I’ve been down in Berwick all week, so not far to travel today. It’s been a busy week catching up with family and friends. The highlight of the week was a phone call from Ruth’s dad. One of his kitchen cabinets had come off the wall! The kitchen was only fitted a few months ago! We went round to find a large double wall unit still attached at one corner and resting on a biscuit barrel keeping the whole thing up. It had also mashed the cooker hood too. 3hrs later I had managed to fix it all. The wall cabinet was originally put up with screws and rawl plugs that would barely take the weight of the cabinet empty, never mind full. The kitchen was fitted by a “professional”. That was New Year’s Eve’s excitement for us, a few broken glasses but no major damage.
So game day and I was on camera duty. I got up to Shielfield around 1:45pm, had a chat with a few folk (including Eric Tait) and set up the camera. I though about going back to the car for my gloves but decided not to. That was a mistake, it was cold on the hands as the temperature dipped. I couldn’t even put my hands in my pockets, the camera work prohibits that. I grabbed a cup of tea, chatted to a few more folk and then it was time for the game.
Berwick were playing a pressing game that saw them caught offside 3 times in the first half. Berwick were shaky at the back and Gala had most of the half and used this to their advantage as they scored the first and only goal of the half. Berwick unable to clear their lines saw the ball land at the feet of Gala player Galbraith who slotted it home to give Gala the lead. Darren Smith suffered a head injury that saw play stopped for some time and he was replaced with Euan Smith. Berwick were unable to take the few chances they had and the half ended 1-0 with Gala looking the team on top.
The second half started much in same way, Berwick struggling to read the game but they managed to adjust and create a few more chances. Waugh close with a free kick and Chalmers dragging a shot wide. Striker Yaw Osei-Opoku found himself on the edge of the box and slipped past the Gala defenders with a brilliant run and shot to level the game at 1-1 to the delight of the Berwick fans. Berwick were pressing again looking for the win when Gala had a shot to the top left corner that looked certain to put Gala in the lead saved by the Berwick keeper Brennan. The resulting corner however saw the Berwick defence unable to clear their lines again and the ball was pushed out to Galbraith who put it into the back of the net to give a Gala the lead again. 2-1. To the credit of Berwick they kept on the attack, something that has been missing in previous weeks and during one pressing move late in the game Gala were reduced to 10 as their player picked up a second yellow. Berwick were still on the attack and Euan Smith in the 89th minute burst through the middle and took a shot that levelled the game 2-2. With just a few added minutes to go both teams pressed for the win but the final whistle saw Berwick ending the game 2-2, the same scoreline as the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
Berwick next game will be away to Vale of Leithen at Victoria park on Saturday the 11th of January. Kick off 2pm.
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.
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.
An early start for this one. A Supporters Trust meeting at 11am means leaving the house at around 7:30am and collecting my dad just before 8am before heading to Berwick. It would be myself, my dad, my brother and his wife at the game my wife and dog coming to Berwick with us but not attending the match. My brother and his wife having headed down to Berwick on Friday. I had hospitality booked and hoping that the game wouldn’t be off because of the rain. (It wasn’t.....).
Plenty of rain on the way down but the game was still on. Family dropped off in Spittal and off the Shielfield for the Trust meeting. A change of venue from the pilot inn but much easier to get parked. The meeting was a bit longer than expected but there were a few things to discuss. I’m the new membership secretary and still have a few things to sort out but I’m getting there. Bill the previous secretary had a comprehensive set of documents that I need to tweak (update addresses etc) and it looks like the bank have finally granted me access to the account to check payments (the biggest stumbling block).
Trust meeting finished it was off to collect the troops (dog included) and head to the leaping salmon for lunch. Cheap and cheerful but with the usual mixup (chicken sub ordered, chicken club arrives but obviously we say nothing because it’s not worth the hassle). Lunch finished and it’s off the Shielfield.
We arrive, usual stuff can of coke and watch the first half of the Scotland game on the tv, buy half time draw tickets etc. Then outside to watch the game.
I actually won the £200 Black and Gold bond prize at half time (money will be going to Berwick cancer cars).
Well it was a 4-0 victory to Berwick at the end of the game. The first half however was dreadful. Miller scored a penalty late in the first half to east the pressure but it was a pretty poor performance. The second half however saw a different team emerge scoring early in the half with a great cross into the box that Osei nodded in at the back post. Chalmers scored the third from close range, poking in the ball. Late on in the second half Miller scored the second penalty of the game (couldn’t tell why we got the penalty though). A crucial 3 points that we desperately need to build on. An interruption in the league next as it’s away to Kelty Hearts in the football nations cup on Tuesday night. (Kelty won 7-1 today).
A long weekend in Berwick for this game so no dad with me. I did take him to East Fife v Forfar last Saturday and into Hospitality for that game so he was happy enough with that. A tour of a East Fife’s ground, trophy room etc, 3 course lunch and refreshments at halftime too. £45 and worth it for a day out. Some of the other clubs hospitality offers are far more expensive and not worth bothering with in my opinion.
