the away started out for me at 9:30am as my dad came to collect me. I still can’t drive because of my back/leg/painkillers. My wife (Ruth) was going off to Loch Lomond for the great swim series a swim in open water followed by a run so I couldn’t bug her to drive. So my dad picked me and the dog up and we headed back to my parents house to leave the dog with my mum for the day. A bacon roll later and we were on the road. We arrived in Berwick about half twelve and then popped into see my in laws (I had left my flat key at home and my dad’s “flat key” want the key for the flat). They have a key so we got that, popped back to Spittal to the flat before venturing out to the promenade for ice cream and a bit of dolphin spotting.(no dolphins to be seen). I managed the walk to the promenade, a bit sore but the goal of an ice cream spurred me on. Ice cream dispatched (with the tradition ice cream headache for me) it was back to the car and off to the ground.
The wee bar at the ground is actually quite handy for folk like us arriving early, a bit of banter is always nice. I dropped off a St Andrews Berwick Rangers Supporters teddy which was given the name David. I hope this doesn’t cause me confusion in the future. While at the bar i received a message to ask if I could record the game, Alan the regular cameraman was off watching his son play cricket. So I trotted/hobbled off to get the camera. This worked out well anyway, it allowed my dad to gain early access to the chip van to get his chips and curry sauce before the turnstiles opened so he was first in line.....
well I was hopeful for this game, I had my bet on a Berwick win/draw so at least hopeful of a point. I don’t know why, Annan gave us a thumping in the cup and Cowdenbeath gave us a thumping last week. I guess I was hopeful of the team getting into gear and producing a performance like the one at the Stirling game (2nd half anyway). We did have chances in the game, a goal ruled offside that I’m not so sure about and a couple of decisions that went against us (Annan keeper punching our player and not the ball is one example). But at the end of the day it was still a 3-0 loss. I think it was down to the inexperience of the players so that is why I’m still hopeful. Hopeful that they will get it right in the near future. I have heard some fans criticise the team for being crap and I think this is harsh, yes we could be better no doubt but the club simply don’t have the money. That’s not the players fault or the managers. Robbie has done what he can to get players in with a reduced budget from previous seasons. Why didn’t we keep player x,y,z form last season? Well the sorry truth is we couldn’t afford to. The budget was cut so much we couldn’t keep the players we currently had so sadly they had to be moved on. Even some of the players that remained came back on reduced terms. This meant plundering the junior leagues and this is not as easy as people think, especially as a lot of the junior teams can pay more in players wages and offer less travel. I think people lose sight of the fact that Berwick are a part time team and train in Edinburgh. It’s quite a commitment training twice a week and playing every weekend. Chuck in a few midweek games for the cups and postponements and it can take it’s toll. True it’s the same for other clubs in the league but Berwick seem to be a bit of an outlier in this respect.
I managed the filming with a combination of kneeling on a chair whilst using a walking stick and the camera. My back was a bit stiff but my hamstring was giving me grief. Still job done. Just the manager interview to do and I could sit down while doing that. All filming done I dropped off the cameras memory card at Alan’s house so he could edit the footage and we were off home.
I won’t make the Albion game next weekend. I will be in Berwick for the food and beer festival. Really hoping for 3 points against Albion, they are yet to pick up any points and at this early stage of the season it could prove to be quite crucial at the end of the season.