well we are pretty much destined for the playoffs. Albion are now 5 points in front and I can’t see us beating them on Saturday. I’ve tried to stay positive but realistically Albion are a better team. Even a point for them on Saturday will see us in the playoff spot. If we win we are still 2 points behind so we would have to beat Elgin and hope Annan beat Albion, a draw would see Albion through on goal difference. I won’t be heading to Elgin for the final game, I’ll be heading to Berwick for the Curfew beer festival instead. Elgin is a long trip and if it’s a pointless game I’m not travelling, especially if I have the playoff games to get to.
The player awards are usually held after the last home game of the season. These have been put off to the home playoff date. So if the club think we are heading for the playoffs my lack of optimism is confirmed.
going to this game out of a sense of loyalty? Support? God knows. I’m really not feeling it. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the relegation playoffs. I can’t se us getting any points away to Clyde. William Hill have us at 25-1 so not much faith from the bookies for this game either. Next weeks Albion game is what people are still talking about, cup final etc. Well let’s see shall we. I want to be positive but the run of form we have been on doesn’t merit it. I’ll be at the game by myself today too, my dad is away in Berwick for a week with my mum having a holiday! Gordon is saving himself for the Albion game next week, Ewan is in Poland and Tom is in South Africa. I spent the morning in Cupar at the farmers market and taking the dog for a walk around the park in preparation for the game......
i arrive early as usual. Soaking up the atmosphere, getting ready for the main event. (or getting a cup of tea as its usually know). It’s a lovely sunny day and I’m ready for football.
Well I was expecting nothing from this game, the last time I was here it was 3-3. We were up 3-0 at halftime too on that occasion and our recent form has been very poor.
Well it was another horror show. We were lucky to be 1-0 down at half time. I’m not going to write anymore about the game. I can’t be bothered. Albion best Edinburgh 3-2 as well so they are 5 points ahead of us.
It’s a sunny evening and I’m going to take the dog for a walk down the woods. I’m glad my dad wasn’t there to see that game. He’s enjoying the sunshine down in Berwick watching the dolphins off Spittal prom. We will be down for the Albion game next week but we won’t be travelling to Elgin. I’ve already covered over 5000 miles watchin Berwick this season. The playoffs are pretty much certain now too. So I’ll miss a 50th Birthday party and the Fife show to attend them. It better be bloody well worth it.
well this blog post is starting on a Thursday night. I’ll be at the game on Saturday and my dad will be there too. But what oh what will happen. I keep thinking a point, no three. But god knows why. Our form is terrible and the hiding at Annan last Saturday was just awful. I didn’t attend that game, my dad having a terrible cold and on penicillin and my hamstring playing up it wasn’t a trip I was going to make. I have made nearly all home games and a fair chunk of away games this season though and with this seasons performances I think I’ve put my shifts in.
So we host Queen’s Park and Albion are away to Peterhead. A chance for points. A chance.....
I’m really hoping we bounce back from the Annan defeat with confidence and fight. We really really need a win, we can’t rely on Albion and certainly can’t rely on beating them at Shielfield. It’s an absolutely torturous time as a Berwick fan. Yes it’s only football etc but people really do become invested in it, I know I am.
A few weeks ago I was looking at who might be coming down from league 1, now I’m looking at Lowland league teams. It’s not a nice spot to be in and I really hope we can turn it around and avoid the playoffs. It really has been a horror season, 19 points so far with 4 games to go. Having chatted to a few fans over the last few weeks there’s a real mixed bag opinions. Mostly it seems to be doom and gloom, understandable give our performance. The odd ray of hope form a small number of fans. We will beat Albion (will we?) and we will win the playoffs easily if we are in them (will we?). Time will tell but it’s not a great position to be in. A nail biting few weeks hoping for league survival.
Friday night and a call for support from the club. Let’s hope the business can be done on the pitch.
With four games to go of the current season and 12 points to play for, we find ourselves one point adrift at the bottom of League Two.
With two of those matches to come at Shielfield Park, starting tomorrow (13th April) with the visit of Queen’s Park, the players, staff and Board of Berwick Rangers ask that our loyal supporters turn out in large numbers to give noisy and vocal encouragement to our efforts.
