lets start with the fact they we were stuffed 4-0 in the first leg of the relegation playoff. We’ve got no real chance of coming back from that.
muself, my dad and my friend Gordon were on our travels for this one. We arrived before 1pm to make sure we could get parked close so my dad would manage. We also wanted to get a seat which is a £2 supplement. Turns out there was only about 40 seats that weren’t reserved so it was prudent to arrive early. I bought pies and some juices from the fanzone and we sat in the car listening to the Aston Villa v West Brom game on the radio. We were there even before the Berwick team bus.
1955 attended the game so we were lucky to secure seats. We were in at 2pm as the gates opened. £10 a ticket, £5 for my dad and then you had to pay the additional £2 separately at the stand for a seat. It’s a nice enough ground, small but will do them well. Halftime draw tickets were purchased but we didn’t win the prize which was just under £1000, not bad!
Well what can I say, we were well beaten. We never looked like we were going to score. Cove put 4 passed us and 2 off the bar. Cove had 21 shots to our 3. That pretty much sums it up. I really had a bit of hope we would.come away with a draw or a 1-0 defeat that we could take back to Shielfield for the 2nd leg. We are pretty much done for now. I’ll still go down for that game, taking my dad with me. We have hospitality booked for the game along with my brother and his wife. We might be the only ones there....
well it’s a short away trip today, Cowdenbeath is about a 30 minute drive. I’ll pick up my dad and my friends Gordon and Ewan then head off to Central park. I’m optimistic for this game, God knows why. We have been put to the sword by Cowdenbeath this season a 4-0 defeat at Central Park followed by a 3-0 defeat at Shielfield. Cowdenbeath are close to us in the table and are a team we could take points from, we need to keep the points gap from Albion Rovers to stay away from the relegation spot. The result last week against Edinburgh City gave us a valuable and in my opinion an unexpected point, let’s hope we can build on the performance we had in the last 30 minutes or so of that game and get a result today.
Arrival at Central park
we arrived in plenty of time as usual and got parked. Then into the ground and a pie and a cup of tea (bovril for my dad). We had a good old chit chat with some Cowdenbeath fans and the stewards about the upcoming cup game against Rangers. There will be 4000+ at Central Park for that game, a far cry from the 300-400 that attend a league game. All hands on deck then but a massive payday for Cowdenbeath. £20 a ticket and half the gate from the cup games. So £40k if all tickets are full price, there will be concessions of course but with program sales and 50/50 draw tickets they should net at least £30k. Chit chat finished we headed for a seat in the stand for the main event.
Well it was another defeat and another sending off, we’ve now played Cowdenbeath 3 times this season. In those 3 games we have conceded 9 goals, scored 0 and picked up 5 red cards. Today’s red card was another stupid red for mouthing off at the referee. A complete lack of control and discipline to get a card like that, it a way to let down your team, manager and the fans. Yes tempers can rise but it’s easy enough to keep a lid on it and walk away, there is no way a mouthful towards the ref is going to result in anything but a booking. It was a tough game to watch, we did have spells where we had a go but overall not great. I have written a few things here and deleted them, I don’t want to grumble and single out players who were below par. I will say that Jordan Orru had a good game, full of running and effort and one of our best players. We need a solid leader in defence though (bring back Pat Scullion, all is forgiven... although he was subject to a load of abuse from a section of the Berwick fans) The first goal we conceded was a real lack of concentration though. We had a free kick that nobody was switched on for, the ball swung into the Cowdenbeath box to static Berwick players. Nobody was prepared. Cowdenbeath took the ball and drove forward and scored, it was deflating to see and really shouldn’t have happened. Overall possession was pretty even but Cowdenbeath had 15 shots to our 5. No point in having possession and doing nothing with it. Then we gave away a penalty for what looked like clipping the heels of the Cowdenbeath player. Albion Rovers managed a draw with Queenspark too, they were leading at one point so they are slowly reducing the gap. Next week home to Clyde. I don’t see us winning that one, my faith has gone for now. I will of course still go to the games, you have to don’t you. I think other than the Peterhead game away in a couple of weeks I’ll be at all the home and away fixtures for the rest of the season (weather permitting). As I’ve said before, league survival is the aim this season, as rubbish as that is it’s the reality for this season. We have 2 games still to play against Albion Rovers and they are looking pretty crucial for league survival now.
well, I picked up my dad and my friend Ewan and headed off to Broadwood. I took the wrong junction on the motorway and had a wee loop diversion but got there in plenty of time. We had a bit of a struggle getting into the ground, Clyde have gone cashless at the turnstile and the guy said they were using contactless. If your paying cash you have to go to another window to buy a ticket.