I was on turnstile duty for this game, offering my services to cover when needed. It’s a much simpler gig when it’s £10 entry rather than £12. No messing about with fivers and pound coins running dangerously low. Most fans pay with a tenner and those that pay with a twenty get a tenner back. Easy. The hardest part is working the old cast iron turnstile and waiting for the stragglers who arrive at 3:15pm. It was blooming cold too. Hat and gloves were the order of the day.
The game was a bit of a well, boring one in the first half. We yet again seemed incapable of taking a shot. When we did have a couple in the first half the keeper spilled it and we were close and a thunderous effort off the bar. We did go 1 up though. A shot off the bar/post/keeper/shot/own goal/not an own goal. Saw us end the half in front.
The second half was a much better spell seeing us score a further 2 goals! Both good well worked goals that my brain is struggling to remember the details of.... the second goal as I recall was a shot that the keeper saved high but pushed out to the side and the resulting header went in. Dalbeattie weren’t a particularly threatening team but a 3-0 victory was more than welcome. The next game is on Tuesday night in a cup game that has carried over from last season? I doubt I’ll be down for that. It’s a bit of a trek on what will no doubt be a cold Tuesday night. Next up for me will be a trip with my dad to Caledonian Braves on Saturday.
An early start for me. The trust A.G.M is at 11am and I’ll need to be there early. The Supporters club have announced that they are making their shares available if a buyer is out there and the Trust will need to discuss our stance. So a meeting before the A.G.M. I was going to head down on Friday night but Ruth’s come back from work with the cold and I decided that it wasn’t worth it. I’ll head down in the morning but it will be a 6am start and a long day. I have not got much hope of a result against Kelty Hearts, they have the money of a team leagues above us. Managed by Barry Ferguson the ex Rangers and Scotland player Kelty are a difficult team to beat.
Well an early start and the Queensferry crossing still slow at 7am on a Saturday. If I arrived in plenty of time and had a McMuffin thing from McDonalds for breakfast. I popped to the shop in Spittal to grab. A pie for my lunch later on. A long day ahead.
I’m taking over as the Trust membership secretary, I’m still waiting on The bank of Scotland giving me access to the bank account. The form was sent in a number of weeks ago but I’ve heard nothing yet. I have the paperwork I need for the rest of it, I need to find time to look through it. I was handed a list of the junior members birthdays. Turns out we post them a birthday card.
It was a poor turnout, I was expecting more people. Membership is down but it’s still just under 200 which is a reasonable number given the average crowds over the last few seasons, It is an election year and everybody has been re-elected. We could do with a few more on the board though but that’s always been a bit of a struggle. After the usual business was attended to Dennis Mcleary gave us an great talk on his 50 years at the club. This was followed up with a question and answer segment with Manager Ian Little and assistant Kevin Haynes.
It was then off to sell programs for this game and asked to work the Turnstile for the next home game.
Well I wasn’t expecting much from this game but I was pleasantly surprised. We are an improving team and we were unlucky not to get a point. It was still goalless at halftime and we were looking much more composed. Kelty scored a free kick to win 1-0 in the end but I was expecting a thrashing.
We had a shot off the underside of the bar cleared off the line and a header just off the inside of the post that was a so close I though we had scored. We did of course give away a penalty but it was struck rather poorly and our keeper saved it. Cook was given a second yellow for the tackle that resulted in the penalty but we still put in a decent shift with 10 men. 11 would have been better though.
Oh and there was a fuss by the referee before the game started, he was concerned that the goals were lower on one side than the other. I guess in the end he was happy enough as the game went ahead.
No game on Saturday which is a bit of an odd feeling! Elgin away in the Scottish cup the Saturday after. Still not sure if I want to travel up to Elgin but I’ll think about it.
An early start for me, there’s a Trust meeting at 11am so I’ll need to leave about 8am. I’ll no doubt leave earlier. My dad won’t be with me for this one, it’s too early a start for him. I’ll take him to the Spartans away game on Tuesday night though (although I’m not looking forward to getting over the Queensferry crossing and into Edinburgh at that time of evening). I’ll go to Shielfield after the Trust meeting and see if there are any jobs that the club need help with, there’s always something.
We are desperate for points on the board. Cumbernauld Colts don’t sound like a difficult team but they will be, they all are. It may be a case that teams raise their game against Berwick, the new boys to the league but we need to get over this and raise our game. Stupid mistakes have been costing us games and we need to be more careful. We also need to take a shot on goal when the opportunity arises. It’s becoming a bit of a chore now and I want a win. I’ve had a heavy cold this week and I want something to lift my spirits.
I arrived in plenty of time for the Trust meeting. The Queensferry crossing as slow and as busy as usual. I arrived and grabbed a McMuffing thing for breakfast. The Trust meeting went well. Difficult times at the club and we need to support them. Next stop the supermarket to buy flowers for the ladies at the club, a thank you for their support. A quick chat with some folk at the club and the. selling programs my task for the afternoon.
