Peterhead 4, Berwick Rangers 3

BERWICK boss John Coughlin believes there could be mitigating circumstances for his players after they slipped to a third successive defeat.

BERWICK boss John Coughlin believes there could be mitigating circumstances for his players after they slipped to a third successive defeat.

The defence which conceded only one goal in seven games in the promotion run-in has leaked 11 in the last three matches.

Coughlin said: “I am disappointed because we were lacklustre and off the pace. We handed Peterhead the initiative and made it easy for them to score.

“We could be suffering from playing two games a week and the players have already figured in two which have gone to extra time. That is not easy for part-timers.’’

Rangers were a goal down after 14 minutes with Graeme Sharp punishing a defensive lapse.

In 25 minutes, Danny Swanson equalised but Martin Bavidge, a prolific marksman in recent years, restored the Peterhead lead.

Eight minutes into the second half Bavidge scored his second and a low drive gave him his hat-trick.

Scott Gemmill cut the leeway 12 minutes from time and later fired in a penalty, but the rally was too late.

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