Then present that at the turnstile. Not great for the concessions, my dad doesn’t have a bank card. The card machine was broken anyway so we had to go to a different turnstile but we managed to get in.
well it was Ewan’s first Berwick game and it had everything in it! We were 3 up at halftime. An incredible performance. We seemed to take the chances that we would usually miss, Clyde however missed the chances I think they would usually score. Clyde had 3 off the woodwork in the first half. Berwick rode their luck a bit but still going in at halftime 3 up was some achievement. The second half however saw Berwick lose the lead. Clyde pulled it back. Berwick did have their chances and had shots off the woodwork. It was a oddly disappointing and satisfying game. I would have happily have left with a point but 3 up at halftime had all the fans expecting a win. Still 7 points out of the last 3 games is quite the achievement. The trialists are turning out to be a real find for Berwick, really turning the team around. Brennan pulled off another few good saves, had a bit of a dodgy looking kick out at one point but overall another very good performance from the young keeper. Then it was the customary detour and wrong turn on the way home. Peterhead at Shielfield next week. I think we could win that game if we can hold it together.
well that’s a game to forget about. Absolutely stuffed by Cowdenbeath. 4-0, 2 goals in each half. This wasn’t a game where we were desperately unlucky, it was a game where we were desperately poor. I had to get my wife to drive me to my folks where I would meet Gordon and then my dad would take us to the game. It’s about a 30 minute drive so not too bad. We arrived in plenty of time as usual. It was Gordon’s first trip to Central Park and his first Berwick game of the season, it might also be his last......
Not much to as really, well not much i want to say rather. For the first 20 minutes neither team really looked particularly comfortable but I though Berwick would settle down and we would net a couple of goals. Well that was a mistake. Cowdenbeath scored with a close range free header and then a few minutes later scored again. This time Berwick failed to clear the ball on the wing, seemingly forgetting the basics of football. The ball was put into the box where the defenders stood still looking at it and allowed Cowdenbeath to have 3 cracks at scoring. 2-0 half time. We all hoped that Robbie would really give them what for in the half time talk and the players would emerge ready to battle and claw back a draw. Well this never happened. The 3rd goal was proper school football. Every single Berwick player was in the box for a corner, every single one. I dont know what they were thinking, even if the cleared it (which the did) the ball would go to a Cowdenbeath player (which it did) and they would be on the attack. The clearance was a scramble in the box, too many bodies trying to get the ball. When it was cleared it fell to Scullion the ex Berwick defender who took his shot and it was deflected in. The Berwick keeper had no chance in such a crowded box. The fourth goal I can’t even remember, I’ve had to ask Gordon on Facebook messenger to remind me. He’ll be at home now getting his dinner and I can’t be bothered waiting for his reply to add it here*. A red card a piece rounds out the game as the clock ticks down to the final whistle to one of the poorest games I’ve seen Berwick play. The only highlight was collecting a shirt to frame for Northen Soul Kitchen to hang up in their cafe.
*The guy broke through the almost non-existent defence and curled it round Brennan inside the far post- Gordon.
well it was off to Broadwood for myself, my dad and tom for the final game of the season. We were also meeting up with our friend John (Clyde fan) who was making his own way there. We arrived just before 2pm, nice and early as usual and headed to the bar in the ground. We bumped into See (our injured striker) in the bar and I approached him for a bit of a chat. He’s a nice guy and seemed happy to talk to us about his recovery and the impact it’s had on him working. Driving is off limits for now, he has a shot of his dad’s car because it’s an automatic but it’s a bit too much of a struggle for the time being. After my dad’s interrogations he hobbled off to the changing room to the rest of the squad. He did say that he’s finding being at Berwick to be good for him, a good group of lads friendly and welcoming. That’s a nice thing to hear. We hung around to watch the end of the Liverpool v Stoke game then headed to the stand. It was Tom’s first time at Broadwood so another ground to add to the list.
well I was tasked with writing the match report for this game so my synopsis is a bit different than usual.
Saturday, April 28th, 2018 SPFL 2
CLYDE 1 BERWICK RANGERS 2
It was a game Clyde were needing to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, it didn’t turn out the way they hoped.
Clyde started on the attack forcing a corner in the first minute and a shot on goal. It was looking like the start of an assault for Berwick as Clyde looked for the big win they might require to take a playoff spot from Stenhousemuir. But it was Berwick who struck first, Jordan Orru’s Cross found Jack Hamilton who slotted home neatly with a left footed shot in the 7th minute.