We all appreciate just how important our task is, and we’ll be giving our all to preserve our position in the SPFL. Kick off is 3.00 pm.#backtheblackandgold
The big day.
Turnstile duty for me today so I’ll miss the first 15 minutes of the game but the club need help. I have a season ticket and I’ve never used it this season, I doubt I will now. There are always jobs to do. I’ll still buy my season ticket next season though, the club really need the money. No dad with me on this trip, he’s still unwell and my mum is keeping him at home. She’s not taking any chances. I’ll take him to Clyde next week if he’s better.
This is going to be brief. It wasn’t a good day at the office.
Well my turnstile duty over I sat down and that was when the first goal went in. I sat for a few more minutes and decided to go to the ducket, get s bit of sunshine on my face. Another penalty just before half time and that was that. I couldn’t see a way back. Queen’s park added a third just to seal the deal. Then Albion Rovers equalised in the 92nd minute against Peterhead to put 2 points between us. I think we are heading for the playoffs. Last 3 games are Clyde away, Albion at home and Elgin away. I’m still undecided about going to Elgin. If we are in the playoff spot by that game I’ll not bother, it’s a long trip and I’ll be going to both playoff games. (Although I’ll be missing a 50th birthday party on the first leg and the Fife show on the second). i really can’t be bothered adding anymore to this. It is what it is.
The interesting thing that happened though was meeting a group of students who were doing a study on border towns. It turns out they were from St Andrews university! Small world.
Oh and winning a huge fruit basket in a raffle in Spittal!
my wife and I were in Berwick for the week so my dad wasn’t with us. The day started with a trip to Alnwick for parkrun at 9am. I didn’t run, my back and leg aren’t up to it at the moment. It was a lovely sunny day and left plenty of time to get back to Berwick for the fans forum at 11:30am.
there was a reasonable number of people in attendance and I thought it went quite well. John Bell gave a clear and concise picture of where we are financially and where we need to be. There was a run through of the plan we need to get there which seemed completely reasonable to me. There were a few grumbles in the room but that has to be expected. John did ask for help from the fans to promote the club, create revenue streams, ask your employer if they want to advertise or get involved in some way. A few people scoffed at this but it is a reasonable idea. Berwick are a part time club that relies heavily on volunteers and any further help that can be sourced should be. We are fans of the club so why wouldn’t we want to help if we can? This doesn’t mean that the board are only relying on the fans (although a few seemed to take that away as what was happening). John moved on to the threat of relegation. If we finish bottom there is still the playoffs for a chance of survival. We don’t want to go into the Lowland league but it was pointed out that we would survive as a club. The financial implications were pointed out and all was reasonable. It was nice to actually see facts and figures rather than being in the dsrk wondering what is going on with your football club. Again a few grumbles and later on I was asked by somebody if John had actually said that we would be better off in the Lowland league. No that’s not what he said but it’s incredible what some people took away from the presentation. Some seemed to be there only to grumble. He’s times are tough but the slide started a decade ago.
I’ll just add a bit here, a bit of commentary from Facebook after I posted this.
For the first season in the Lowland league there is a parachute payment and still access to the same rounds of the 3 cups. Gate receipts would probably go down. Not as many home fans but crucially not as many away fans. Lowland league fans don’t seem to travel.
the first season would be the season we would need to get out of the Lowland league, it’s the best opportunity. After that it would be a struggle but the club wouldn’t collapse as a lot of people seem to think it would. It wouldn’t be the same but it wouldn’t vanish.
People forget just how tough it is to keep a team running. Berwick is 60 miles from Newcastle and 60 miles from Edinburgh (approx). It’s a town out on its own. Population 12,043. As a comparison St. Andrews has a population of 16,801 with other towns nearby. (This comparison is for my friend I was talking to that lived in St Andrews while at University) It’s really quite an achievement to have a team at such a level and for so long.
But it might not come to that anyway. We can still finish above Albion, they are only a point in front of us and we still have to play them. Then if we did finish bottom it’s a two legged playoff. Still plenty of chances to retain our current league status. It’s not ideal but we have all the opportunity we need.
