I travelled down on the Friday for this one, I’ll be down for the week so no dad with me. He’s had a pretty bad cold so he wouldn’t be allowed out anyway. He was really bad on Christmas Eve and we had to go down and sit with him fo a few hours until his fever broke. Ruth and I went down on Christmas Day and took him and my mum Christmas dinner, they were going to come to us but understandably they weren’t going to come. My dad was much much better, sat up for a couple of hours and managed his prawn cocktail and some Christmas dinner. He’s now locked up at home under my mother’s watchful eye.
I was unsure it the game would be on, the rain hammered down as we travelled from Fife, my windscreen wipers were at maximum from the Queensferry Crossing to just outside Berwick, quite a wind too. But the game was on.
A trust meeting first though. We will need to get some articles for the upcoming Trust magazine and a few thoughts on raising funds. All levels of funds from dinners to smaller regular events/activities.
I was in hospitality for this game, a booking for 20 people for a 60th birthday party. Followed by a surprise party. I baked a cake and some cupcakes for the party.
We met in the Blenheim in Spittal first, pie and chips organised, then to the game, pie agh halftime for those who wanted it then a pie and peas was arranged for after the game! A 3 pie day for some. I resisted the 3 pie affair though just the 1 for me!
Ive also found myself in the position of writing a match report. Something that can be used in the local paper. Apparently if something is submitted it will be printed. I wrote a few a couple of seasons ago but I think I’ll get away with shorter reports than before, I’ve seen the local paper. They lift “stories” and pictures from Facebook and Twitter and cobble them together.
Berwick were in need of the points as they faced Caledonian Braves at Shielfield park. The previous encounter with the Braves earlier in the season ended in a 2-2 draw. A late strike from the Braves securing a point in that encounter. Berwick sitting in the lower half of the table would welcome 3 points.
It’s been a tough season as Berwick adjust to life in the lowland league. Coming into the game Berwick had agreed the transfer of Daryl Healy and Ricky Miller to lowland league rivals East Kilbride.
Despite the player transfers Berwick played well and secured the vital 3 points required. Striker Yaw Osei-Opoku scoring the crucial goal in the first half, one on one with the keeper he slotted the ball home into the bottom right corner.
Caledonian Braves weren’t without threat and had a few good chances but the young Berwick defence who many though would be missing the support from recent transfer Ricky Miller handled it well. The Berwick midfield held up well and Lewis Barr was a constant threat to the Caledonian Braves throughout the afternoon.
Keeper Sean Brennan pulled off some good stops in goal to keep the Braves at bay as Berwick went on to end the game 1-0 victors.
Next up is another home game at Shielfield on Saturday the 4th of January as Berwick take on Gals Fairydean Rovers. Kickoff 3pm.
St Andrews Berwick Rangers Supporters would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It’s been a difficult time off and on the pitch but hopefully things can start to progress. Times ahead will be tough but there alway many worse off than most of us.
St Andrews Berwick Rangers Supporters have made several donations this festive period, Help the Homeless in Glasgow, Several shoeboxes for the Berwick shoebox appeal and a donation to the people’s kitchen in Newcastle to name a few. Thanks to all who have contributed and a Merry Christmas to you all.
A small donation from St Andrews Berwick Rangers Supporters to The people’s kitchen of £50 to help those less fortunate than ourself.
“The People's Kitchen support hundreds of friends across the city every day.
At Christmas, your fiver donation will mean that friends can enjoy their dinner in good company.
Back to Forthbank, the home of Stirling Albion and Stirling University and in the top few “coldest I’ve been” football grounds. I’ll be takin my friended Gordon and perhaps my dad if I can track him down. I wasn’t going to go to this one, Christmas party at work last night but I only had a couple of pints be fore the drowsy ness of a long day set in so I substituted beer for Spanish ham, pizza and waffles...... first thing to do today’s though is head off back to work to pick up the car. We got a taxi home last night, 6 mile trip and £25! (Well £23.45. But keep the change). I’m sure the last time I got a taxi it was about a tenner. That may have been about 15 years ago though....
A lift into work to collect the car and tidy up a bit before heading home and getting an all day breakfast at the cafe in the village starts the day off. I’ll meet Gordon at my folks about 1pm and head to Stirling. It should only take just over an hour so we should be there in plenty of time. There’s ample parking at Forthbank stadium and I would expect the crowd to be less than a Stirling Albion game.
So my dad wasn’t allowed out. Too cold for him so my mum said. To be fair it was cold and it got colder as the game went on. The rain was pretty torrential on the drive to and from the game, a bit of sleet on the way back too along with a mystery tour because I was following the Satnav and missed a few junctions......
we had the chances but again we failed to take them. It’s annoyingly frustrating. Take a bloody shot. Stop pissing about on the edge of the box or down by the corner flag. A bit of direct play is required. We need a striker. Yaw isn’t cutting it. I don’t like to criticise but he’s simply not good enough, his positioning is dreadful, his first touch isn’t improving and his shooting (when he dose) is pretty woeful. Why is he standing on the touch line inside his own half? Get up the bloody front. Why are you taking throw ins? Get up the bloody front. Why are you on the wing crossing a ball in? Get up the bloody front! I think you get the picture here. If you think you’ve been fouled but the ref doesn’t think so and play is not stopped get on your bloody feet and chase the game. Don’t sit on your ass on the grass looking around, nothing’s going to happen. I honestly could have played better at his age, I didn’t take football seriously but at least I could hit the ruddy goals. It’s too late now though, I’m too old and I’m still in recovery from my back injury so Berwick will never see the majesty of “the rubber hammer” as they used to call me.... oh and I could pass a ball too, something that I never though was actually a skill but it turns out it’s actually something that people struggle with. Yes I was playing at a lower level but putting the ball into the box doesn’t change, I always put it where it was to go, never hammered over the top past the opposite corner flag or hoofed upfront a like a cannonball that nobody had a chance to collect. I was predominantly a left back too!