Clyde continued to press but were now on the back foot looking for an equaliser. A few minutes later Barry Cuddihy (Clyde) worked his way forward to have a shot from a difficult angle but the shot went wide to the right. Clyde continued to press and on the 22 minute mark Mark Lamont (Clyde) had shot from outside the box but Brennan saved it comfortably. This was the start of a surge for Clyde who had a further 4 shots on goal in the next 10 minutes.
Berwick handled the pressure, The defence holding up well to the Clyde attack. Notman then picked up a yellow in the 33rd minute for a clumsy challenge. A few moments later Paul Willis found the space to have a shot from outside the box narrowly missing the top left corner. Clyde pressed further with David Goodwillie (Clyde) having a shot on the 48 minute mark narrowly missing the target.
Berwick continued to soak up the pressure and Robert Wilson should have made it 2 for Berwick on the 40 minute mark but his header from very close range missed to the right following a well taken Willis corner. In the last few minute of the first half Jack Cook picked up a yellow card and Willis had a further shot on goal that was saved by the Clyde keeper.
The second half started with Clyde still pressing, Berwick conceding 3 corners in the first 12 minutes under the Clyde attack. The Berwick defence were holding under the pressure until the 57th minute when Clyde equalised. Jack Boyle (Clyde) with a shot from close range finding the bottom left corner of the Berwick net.
Clyde’s celebrations were to be short lived however. In the 62nd minute Jack Hamilton headed home from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. The ball supplied by Jordan Orru with a well placed and weighted cross to make it 2 for Berwick.
Notman was then shown a straight red in the 73rd minute for a lunging tackle, reducing Berwick to 10 men. Not the ending that Notman would have wanted for his final game, leaving the club after 11 years, 13 goals and over 300 appearances. Martin McNiff (Clyde) and Jordan Orr both picking up yellow cards in the minutes to come.
Clyde pressed on with the extra man advantage winning 4 corners in what remained of the half. Berwick defence coped well with the loss of Notman and Steven Thomson worked his way into a close shot from a difficult angle that missed to the right.
3 minutes of added time passed and the final whistle blew. A good win for Berwick who despite not having as much possession or shots on goal looked the better team and came away with the 3 points.
Starting XI: Brennan, Fleming, Wilson, Todd, Cook, Notman, Willis, Phillips, Orru, Murrell (Lavery 75), Hamilton (Thomson 83). Subs: McCrorie, Simpson, Fairbain.
Possession Clyde 62% Berwick 38%
Shots on goal Clyde 16 Berwick 6
Shots on target Clyde 4 Berwick 3
Corners Clyde 9 Berwick 4
Fouls Clyde 3 Berwick 9
It was a long day on this Saturday. My day started by leaving the house at 7:30am to take my car for a service in Dunfermline then collecting my dad and Gordon on the way up to Montrose. I was under no illusion that we would get the 3 points from this game but you never know. I had secretly hoped we would, all fans do don’t they? We had never been to Montrose before but it was a relatively easy drive and it was a nice sunny spring day. We arrived at around 2pm and got parked in the car park just next to the ground.
the game and a bad injury.
the game wasn’t a bad one, we were under pressure for sure but we had a few decent chances, unfortunately we never manage the final touch. We had a goal chopped off for offside but I was unsure if it was offside or not. It wasn’t the hammering by the league leaders that some had predicted. The stats on the BBC and SKY sports are off for this game. It claime Berwick had 1 shot on goal. This simply wasn’t true. The biggest incident of the game was the tackle on the Berwick striker Ousman See. I never fully saw the tackle from my vs rage point but it was soon apparent the striker was in tremendous pain. Shouts from the field to call an ambulance quickly confirmed this. It was an excruciating wait for the striker as the ambulance took almost an hour to arrive. See was traested on the pitch by paramedics and then was taken off and into the waiting ambulance. The game then restarted after a short warm up.
See injury update.
The club released an update on the injury later in the evening. The injury has been confirmed as a broken Tibia and dislocated ankle. Terrible news for the lad. As I have pointed out before these guys are part time so his work will be effected. I don’t know what his job is, I’m hoping it’s something sympathetic to his injury. Not a zero hours contract or any such thing. Our thought are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery.
A mini bus is leaving Shielfield at 11:30am and i have a seat on it. I bumped into Graham Bell when walking from Spittal into Berwick and he asked if I was going to the game. i'm currently sitting outside Shielfield waiting. it's pouring with rain, snowing earlier and the speedway that was scheduled for tonight has been called off due to the weather. The game is still on at Annan, perhaps the weather is better there! it's over a 2 hour drive from here so it really could be sunshine but it's unlikely.