Johnny Harvey started as expected, talk of effort and commitment from the squad. The usual that is now common in his post match interviews. I didn’t expect anything else to be honest, he was hardly going to come out and slate individually players or bemoan the state of the squad etc. There would be no point in that, nothing constructive would come of it. Interesting points that were mentioned were based around attracting players. W have a low budget and it’s hard to compete, that’s a know fact and isn’t going to change drastically. Johnny did mention that the Cowdenbeath keeper we have on loan is the third keeper at Cowdenbeath and he’s on 50% more money than our keepers are. We’ve also lost out on players that have been offered better wages due to various other reasons, location being one of the major ones.
So a planned shake up is going to be tried to attract players. Training will be moved towards central Edinburgh, this is to make it easier for those in the central belt/Fife to attend. Training can be spit at various sites, Edinburgh, Berwick and somewhere in the North East of England. The idea is that Bereick can tap into the players in the North East that are put off by travelling long distances for training twice a week. These players can train with a club near them and once a fortnight (not set in stone) can travel to a full training session with the full squad.
This isn’t ideal, but it’s seen as a way to tap into the large pool of players in the Nort East that other clubs in our league cannot access due to their distance. It may sound a little mad but something has to change otherwise Berwick will be outbid for players by the other clubs in the Central/Lothian/Fife areas who have more money. Even clubs like Kelty Hearts can offer more money due to their setup, an investor and low running costs. A few scoffed at this but something has to change otherwise Berwick will slowly slip away. It’s an interesting plan and hopefully it will yield results.
Next up the game.
Well I’ll keep it short, after 14 minutes we were a goal down. The defence static as the ball came into the box and it was in the back of the net. We were down by 2 goals by the 31st minute and then after that it was a training session for Edinburgh. The usual performance I’ve come to expect. Berwick having 32% possession to Edinburgh’s 68%. Shots on goal? Edinburgh 16 with 8 on target, Berwick 4 shots with 0 on target. We also picked up 3 yellow cards to Edinburgh’s 1.
Albion were beaten by Clyde so no further gain for them but it was a single goal in the 79th minute that saw them off. Next up Annan away and for Albion a home game against Queen’s Park. 5 games left to the end of the season.
Well after an unexpected victory at Shielfield against table toppers Peterhead on Tuesday night we find ourselves travelling to Stirling Albion in a better position than we thought we might be in. We now have a 5 point gap between ourselves and Albion Rovers. Albion still have a game in hand over us but it’s looking better for league survival. Here's hoping that we have turned a corner and we can replicate the performance on Tuesday night against Stirling. I’ve got my “free” £5 bet on Berwick. For this game, odds of 7-1 at William Hill a few days ago. We have 7 games to play, Albion 8 games.
Our fixtures are as follows :
Edinburgh City (H)
Queen's Park (H)
Albion Rovers (H)
And Albion’s fixtures are :
Queen's Park (H)
Edinburgh City (H)
Here’s hoping we can maintain the gap and secure league status for another season. Ideally we won’t lose the gap and we will be secure before the final game. The last Home game for us is against Albion so that could be a crucial match.
Well we arrived in plenty of time to get a parking space. Gordon was with my dad and I for this one. 50/50 tickets purchased and pies and tea’s and we were ready for the show. Hopeful of a result here today.
The game started brightly enough, we gave a reasonable performance overall. Passing was much better than I’ve seen, positioning and getting to the second ball was better. We did however miss 2 glorious chances, pretty embarrassing that we didn’t score. Those missed chances would come back to haunt us in the end. The seconded half was completely different. It was like a different team came out of the dressing room. We were sloppy and pinned into our own half for the majority of it. We were holding on ut with 10 min to go we gave away a penalty. The Berwick crowd were very vocal about this but it was awarded and duely dispatched. The ref was a hated man by this point anyway but now he was the devil in black. (I didn’t think he was too bad but I’ve always been less passionate about blaming referees). Albion Rovers were 2-0 up against Elgin too and that’s how it finished. A bad day at the office and the gap back at 2 points between Berwick and Albion. Albion play Cowdenbeath on Tuesday night, their game in hand. Let’s hope Cowdenbeath can do us a favour here. The midweek win for Berwick against Peterhead couldn’t have been more crucial. Next stop Edinburgh City at Shilefield on Saturday.
well it’s a relatively early start for this one. I’ll leave the house around 9am and pick up my dad and head to Berwick. I’ve a few things to attend to when we get there, fix a broken computer, drop off a card,
and of course lunch! Then I’m operating one of the turnstiles for the game.
