Reds’ first visit to Shielfield Park ended in disappointment with two second half goals helping the Lowland League outfit to a deserved victory.
But whilst the travelling supporters were voicing their discontent at the second half fade-out, temporary boss, Steven Rudd, felt it was another good exercise for his depleted squad.
“We did alright in the first half and had reasonable control of the game but it became scrappy in the second and more end-to-end than we would have liked,” he said.
“It was a good workout overall with players getting ‘more minutes’ into their legs in a competitive encounter. I was disappointed not to score when the chances came our way and we need to be better in the final third, both creating and scoring.
“There were no injuries, which is a bonus, and we should be stronger on Tuesday with some of the absentees expected to return,” he concluded.
Rudd had to go into the second friendly without eight members of the squad which led to the bench being packed with teenagers and less than a handful of first team appearances between them.
Reds started and ended the first half brightly but squandered their best two opportunities. Steven Rigg broke through the inside right channel for the game’s first chance but Rangers’ goalkeeper, Andy McNeil, blocked the shot with his legs.
Then, seconds before the interval, an even better opportunity was wasted. A fortunate penalty was awarded when David Ferguson was adjudged to have handled Iyrwah Gooden’s cross but Reuben Jerome scuffed the spot-kick which was comfortably saved by McNeil.
There was a controversial moment when Rangers thought they had opened the scoring midway through the first half. Calum Smith met a fine cross from the right but his header was spectacularly cleared off the line by Rigg. Smith protested that the ball had crossed the line only to be booked by the Edinburgh official.
Smith was thwarted a second time when his overhead kick was held by Jim Atkinson who, in the next attack, then pushed away a well struck Grant Nelson shot.
At the other end, McNeil punched away a dangerous Kieran Charlton cross while Brad Hubbold’s low strike hit the foot of the upright before deflecting out of play.
The second half started in identical fashion to how the first period finished with referee Ryan Lee awarding a penalty to Berwick, seconds after the resumption. A bit of uncertainty between Atkinson and Tom Skinner led to Samuel Ompreon being upended and a spot-kick conceded.
The trialist took the penalty himself and, although it was well struck, Atkinson atoned for the original error by pulling off a fine save, diving to his left to push the ball to safety.
Rangers might have had a second penalty but the referee showed a bit of leniency and awarded the hosts a free kick an inch south of the eighteen yard line instead – Reds survived.
But another free-kick on the edge of the box produced the break through just after the hour mark. The impressive Scott-Taylor Mackenzie got the ball past the wall and into the top left hand corner of Atkinson’s net. A fine goal appreciated by the home support.
Reds rarely threatened in the second half although Brad Carroll met Hubbold’s cross to the far post but only succeeded in scooping the ball over the bar.
And Rangers grabbed their second in the final minute to put some gloss on the victory.
Ciaran Heeps and Ompreon combined well before the latter danced through a jaded rearguard to drive the ball into the net for a fine finish.
Berwick Rangers: McNeil (Swinton), Finnie, Ward, Cook, Ferguson, Mackenzie, Taylor, Nelson, Allan, Smith, Harris. Substitutes – Barr, Heeps, Trialist, Tait, Trialist and Trialist (all used).
Workington: Atkinson (Robinson), Clarke, Charlton, Wordsworth, Skinner (Howarth), Hubbold (Lightfoot L), Gooden (Houghton), Carroll (Burns), Jerome (Foster), Rigg, Lightfoot C (Booty).
Referee: Ryan Lee
Bookings: Ward, Smith (Berwick Rangers), Skinner, Carroll (Workington)