the visitors a foothold in the game, with no way back for the Braves.
Next week the Braves are up against Bo’ness United. Ricky Waddell will have positives to take from this match, as his side will still be looking to record their first points of the season.
Braves: Marshall; Reid, McDowall, Dowie, Forrester, Docherty, J. Guthrie, Sinclair, Watson (Daily, 72'), Winters, Smith
Subs: Chardon, P. Reid, C. Guthrie
Berwick Rangers: Hodge; Reid, Finnie, Cook; Somerville (Forster, 89'), E. Smith, Sinclair, Daniel; Wright (Nelson, 72'); C. Smith, Allan (D. Purves, 89')
Subs: McNeil, J. Purves, D. Smith, L. Smith
Written by Luke Walker.