We’re doomed! Doomed I tell ya! But were not though are we? It was a dreadful result and the team had a dreadful day. Everything went wrong and it seemed like one of those days where nearly everybody’s off day came on the Saturday. The day started off well for me, a drive down to Berwick with no stops, roadworks, massive lorry convoys halting progress. We arrived in Ample time and had lunch. Off to Shielfield and pottered around handing out Quality... there was talk around the ground of a Berwick resurgence and how we could win this one. I was hopeful too but I’ve been here before and will be here again. Sadly Berwick are skint and it shows. It’s no coincidence we are at the bottom and Edinburgh and Peterhead are at the top end of the table. I’ve also written before about this so there’s no point in raking over the ashes, but we are what we are. There’s no massive investment looming and the town isn’t full of rich people. There’s also plenty of other causes that people invest their time and money in and there is only so much to go around.
Anyway we (myself, my dad and Gordon) had a quick chat with Sean Brennan and Shea Dowie before the game to organise the keeper sponsorship/support we are going to offer Shea. A great attitude from both the keepers and we are more than happy to help. I m hoping to catch up with them next week and nand over the donation and get the questions answered that we have for them.
well most fans had barely managed to get their bum in the seat before Peterhead scored. Ereick were just not on the ball. Wayward passes and event pass and tackle seemed to be a stretch. Brennan didn’t have the best of time in goals but the defence didn’t seem to help him. Back passes were bobbling, short, too long, making him constantly scramble under pressure. We just fell apart. The stats show 48% possession for Berwick which isn’t bad, but Peterhead let us have possession because they knew we were going to do nothing with it. By the 36th minute it was 3-0 and the game was over. Berwick were no real threat. 5 shots and 1 on target. Peterhead had 19 shots and 11 on target. We just never managed to get into gear and were always on the back foot. Next weeks game is against Queens Park at Shielfield. This is a game I now fully expect to win, they are not too far off us in the table and I’m hoping that Johnny will have Berwick raring to go. Let’s hope the team bounce back and get better organised and concentrate more on their passing and timing. It’s still very early days for a new manager and he’s trying to to get away from the long ball game and it will take time but hopefully we will get there.
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 the day started early as it seems to these days. Still it’s nice to take the dog for a walk on the beach and pop into BearClaw brewery in Spittal to let my dad have a look around and taste a couple of samples. Then we were off to Shielfield to see what was on the cards. I volunteered my services and 50/50 draw tickets was the job needing done. So off to the stand we went to get early access to the chipvan for lunch before the hungry hungry fans arrived. Fish and chips for me so Pippa (dog) could have a bit of fish and then off to sell tickets.
i barely got my bum in the seat before East Fife scored and then five minutes later another one! It looked like we were in for a proper hiding, East Fife had a few decent chances but we held on to half time. The second half was a different game, Berwick were confident, winning tackles and had several good chances, we scored one eleven minutes after the second half started and we really should have scored again. Chance after chance went begging, some overthought, some not though out at all. It was frustrating to watch but satisfying too. It turned into a decent game and I know a couple of East Fife fans were uneasy for the remainder of the second half. East Fife had their chances too but Berwick looked a threat. Unfortunately we never managed to convert any of the chances we had and we are now out of the Scottish cup. Still a good performance in the second half and a team with desire and putting in the effort.
well the day started out early, I left the house at 7:30am to pick up my dad and get down to Berwick in time for the Supporters Trust AGM at 11am. We arrived just after 10am giving us a bit of time to potter around before the meeting. The usual trust stuff at the meeting, accounts, memberships etc and a few interesting points. The club have cut their deficit from £80k last year to £40k and are looking at plans to turn the club from a plc to a community club. Johnny Havery gave a good talk about his direction for the club and what he expects. Former Berwick Rangers goalkeeper Gary O’Connor was the guest speaker and gave a great account of his time at Berwick and other clubs. His time at Doncaster Rovers was short lived though as the chairman was jailed after paying somebody to burn down the main stand to claim the insurance.....
AGM done it was now a time killing exercise for my dad and I. We shuffled around the club before heading out to the park, essentially to keep an eye for the chip van opening.... sausage and chips for my dad today, no curry! Food consumed I was off to the black and gold to sell some 50/50 draw tickets. before returning to the stand for the game.
Albion Rovers looked a decent enough team and put Berwick under a lot of pressure, we managed to soak it up with a bit of luck thrown in. Healey scored in the 33rd minute, a shot off the bar landed favourably in a congested box and he slotted the ball home. 1=0 and a great relief. Albion Rovers still looked dangerous though but a penalty in the 66th minute was enough to keep them at bay. Sean Brennan had a couple of great saves to keep a clean sheet and we secured e valuable points. Results elsewhere saw us move up a place in the table to 8th. A long way to go but steps in the right direction.
well it’s an away trip to Stirling, rain and gales forecast so fun for all. Gordon’s bailed on this one, something about rain, can’t be bothered etc. I’ll go and pick up my dad and attend this one. It is more a sense of duty rather than enjoyment. I have no confidence in a win here, not with the state the team is in with injuries and last weeks 3 red cards. Still it’s nice to spend some time with my dad so that’s something. I have my new thick gloves at the ready and thermals to put on for this one. Last week was freezing at Shielfield and the last time I was at Forthbank it was one of the coldest football games I had ever been at.