Well it was a 2 plus hour drive to Annan through the borders. The bus was driven by Dougie Watkin who regaled us with tales of the borders along the way. Sadly the windows were steamed up so i couldn’t actually see anything he was pointing out to us. Still he seemed to be having fun driving, cackling away every so often to himself..... the time seemed to pass quickly, we were chatting away about various things football and non football related. The weather was clearing up too. When we arrived Dougie dropped us off outside the ground and we went into the club bar. When in the ground I bought a steak pie for lunch and took my seat in the stand.
it was a bit of a frustrating game to be honest. A point is a point but we really should have pushed for 3. The team started with 1 striker and we were holding our own. The addition of another striker would have caused Annan real trouble and given us a real chance at 3 valuable points. Conceivably with the games left we could have caught Annan and finish above them in the table. That was not to be however. When the change came a striker for a striker was the change applied. The fans I was with weren’t happy. I think the team was selected and setup for a draw. Now a draw isn’t a bad result but I honestly think we could have won here. It’s a tough choice for a manager though. I’m sure he’s happy with 1 point rather than no points. But 3 would have been a real lift. Game over at 0-0 and back on the bus to dissect the game as all fans do. I’ll not be at the next home game on Tuesday night, I’m not even sure it will be on with the weather forecast. I’ll be down on Saturday for the Peterhead game. I’m cameraman that day and my dad will be my assistant.......
High hopes for this one, despite the odds at William hill being 6-1 for a win and 4-1 for a draw. Still I had a fiver on each to be sure...... The day started with a 5k parkrun in Craigtoun county park in St Andrews. It was cold and raining but off we went, Ruth running it, Pippa and I walking briskly. Parkrun finished it was back home to wash Pippa and warm up before picking up my dad to heading to Stenhousemuir to see the game. I had already emailed the club to reserve a parking space so my dad didn’t have far to walk, he’s getting old now, in his 80th rainy cold snowy winter.
Let’s cut to the chase, 4-0 and 2 red cards, not a good day at the office.....
well, we arrived at around 2pm, parked the car and headed to the club bar for a Diet Coke and to watch the end of the Burnley v Man City game (1-1). We bought some 50/50 halftime draw tickets (didn’t win) and a program with teamsheet (donation so gave the guy £2.50). At around 2:30pm we left and went into the ground. We had a pie (ok) and a Bovril (not had one for years, burnt the tip of my tongue and gave me indigestion) and took a seat. 12 minutes in and goal, sigh but we can pull it back, the team have been playing well recently. We had a good result against Cowdenbeath and a narrow defeat by Peterhead midweek with a few decisions against us that changed the game. 35 minutes and another goal but we made it to half time, a draw would suffice. 56 minutes in and a red card. Oh dear, not good and another goal in the 68th minute put the hopes for a draw out the window. Another goal 3 minutes later in the 71st minute was more than enough to make it a miserable day, another red card in the 81st minute was just the added bonus to make it quite a miserable game. The Stenhousemuir fans seemed to be enjoying themselves though. Back to the car and off home in the rain.
i went to pick up my dad and head off down the road for this one. It’s about a 30 minutes drive from my folks house so the easiest away game to get to. The rain had eased off and the sky was sunny. Not 30 minutes down the road it wasn’t! Rain sweeping in waves and gale force winds to add to the misery. We waited in the car for 10 minutes for the rain to stop and we made a break for it. We had an interesting time getting in. My dad is a consession so he went to the concession turnstile, I went to the regular one. I could see my dad through the ticket window at the other side. It was one booth with a window on either side. I paid and asked the girl to take the money for my dad. She said she couldn’t he was a consession and had to be paid at the consession turnstile...so I gave her the money to pass to my dad, who gave it back to pay for his ticket..... this seemed to satisfy her. We then bought some halftime draw tickets and then off for some tea. The tea was ok, my dad is a bovril man. The pies were awful. Not the worst thing I have had at a sporting event (the burger st the Fife Flyers ice arena still holds this title) but it wasn’t too pleasant. The pie was tepid on the outside with a cold middle, lovely. We found our “seats” and watched the rain sweep in.
The match report.
it was my job to write the match report for this game. my second one now, the first was the cup game against Motherwell at the start of the season.