The really frustrating thing is that we pretty much dominated but done nothing with it. Stirling won a free kick and slung it into the box and within the congestion at the rear post the ball was in the net. We have some decent players but I fear they will now start giving up, it must be frustrating for them too. Lewis Barr put in a great shift again. I think he should be given a chance upfront a striker. I think he would work well there given the chance, what we currently have isn’t working and I don’t think anybody would complain if he was moved upfront for a game or two. Another narrow defeat full of promise but no points.
Civil service strollers next week and I doubt I’ll go. It going to be cold and the prospect of navigating Edinburgh on the last weekend before Christmas doesn’t appeal to me. I’m not a city boy and hate driving in them. There are also very few seats (for my dad) and the seats often have an obstructed view because they are at ground level and people stand at the railing in front of them (from the internet). I also don’t expect Berwick to beat them. I will be at the following two games that are both at home though but my dad will be at home for these two. His next game (weather permitting) will probably be Berwick v East Kilbride on the 25th of January.
A short one this week, busy weekend wrapping up what seems like a million Christmas presents and all the running about that Christmas drops on the doorstep
It was a. trip down with my dad for this game with a boot full of Christmas presents for my wife’s family who are in Berwick. A Santa run for the day. Once that was sorted it was to Foulis in Tweedmouth for the all day breakfast before heading to Shielfield. Hospitality was booked for this game but I would also be cameraman too. Alan doesn’t get anywhere near enough credit for this. Recording the game takes you out of it somewhat, not able to interact with anybody really. Watching. The game on a tiny screen. He then does the editing too. So thanks Alan for all the effort. It’s very much appreciated.
Berwick are fielding a smaller pool of players at the moment due to various injuries but had the ex Berwick player Darren Smith was in the squad as a trialist. Manager Ian Little commented “We are delighted to have brought Darren back to Berwick. With his experience and calmness on the pitch we think he will be an outstanding addition to help our young squad. He will also play a big part in our backroom staff and will certainly bring a lot of qualities to the club”. Gretna took the lead in the first half after a defensive mixup saw Berwick’s keeper fumble the shot from the Gretna number 9 to make it 1-0. Berwick equalised in the first half when a penalty for handball was confidently dispatched by Ricky Miller to level the game. Halftime 1-1.
Berwick dominated the second half pushing for the win and creating many chances that they were unable to convert. Gretna threatened on occasion but the Berwick defence soaked up the pressure.
Darren Smiths introduction at halftime seemed to be the experience the young Berwick squad were needing and Smith scored the winner with a looping ball into the top corner after cutting inside and beating two players to secure 3 valuable points for Berwick. Smith signed for the club after the game to become a Berwick player once more having left Berwick in 2005.
Full time 2-1.
Berwick next opponents will be an away game to Stirling University.
It was a trip down of the Friday for this one. My dad tucked up at home. I was unsure if the game would go ahead anyway, it was so cold. My wife was due to be marshalling a race for Tweed striders on the Sunday morning so were we’re planning on staying over anyway. This was a fixture free Saturday but the BSC game was a midweek postponement. I had various things to do in Berwick, visit the foodbank to drop off some selection boxes (40 of them), visit B.A.R.K to drop stuff off there (they were shut but I’ll try next week) and also dropping off some money for Berwick Cancer cars. I also picked up a barrel of beer from Bear Claw brewery for a Christmas party at work. A busy weekend.
I was expecting a hiding, damage limitation but we actually put up a decent performance. Sadly we still lost though and we are hovering around the bottom of the table. A place we don’t need to be. The game started with the ref requesting a kit change. The BSC fan I was talking to couldn’t understand what the ref was doing requesting a change of kits. BSC playing in their home kit (yellow) and Berwick in their away kit (green) was requested. There would have been no clash with BSC in Blue (their away) or yellow (their home) and Berwick in Black and Gold as far as I could see.
Anyway, kickoff time and in the 13th minute we have a straight red card. Puzzled faces all round, even the BSC fans were left wondering what happened. The ref had been ok up to that point, missed a few things that others might have picked up but that’s the nature of the game. We held on to end the half 0-0 and we put in a reasonable show to be fair. We are not where we want to be, that’s a given but we looked better than last week.
So the next step after a red card is usually for Berwick to give away a penalty (not related to the red card I might add) and we did just that. BSC score and we were left chasing the game. The ref was losing it a bit now though, decisions sliding on both sides. The BSC manager having a screaming match about an offside decision. The ball hit the ref twice and he never halted play, once took a deflection that lead to a dangerous BSC attack. BSC had a man sent off for dissent with about 10 minutes to go. A double yellow. Quite harsh I felt (although happy to see it as a Berwick fan to perhaps give us a chance at an equaliser). The ref couldn’t get the second yellow out of his pocket quickly enough.
Again points dropped though, another week of almost but almost doesn’t put points on the board. Next up Gretna 2008 at Shielfield. Gretna are sitting below us on 6 points to our 12. Surely we must add another 3 point on Saturday. The game should go ahead as the temperature is rising throughout the coming week and no rain is forecast.
I’ll be in Hospitality for that game and also on cameraman duties, so it will be a quick cup of tea at halftime for me then.