The match preview for this one mentions that two players from the development team are stepping up into the main team. Jack Murray and Matthew O’Connor step up into the squad having shown good form with the Reserves this season. Jack Murray is sponsored by St Andrews Berwick Rangers Supporters and we wish him all the best and hope he gets an opportunity to show the new boss he’s worthy of a place.
we arrived in plenty of time as usual despite the roadworks. The turnstiles were open so we went in. A bit of pre match chat before the game where I found out our assistant manager would be the central defender. Desperate times at Berwick Rangers...
We had our chances again but cannot convert them, passing where we should have a shot and a shot where we should be passing. Sean Brennan had a great game pulling off some fantastic saves, without him the score would have been far greater. A fantastic double save and a penalty save has him as my man of the match for sure. The penalty save did result in him “bringing down the striker” who ran in to attack the loose ball and the referee awarding a penalty against Brennan for it which was bizarre. The penalty this time was off the bar. But Brennan wasn’t booked for the challenge which I thought he was going to be, last man red card? Thankfully that never happened. A reasonable travelling support despite the weather and recent run of results. We eventually made it back home after a few detours because of the roadworks and missing a couple of turns I should have taken but still an enjoyable day out despite the results. There’s alway drama at a Berwick game. Elgin City next week but I’ll pass on that one. A bit too far for me at the minute.
Keeping this short because I can’t really be bothered. I was at this game myself, I’m glad my dad didn’t come. It was freezing for a start and it turned into a bit of a horror show. We had glimmers of hope but overall looking at the result and what happed it was a real kicker. We were beaten 3-0, one of the goals was a penalty and we received 3 red cards. The penalty wasn’t even linked to a red card incident. We were doing ok up to the first sending off, the wheels came off the bus then. A stupid red card for an off the ball incident that to be frank cost the team and started the downward spiral. What looked like a two footed lunge saw another red card and the final red was a second booking for needlessly pulling a shirt. With the team only having 4 subs on the bench due to injuries and 3 defenders now missing the next crucial game against Stirling were are looking in quite the sticky situation. The needless red cards cost us the game and could count us the next one too. The referee was pretty poor for both teams, quite erratic with his decisions either way, we lost our cool though and let the situation get the better of us. We are in a struggle for league survival, we have been for a number of seasons but this season is looking pretty bad just now. We can only be thankful for Albion Rovers struggle to keep us from the bottom spot. Every game against Albion will have to be played like a cup final, we need to take all 3 points from the remaining games against them and hope that their woes continue. If we slip into the lowland league we will be stuck there forever, it’s a tough league and getting tougher each season.
I’ll take my dad to the away game at Stirling next week (if he wants to go that is) but I’m under no illusion that we will come away with any points, my belief has crumbled in he Shielfield cold. I’ll try to persuade Gordon to come too but with the recent league results and the fact that the last time we were at Stirling we nearly froze to death it might be a hard sell.....
who knows what tomorrow will bring? I hope it’s not another hammering. We beat Gretna in the cup last week but tomorrow against Cowdenbeath will be a much greater test. Cowdenbeath have been improving and put Clyde out of the Scottish cup last week, a much stiffer test than Gretna. Gretna were not without their chances too, good clear cut chances that could have seen them through. All games have chances of course but we can’t be complacent. We desperately need the points to open up the gap from the bottom team Albion (sound familiar swap Albion for another team , see the last umpteen seasons for confirmation). New man in charge Johnny Harvey will be hoping to get the best from the squad and I hope they respond. The last game away to Cowdenbeath was a heavy defeate and really quit moral sapping for me. I was still on Tramadol at the time for my back and hamstring issues and was looking forward to a win and 3 points, a draw would go ok too I though before the game. Aargh! We got stuffed and were really poor on the day. My £10 free William Hill bet is riding on a Berwick win so complete faith there..
well I started off full of optimism, hoping for at least a draw against Edinburgh. I though we might score and hold on for a win.... I knew that that wouldn’t happen but I had hope. The day turned into a day that I’ll never forget in a while but not for any good reason. The day started out with Ruth diriving me to my folks so my dad could drive the two of us to the game. I’m still unable to drive. My dad and I arrived in Edinburgh just before 2pm and parked. I walked to the ground stopping or 4 times, my hamstring aching but it needs to be worked to get better. My dad was asked for Identification for his consession ticket (he’s 81). Still tickets bought it was a curry pie and tea (bovril for dad). It was then off to take a seat in the stand. The sun was shining and we sat with our pies and drinks watching the teams training. My hamstring was aching but I had a disposable Koolpack that was surprisingly good. We were now ready for kickoff.