Saturday, January 27th, 2018 SPFL 2 COWDENBEATH 1 BERWICK RANGERS 3
With last week’s home game postponed due to the weather it’s back on the road again for Berwick. New signings Ouzy See, Declan O’Kane, Jack Hamilton and Alex Petkov all featured in the starting lineup. With Captain Stevie Notman and Michael McKenna sitting this one out due to suspension.
Cowdenbeath also strengthened their squad during January, With 4 new signings, Aiden Malone, Ben Reilly, and David Cox all in the starting line up and Jordan Hornby starting on the bench.
Cowdenbeath started this game at the foot of the table having picked up only 9 points in 19 games, Berwick sitting in 7th having picked up 21 points in 19 games. It’s a game both teams wanted to win, Cowdenbeath desperately needing the points to lift themselves from the foot of the table and Berwick wanting to increase the gap from the bottom of the table.
The rain was intense and the wind set itself up to hamper play as it blustered around Central Park. Both teams struggling with the elements and the dugout taking it’s share as it blew over shortly before kickoff.
Berwick started the game brightly, In the fourth minute a good break down the right hand side saw Ouzy See have a good shot saved from the centre of the box. This resulted in three successive corners for Berwick but nothing was to come of them.
Berwick continued on the attack and a further shot from Stephen Thomson on the 9th minute was saved again by the Cowdenbeath keeper. David Syme for Cowdenbeath came close in the 17th minute with a header from the left hand side of the box. Berwick continued to press down the left hand side. The result of this producing an excellent cross by Gary Phillips into the box for Jack Hamilton to head home a very well worked goal on his debut for the club.
Berwick continued to push the attack and most of the game was played in midfield until another break for Berwick in the 37th minute saw another shot from Ouzy See saved by the Cowdenbeath keeper. The wind and the rain was still hampering play and Cowdenbeath had two further corners that resulted in nothing. Then in injury time of the first half Alex Petkov gave away a foul in the penalty area. Harvey Swann slotting home the penalty to bring Cowdenbeath level.
The second half started and it was the turn of Cowdenbeath to play into the wind and the rain. Berwick winning corners in the 48th minute and the 52nd minute as they pressed Cowdenbeath but both corners yielding no results. In the 40th minute Steven Thompson picked up a yellow card for a foul.
Then on the 54th minute Stephen Thomson let rip with a left footed shot from more than 30 yards away that flew in off the underside of the bar leaving the keeper with no chance to save it. Surely a contender for goal of the season.
Both teams continued to trade blows in midfield and both being hampered by the strong wind and the driving rain. In the 61st minute Cowdenbeath player Fraser Mullen was booked for a foul. Steven Thomson taking a shot from the free kick but put it over the bar.
Both teams continued to trade blows in the wet and blustery conditions then in the 76th minute Jamie Pyper picked up a yellow card for Cowdenbeath, Kieran Stewart for Berwick Rangers picking up a yellow card shortly afterwards in the 79th minute.
Then in the 82nd minute Stephen Thomson’s Cross found Ouzy See in the box who headed home from close range to make it 3-1 to Berwick. In injury time Berwick player Declan O’Kane had a shot from a direct free kick more than 35 yards out but it went high over the bar.
As the final whistle blew the Berwick fans who had been vocal throughout gave the players a standing ovation as they left the field of play.
Final Score Cowdenbeath 1 Berwick 3.
Berwick Rangers: McCrorie, Stewart, Fleming, Fairbairn, Phillips, Petkov, Thomson (Orru 90), O’Kane, Hamilton (Murrell 72), Lavery (Cook 86), See.
Well it’s Stirling Away tomorrow at Forthbank Stadium. I’ve never been before and I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be going with my dad and Gordon will be coming too. My brother might also come along. Now the biggest problem is whether on not it will actually be on, It’s been raining solidly for the last 2 days. It is an artificial pitch so it should be ok but if the temperature drops it could be frozen. Fingers crossed. As for the actual game and result who knows. Berwick have had a it of a rollercoaster season, a few lucky sneaky wins and draws have given us a reasonable amount of points and Robbie Horn has done well with this squad, they are playing with more conviction than I have seen for a while. Still changes are to be made. Rutherford has gone, Scullion has gone and it’s likely Thomson will be off too. There are also rumours that McKenna is being linked with a move to Arbroath. 3 loan players who are regulars in the squad are likely to move on at the end of January. It might be a case of holding on until the summer to build the squad that Robbie wants, but with very little money for players wages it will be difficult. Luckily Cowdenbeath have had a terrible season and we have a decent gap between us and them, with Edinburgh and Clye in-between. I’m still hoping for a win against Stirling.