I’ve got no idea how this game will pan out. Cowdenbeath have beaten us 3 times already this season ,4-0, 3-0 and 2-0 if I recall. We can take a bit of hope from our game midweek against Edinburgh City. We lost that one 1-0 to a penalty. I’m not convinced that we are capable of a result against Cowdenbeath though. Of course I want us to win but I’m realistic, our form has been poor. Still good luck to the guys and let’s hope for the best.
well we arrived and I went about my tasks. Computer repaired and tested, Birthday card dropped off for my nephew and lunch devoured. Lunch was Fish and chips (me) and sausage and chips (dad) from the van at Shielfield. Next stop turnstile duty.
Well I got my bum in the seat shortly after kickoff, I had to wait for stragglers that turn up late to the turnstile. I had a view of the pitch to so I didn’t miss any of the action. The biggest talking point was that Clyde fielded an ineligible player in February. Both games he played in have had the opposition teams awarded a 3-0 win. Those teams are Queens Park and Albion Rovers. The gap is back to 4 points from the relegation spot between Berwick and Albion Rovers before a ball is even kicked....
So with that bombshell to deal with it was time to tackle Cowdenbeath. I’m somewhat losing the desire to write these blogs. We were lucky today, the team were poor again despite scoring a good goal. We simply don’t seem to be able to just get the passing and positioning right. A red card picked up for a dangerous tackle completed the day. It’s frustrating because it’s the simple things again that we are losing out on. We are desperate for things to click into place but the clock is ticking away.
But it was a valuable point today especially as Albion Rovers picked up 3 points. The gap is now 2 points, worrisome times ahead. Let’s hope the team can hold on to the end of the campaign and we can secure our league status for next season. I’ll not mange the midweek game at home against Queens Park. I will be down for the game next Saturday against Peterhead.
well I’m really hoping for a win here, god knows we need it. 18 league games I’ve been to this season out of the 24 played and i have seen us net a total of 8 points from those games. My dad has been to 17 league games with me and he’s seen 7 league points. We are hoping to add a further 3 points to this tally. We have 2 games in hand over Albion Rovers but this is one that needs to count. We shall have to wait and see.
well after picking up my dad and negotiating the roadworks outside my parents house we were finally on the way. Nothing like a 6 mile diversion to kick off with. But we got there in the lashing rain. It was our first trip to Albion Rovers and well it’s a stadium in need of a stadium. I arrived and popped to the toilet, wow, I would have been better going behind the car in the carpark. By far the worst toilets I’ve seen at a football ground. We got a cup of tea and a pie and then headed for the stand. Probably the worst seats I’ve sat on. Each row of seats had different leg room too! So we found some that were tolerable and sat down to watch the game.
well hopes were high for this one, Berwick fans have been looking to this game for a number of weeks. It’s all I’ve heard about at the last few games I’ve been at.
Well I’ll keep it short again, it was dreadful. We secured a point 3 minutes from time but we didn’t deserve it. I’ve been told I’m brutally honest with my assessments at times despite trying to be positive but that’s the way I’ve seen it this season. We were too slow, lacked focus and shape. Nearly every pass was misplaced. We lost possession far too easily too. God knows how we managed a point. It was one of the poorest and most frustrating games I’ve seen. I don’t know what’s happening to make the team as it is. These guys should know what to do. It’s just not happening though. Hopefully a point to keep the gap between us and Albion at 7 points will be enough to secure our league status for another season. Fingers crossed on that one.
well I predicted a 2-1 defeat and I was sadly right. I take no joy from it, it’s quite a trek to watch Berwick for me but I had no confidence in a win. William Hill were offering 14/1 for a Berwick victory. Screams and shouts about the ref and linesman abound from the Berwick fans but to be honest it was pretty much the same for both sides. The ref and linesmen were quite poor, yards stolen at freekicks and throw ins. We just didn’t steal as many....
We did have a few chances, we just didn’t take them, it’s frustrating but it is what it is. The team lost it’s shape again, leaving the wings empty where we could have made some progress. Losing possession too easily because of a lack of concentration. Too busy shouting at each other and not paying attention. We did score a good goal though, but it wasn’t enough and the intensity at the end for an equaliser is the level we should have been playing at from the outset.