Well we had some chances and we didn’t take them. For some reason there is no instinct to shoot but to hold the ball and pass. It’s getting a little frustrating to watch, especially as we will then either lose the ball or have a shot from a position that isn’t as good as the first one. Grrrr. We went in at the break 1-0 down but I didn’t think it was a mountain to climb. The second half saw a tackle on Jamie Todd that has my dad convinced that Todd has broken his leg. We were sitting in the stand close to the incident and we did hear what sounded like a snap. We are hoping it might just have been studs on shin pad or something else. The poor lad was stretchered off and an ambulance arrive so it’s not looking good. This is the point when Edinburgh scored the second goal. The game wasn’t stopped and Edinburgh played on and scored. Sean Brennan the Berwick keeper picked up a yellow card for “talking” to the ref about the decision.
David Burrel was in charge today, Robbie was absent for this game. David was sent to the dressing room during the second half too.
We then conceded a penalty for the third goal.
yep, halfway home and my phone is practically bouncing out of my pocket. Robbie Horn has tenedered his resignation and the Berwick board have accepted. My hamstring is in spasm at this point but I think it’s unrelated.... All the best Robbie. A nice guy and always approachable.
we travelled down on Friday afternoon for this game. It would be a fairly early start on the Saturday for me with the trust meeting, manager talk in and then the game and I wasn’t sure that travelling down early on the Saturday would be the best given that my hamstring/back combo is still not sorted.
The trust meeting went well, various discussions on how to support the club among the various things talked about and then the managers talk in. I enjoyed the talk in, it’s a good way for fans to ask questions and get a honest frank reply from the manager. All are welcome to the talk in and a fair few had turned up. A good selection of questions were asked and good answers returned. So may not like the answers but it lets fans know what’s going on and that a lot of hard work is involved in managing a football team on a part time basis. Talk in finished I was off to get the camera to record the game and get some lunch from the van in the ground,
well we were under the cosh with Clyde having most of the possession and a few good shots, one off the post but we had 2 in the net in the first half!. Sadly however this came tumbling down in the second half when Clyde put in 3. The real sickened was the goal in the 92nd minute that the Keeper Brennan couldn’t keep out despite 2 great saves. The ball fell to the Clyde man who stuck it home. Clyde had 61% possession in the game to our 31% and 15 shots on target to our 5. This of course prompted some “debate” on social media about the team/manager as you could imagine it would. Losing from 2-0 up is hard but Clude are a quality side and showed it in the second half.
As sad as it is all we can do is hope for league survival. It’s no coincidence that the teams with the least amount of money are propping up the bottom of the table. Yes the teams inexperience showed again but that all we can muster with the money we have. Again it’s not an excuse it’s a reason but we should all have realistic expectations. Is frustrating. I have travelled hundreds of miles this season and had little reward but I also believe Berwick are lucky to have a team playing at such a high level given the size and location of the town and being one of the poorer regions in the uk with the lowest wages. it’s slim pickings to raise funds from such an poor economic region. Edinburgh City and Cowdenbeath have had recent investment and we are losing out to them. Hard to compete with a team in Edinburgh offering £500 a week. We need to be realistic and offer support. Yes it’s tough but what else can be done? Sack the board? But who do we replace them with? There is no millionaire out there wanting to invest in Berwick and a football club is a money pit at this level.
well it was a 0-1 loss away at Peterhead last week. Another bit of a defensive error by all accounts but not a battering. I didn’t go to that game, I’m still struggling with my back and hamstring and it’s a bit too far for my dad to drive. I’ll be down on Saturday for the Clyde game though thanks to my wife driving me down. It will be a long day for me on Saturday but we are planning on going down on Friday night and staying over. The Supporters Trust are having a meeting in the morning and I’ll need to attend, I’ve missed the last couple because of the state I’m in. It’s been moved to an earlier time because the meet the manager event is on at Shielfield at 11:30am. The trust meeting has been moved to Shielfield so it’s easier to attend the managers event after. I’m also cameraman for the game so I’ll have to stay after the game and recorded the managers interview. I’ll need to make sure I’ve packed all the things I need, Painkillers, hamstring support, back support, packed lunch......
Who knows how the Clyde game will pan out, I still have hope of a win but Clyde are in the top half of the table and will be looking to maintain their playoff position and not let it slip away. Our defence is wobbly but perhaps the latest addition will be enough to pull them together. We are short on goals though but hopefully if the defence is sorted we can start moving the ball better and getting into a few more shooting positions. We really need to take our chances though, we have been a bit guilty of overthinking it at times and not having a shot at goal when we are in a position to do so.
Still when Saturday comes and all that........