This bit becomes more difficult to write, a huge part being that I usually write it when I get home (currently 8pm) and I’m tired after a long day and a 2+hr drive. But the danger is leaving it to Sunday and t might not get done at all...
We started well and went 1-0 up. Happy days but the dread soon set in when we gave away a penalty. Cumbernauld missed the penalty blazing it high over the bar and relief set in, a bit of luck our way for a change. We ended the half 1-0.
Second half saw us going 2-0 up, hurrah, the road to victory etc. This was soon cut short when Cumbernauld slotted one home. Our keeper looked like he had it but it went in (looked like he had it to me but I’ll watch the highlights). Then in the death of the game Cumbernauld score again. 2-2. 2 points chucked away. Lack of concentration coming back to haunt us. It’s looking like we need to score 3 or 4 goals to win a game.
So it’s off to East Kilbride, a bit of a detour for this one as my dad and I are going to take my brother and his wife. I think it’s more about spending time as a family than it is about the football. My brother and his wife were there last season for the Cove game at Shielfield and at Hampden when we were on the end of a 7-1 drubbing and my brother was there for this seasons Betfred cup game at Livingston. Still a day out and we will go for dinner afterwards.
I need to get to games early to get a parking space close to the ground so my dad can manage. It’s usually not a problem but it is a bit of a concern. There’s not much information out there on accessible parking at football grounds. It seems to be a case of already knowing before you go.
As for the game I’m not expecting a victory, as sad as that seems, I believe East Kilbride will be too strong for us. I hope that we win but i wouldn’t put money on it.
I headed off to my brothers and from there he drove to the game. We arrived in plenty of time as usual and parked in the carpark at the club. I was expecting a battle after reading that the carpark was for players and officials only but it was half empty and nobody said a thing. The gate was open so we paid and bought some draw tickets, a program and a bacon roll and tea. The to take our “seat” in the stand. The seats are backless and hard but we had the back row so my dad could sit against the wall and I folded up my hoodie so he could sit on it.
We started with a changed lineup from Saturday’s disappointing cup game against Tranent. And boom 1 up in about a minute. Happy days and we had a good number of chances and were playing ok. East Kilbride didn’t look like they were to be feared. About a minute before the end of the half East Kilbride scored after about 10 minutes of pressure ending the half at 1-1. The second half saw us pinned in our own half from the start. We lost our way and some errors saw us 3-1 down and out of it. We pulled back a goal to make it 3-2 it there seemed to be no sense of urgency to bring it level. We had our chances but squandered them. Too many passes when we should had had a go. A frustrating game to watch. Yaw Osei came on as a second half sub with about 20 minutes to go and was bloody awful. He had about 2 touches and was all over the place, I was expecting much better from him. The loan player from Rangers looked decent though, putting in some good passes and having decent control. Next up Cumbernauld Colts. There’s a trust meeting at 11am before that game so I’ll need to leave about 8am. The though of an 8am start is quite unappealing at the moment and my dad probably won’t go as it will be a bit too long a day for him. I might take him to the midweek Spartans game though.
Right Civil Service Strollers, I’m hoping to continue the winning run here but they will be a difficult team to beat. They are currently sitting 6th with 11 points from 6 games. They picked up 3 points midweek against East Kilbride.I’ll be on my own for this one, dad is at home as I’ve been in Berwick for the week. It will probably be a few weeks before he sees Berwick again. Next week it’s Gala away but I’ll be back in Berwick for the food and Beer festival. I’m not sure about the following weeks Cup game away to Tranent. I’m not sure if Tranent have any seating and my dad will need to sit, he can’t stand for that length of time. It might be the away trip to East Kilbride on the 21st September the next time he sees the black and gold (in green).
I’m cameraman for the game this week so I’ll get up to Shielfield early to setup the camera and see if there’s anything else required of me. There are a few jobs that need attention but I’m not sure if I can fit them in with my filming duties. I’ll find out on arrival. I think the funfair is at Shielfield too so I might pop over for a candy floss...
Well I’ll keep it short. It was certainly a game of two halves. We went 1 up and I though we were in control of it. It was not to be as a defensive/keeper mixup allowed the strollers to skip past the carnage and slot the ball home. 1-1 at half time. I though we were going to come out and win it, we seemed to have more control and looked like we could win.......
Full time and an further 2 goals for the strollers and that was that. We were a different team in the second half, the formation had gone to pot and silly mistakes lead to the goals. The strollers took the goals well but they shouldn’t have been in the position to take them at all. That now puts us at 1 win out of 4 league games. 3 of the 4 games were home league games and those are the losses. Not a good home record.
We need to start to focus, concentration is key and simple balls need to be played. Quick free kicks are pointless if your teammates aren’t ready. Still it’s time to move on to the next game and keep the heads up. It’s going to a long tough season but we shouldn’t throw it away.