Lewis Barr is to be commended though, a real standout in the team and wouldn’t look out of place at a higher level. Covering a lot of ground to win back possession. If he had some better support around him he would really shine.
I don’t really have much more to say, it was a long day for me and it’s another loss. Next week is a real challenge. I appreciate it’s tough at the moment but the fans and the team really need a win against Albion Rovers. It’s the game we’ve been looking at for the last few weeks. There are real expectations for a win and it would be the little we need to keep the wolf from the door. I’ll be there. Cheering on the boys, hoping for the 3 points.
It’s been a couple of weeks since Berwick last played and I’m hoping the squad have pulled together. There are a few injures now that look worrying and I’m under no illusion that we will win this one. It would be nice to win obviously, a point would be good too but I think a defeated is on the cards here. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
I’ll be down with my dad for this one. I think he’s just coming to get chips from the van... still all the best to the players. Next weeks game is one we desperately need to win. Away to Albion Rovers and that will be a real test I think. Albion have only been losing by one goal for the last few games and with a seven point gap between us it will be a crucial game. We host Albion at our last home game of the season too so that one could be a real dogfight depending on how the season has panned out by then.
How it went.
Well the above was written on the Friday night before the game. A few things were different. We went for an all day breakfast instead of chips from the van.... I said before the game that we were going to lose 3-0. I don’t know why but I just had a feeling and that’s what happened a 3-0 defeat. Still Albion lost 4-0 so we still have that 7 point gap.
Berwick were playing reasonably well, we gave away a penalty but the keeper saved it! We lost our first goal to a bit of poor defending, we gave away 3 corners in a row. We really should have cleared it better. The second goal came from a breakaway. Our players were still arguing about a refereeing decision and the ball was in the back of the net. It then seemed like the players were still arguing about the 2nd goal and the refereeing decision when the 3rd went in. If we had a bit more discipline I think it could have been a different outcome. At 1-0 down I though we might have scored a goal and held on for a draw. But it was not to be.
We host Annan midweek before the Albion Rovers clash. I’m not convinced we will get anything against Annan. I think/hope we can get a result against Albion on the Saturday. 3 points would be idea, a draw certinally better than a defeate.
Still onwards and upwards and we shall see how the season ends. I don’t think we will finish in bottom spot and hopefully Johnny Harvey can build the team he wants and needs. It’s a tough league and getting tougher every year.
Well it’s been a tough week and I wasn’t planning on attending the game. I was scheduled to be cameraman for today but due to family issues it was up in the air. I might still be cameraman but I’ll see when I get to Shielfield.
My optimism is high again for this game, I don’t know why. We have a couple of new signings but I don’t know what they are like. The signing of ex Berwick player Dougie Brydon in defence has given me a bit of belief that the defence will pull together. Dougie even managed a goal in the reserve game against Livingston during the week, the game finished 1-1. But of course my hope and expectations may be misplaced. I do have £5 on a Berwick win/draw, William Hill were offering odds of 5/1 at the start of the week.
Pea passed away during the week, a club legend who will be missed. The guy done a lot for the club and i don’t even know if the club realise just how much he done. All the little jobs that you don’t even think about but you will notice when they haven’t been taken care of. Always willing to chat and respected throughout the game. St Andrews Berwick Rangers Supporters offer their condolences to Pea’s family.
I arrived early as usual and went to find out if any jobs were needing attention. It turns out somebody was required to run the wee bar. I put my pint pulling skills to good use although the bar wasn’t busy. Still it’s nice to help out. After my bar shift I went to the stand to check that Andrew was getting on ok with the camera. He was doing a grand job.
the game started off brightly enough, we didn’t seem to be under constant attack as we have been in previous weeks. But then giving away a penalty (which came as a bit of a shock to me as I didn’t see anything) and Stirling slotting it home put us on the back foot. Turns out the penalty was for handball. Still we didn’t get hammered so that’s progress, we didn’t look like we had a goal in us though. Lewis Barr scored a cracker late on in the game but it wasn’t enough. I was hoping to secure s point but it wasn’t to be. Albion Rovers lost again so that’s something but we still need to play them twice this season and we are 7 points in front, not a huge gap. Still it’s a gap in our favour.