well it's an away trip to Cowdenbeath in league 2. Berwick are now managerless after Coughlin's departure. Cowdenbeath are a team we need to beat, they are always towards the bottom as are Berwick so we need the points to open a gap. I don't know how the season is going to pan out, I was critical of Coughlin's one striker policy and the way the team seemed to lack any positioning, especially at corners. I've never seen a team that has every player in the box for an opposition corner. This tactic puts the defence under incredible pressure, players seem to be tripping over each other and when the ball is cleared it's straight to an opposition player and the bell comes straight back again. I'm hoping that this is something the new manager will resolve.
Pie and bovril anyone?
A recent post on pieandbovril.com sums up some of the tactical changes that had fans puzzled.
"Amazed that I have yet to hear of Coughlin's resignation. To screw up team selection as bad as he did last week was bad enough, but to get it worse AND compound it with some comical substitutions this week, is just excruciating and pathetic.
Left back at centre-half today (and a crap left back at that). Shock horror -gives away 2 goals that would shame a pissed up Sunday team. Right back goes off injured - bench choc full of defenders - hey, let's bring on a 17 year old midfielder, and move an experienced midfielder to right back.
Hmmm. Not working. Let's stare at some plans for 10 minutes. I know! Take off our only attacker - and our best player on the day - and change the right back again by swapping him for a centre-half!
Similar odd tactics were deployed in the last game of the season when we wer up 2-0 against Edinburgh City. It was a game we won 3-2 but the way the team changed for the second half was very frustrating. The team lost shape and in the last 15 minutes panic ensued. Berwick were "only" needing a draw or a win but it was a horrible position to be in.
I've no doubt that Coughlin was a nice man, his post match interviews came across well and he seemed nice enough. Sadly the second division is a tough league, especially for teams that don't seem to have any money. But it's the results on the pitch that count. If we had been beaten with 2 strikers and better positioning the fans would still grumble but his tactics that never worked last season were too much to most fans this season.
I won't be at the game anyway!
Cowdenbeath is about 30 miles away from my house, a 45 minute journey but I won't be attending this game. It's not in protest or for any such reason. My wife Ruth is taking part in the Great Scottish Swim Aquathon at Loch Lomond and I shall be there to offer my support (and drive) but as always I'll be looking out for the result. I'll be at the Speedway watching the Caledonian Riders Championship on the Friday night (in Armadale) and off out to watch the Fife Flyers on the Sunday (in Kirkcaldy).
its Berwick v Annan! I'm going down to Berwick with my dad for this one.Tom was coming too but after receiving a phone call on Friday afternoon about the delivery of his new shed on the Saturday he's staying at home. It will be an early start, leave the house at about 7:30am and down to Berwick for a Trust meeting at 11am. I also need to drop some stuff off at the food bank in Berwick. I don't know what to expect from this game, a 3-1 win on the opening day followed by a 4-0 defeat in the second league game away to Stirling. Then there was the 2-0 away win in the IRN BRU cup against Kilmarnock colts. Ladbrokes have both teams at 29/20 for the win.
The next home game I'll get to is the 21st of October against Montrose. There is only one other home fixture before that on the 16th of September. It that's my dad's 80th birthday party so I'll won't be able to go to that one. I'm planning a trip to Stenhousemuir on the 23rd of September with my dad, a wee "Birthday treat" for him...... there are another couple of away games that could have been on the cards, Cowdenbeath on the 26th of August and Edinburgh City on the 9th of September but these clash with other commitments.
We arrived at about 10am and dropped off our stuff at the foodbank, it was gratefully accepted. Next stop the flat in Spittal. Cup of tea here, a paper for my dad and I was off to the Trust meeting, my dad stayed in the flat for a bit then popped down to the beach to read his paper.
The meeting went well, usual trust items. I mentioned Gordon Baxters idea of a stall at the seaside festival like the Berwick Bandits speedway team had. The club could have one selling merchandise and the Trust could have one highlighting the trust and have a tombola etc. I also raised Gordon's thoughts on a scoreboard and it could be shared with the Bandits and perhaps have a sponsor to fund it. I've also been tasked with producing a poster to advertise the IRN BRU cup game against Queen of the South on the 2nd of September. Meeting done it's back to the flat to get the old boy and off for lunch.
The Cobbled Yard Hotel.
well what do you expect when it's 3 courses for £7:50......... a menu (sample menu in picture) and hotel restaurant from the 70's! Starters were soup of the day or fruit juice. We both opted for the mystery soup, a mystery because we asked twice what it was and never got a response. Turns out it was a sort of vegetable soup with pasta in it, Huge bits of penne pasta. I had fish next, it was good enough, my dad had egg and chips. He wanted Sausage, egg and chips but when we ordered he couldn't remember what the menu said so he asked for the egg and chips on the menu and it came as egg and chips. Although the menu does state strictly no substitutions or alterations... next up pudding, I had the bread and butter pudding with fresh cream, the kind of fresh cream that comes from an aerosol can. It was ok. My dad had the ice cream with fresh fruit cocktail,fresh from the can. The meal was ok just not we were expecting. The place had a odd feel , very old fashioned. Fawlty towers and rising damp type of feeling. This feeling continue as I nipped to the bathroom to be confronted with a sign telling me to go to the bar to collect the key for access..... it was an odd place and we were in and out in about 20 minutes! So it was a quick stop at the garden centre and off to the game.
well what a start, goal in a about five minutes and we were off to a flying start, sadly this made Annan angry and they gave us a thrashing 5-1. We left when the 5th goal (penalty) went in, its a 112 mile journey home so not worth hanging about. That's about all I have to say.
So it's the opening game of the season, Berwick at home to Clyde. Clyde are favourites to win this game but we'll see. It can be difficult to call in League 2, especially the first game. Berwick looked good in their last game, a 1-0 loss to Motherwell in the Betfred cup, they certainly didn't look outclassed by the Premier league team. I'll be travelling down on the Saturday morning and picking up Gordon at my parents house. We will be staying the night down in Berwick so we will visit a few pubs. I'm really hoping for a win, I'm back to being optimistic about this season but i don't know why. Still let's see how it goes.
at the time of writing its 22:48. I'm back in the flat in Spittal watching the English football highlights on channel 5+1. The day started arriving in Berwick at around 11ish. Gordon went to Majestic wine to stock up and spend a voucher he had. We then went to the flat and off out to the town. We had a pint in the Harrow and lunch and a beer in Gasparrows. A pint in the Angel inn and then the game. After the game it was a pint in the JB lounge at Shielfield and then back to the flat to drop off my new Berwick Rangers rain jacket and have a cup of tea, after this it was back out to the Brown bear for a pint, pie,mash and pease before heading to the curfew for a cherry beer. Next stop the Barrels for a pint and the walk back to Spittal. We stopped at the Angel inn for another pint and back to the flat for a cuppa. Phew. A few nice pictures on this wander and 16.6km walked.
well what a game! 3-1 victory to Berwick! Clyde scored in the 23rd minute and we equalised just before half time. Clyde looked dangerous throughout. Then against the run of play we scored another in the 83rd minute and this really lifted the team, a 3rd goal in the 89th minute sealed all 3 points and we were top of the league!