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.
Well I’m down in Berwick for the week so off I popped up to Edinburgh for the game. I gave a few guys a lift up too. I’ve never been to Pfeffermill (why would I?) but it was a nice enough set up. Small stand and a great looking pitch. I was really hoping for a decent performance and 3 points here. It is crucial we start to kickoff out league campaign.
It was an odd atmosphere, despite the decent quality of the ground it felt like a training game/friendly. There was a reasonable crowd for a Tuesday night away game and a good chunk of that support were Berwick fans. I though we were about to go one up and start to control the game when we were awarded a penalty. Unfortunately Healy hammered the ball of the post so it was not to be. We did break the deadlock in the second half with a good goal from osei. One on one with the keeper and he slotted home. I’ve seen many of those types missed and it was a great relief to go one up. We had a few more chances as did Edinburgh but we held on for our first 3 points of the season. We will need to learn from this though and step up our game for Saturday’s opponents. Civil Service Strollers won’t be an easy team to beat.
I missed last weeks victory over Spartans in the Football Nations Qualifying Cup so I’m hoping to catch a win here. Last Saturday was spent in the rain as my wife took part in a triathlon. I had said we could make it to Berwick if we timed it right but the way the triathlon was organised didn’t help, a 1/2 mile walk to pick up a wetsuit at the end adds a fair bit of time and the killer was the 50 minutes it took to get out of the muddy car park. We were about 10 cars from the exit but nearly every car got stuck in the mud and had to be towed. The time had gone. Still a good win and hoping for the same this week. I’ll be down with my dad and my friend Gordon will be joining us. Hospitality is booked for the 3 of us for this game. At £20 it’s worth it to help the club. My dad and I have season tickets that are valid for this game but we aren’t talking a lot of money here. It might also be the case that I’m needed as a volunteer, I’ll ask when I get there.
Gordon wants to go to Eyemouth on the way down and get fish and chips for lunch. I’m sure my dad will manage to munch them down rather than the usual all day breakfast at Foulis in Tweedmouth...
So Eyemouth it was. A small fish tea x2 and a pensioners fish tea (the same only cheaper). Then back on the road and down to Berwick. Hospitality for us and a lovely sunny day.
Well I was fully expecting a win, but as last season still looms in my mind as do the first 2 Lowland league games I was also thinking we could get turned over here. I was in fact delighted that we won. A 4-0 victory none the less. I had a brief 5 minutes as cameraman while Alan put some cameras behind the goals then I took my seat for the game.
All 4 goals came in the first half and we were off the gas somewhat in the second half but it was very hot and with 4 goals under our belt and games on Tuesday and Saturday we could afford a bit of coasting. Our first goal was a penalty, a rare thing at Shielfield for Berwick, not for the opposition though.... some decent passing and movement too from the team. It was my first look at Ricky Miller in the flesh but he’s is what we have been missing. A good solid no nonsense central defender. I’m back down to Berwick tomorrow for the week, I’ll then go up to Edinburgh for the Tuesday night game and then cameraman for the civil service Strollers game. I’ll not be at the following game at Gala, that’s the Berwick food and beer festival!
Right, this must be 3 points. There already enough fuel for the haters after the Bonnyrigg defeat. Unrealistic views and just wanting to knock the club because that’s what they like to do. I must confess I’ve no idea about the makeup of the Uni team. I don’t know if they are subject to transfer windows or a not. The students start back in September. I’ll need to find out later.
My wife went to Stirling University to do a degree in computer science before I met her in St Andrews when she moved to do a P.H.D. St Andrews Berwick Rangers Supporters also sponsored Kevin Walkers kit when he was the keeper at Berwick a few seasons ago. He was from Stirling University and I think he’s back there as a coach. Edit. He’s there as their keeper but may also be a coach.
It’s down to Berwick on the Friday and back on the Monday. My dad is off to a wedding on Saturday so I’ll be down with my wife. She has no desire to attend this game but she has been to a few. I imagine she will spend time with her family. I’m cameraman for this game so the highlights might be delayed. Alan will edit them but he’s away. It’s an under appreciated role, being cameraman means you can’t properly watch the game and then there’s the editing afterwards, Alan does a great job.
Although I’m down on the Friday there’s a Supporters Trust meeting at 11am so I’ll be tied up with Berwick Rangers for most of the day. I’ll need to get to Shielfield early to try and catch Ryan Kidd for a chat and a photo.
The trust meeting was at 11am and when that finished I grabbed some lunch and headed to Shielfield. I was there around 1pm and I was asked to man the turnstile. Camera duties and Turnstile. Lindsay would take over the turnstile just before kickoff to give me time to get to the camera and record the game. I had set the camera up before the turnstile opened. Fun Fun Fun.... I managed to speak to Ryan Kidd and hand over the £100 I had promise to help him with his kit etc. Ian Runciman was taking the team photos so I asked him to take one of Ryan and I in front of the Supporters banner in the ground.
While on Turnstile duty I managed to meet Ryan’s dad, He’s from Livingston (where I was born and raised) and born in 1977 as was I! Small world! I couldn’t really chat much I was manning the turnstile.
Let’s cut to the chase, we should have done better than a 2-1 defeat. Another blooming penalty too. We still seem scared to take a shot. Things did pick up when Yaw Osei came on, a good cross for the goal. But then a penalty saw Berwick trailing again with time ticking away. Frustrating again. Despite the criticism by some, the team did work hard but somethings just not clicking. Next Saturday it’s Gretna 2008 away. I’ll miss that one but we need the points.
A short post this week. I’m too tired. I went down to Berwick with my dad and it was after midnight before I got back. Struggled to sleep as I have pulled my shoulder too. Fun...
I had the afternoon off (it was my Birthday) and my dad and I went out for a bite to eat before the game. I was on Turnstile duty, such fun that is when folk are turning up late and grumbling. I want to see the game too you know! I’m a volunteer.......
Well it was 3-5 in the end. We actually scored first and had a bit of promise. I’ll get shot down by a few folk for saying that but we did manage to score 3 goals. Some avoidable errors gave Bonnyrigg at least 2 goals. A penalty and a pass back that Brennan caught. The resulting indirect free kick leading to a goal. It’s a young squad but we should fare ok in the Lowland league. Top half of the table is a realistic goal. This isn’t what a lot of fans want to hear but we need to stabilise the club. It’s tough times at many clubs, look at Bolton. I’m not going to go into the usual details here, lack of investment, club location etc. That’s a well trodden path. But I am looking forward to Saturday’s game, not something I can said I’ve said for a while.
I missed the first friendly against Coldstream. A Tuesday night fixture is difficult and for a friendly against Coldstream it was not going to happen. I was pleased to hear we won 2-0 though. The second friendly was against Billingham Synthonia, this I could manage.
Well in anticipation of no chip van it was off to Foulis in Tweedmouth. Easy parking right outside the door so easy for my dad to manage. 2 all day breakfasts ordered and what a plateful. More chips that you can eat, It’s a bit of a waste really. Next time we will ask for one portion between us (or none at all), why chips come as part of an all day breakfast is a bit of a mystery.....
Lunch consumed it was off to Shielfield.
It felt like a long time since I had been here. I was at the charity game only a couple of weeks ago though. I popped into the front office to say hello to Dennis and have a quick chat. Then off to the stand. The pitch is in good condition. A credit to the ground staff, it was commented on by Billingham fans too.
Well we started ok, a few trialists on the park and a couple of new signings. It was promising though. Trialists 9 scored first. It was a goal that looks easier than it is. A good ball through one on one with the keeper and it was slotted home! 1-0 Berwick! The usual back and forth ensued. Billingham had chances, Berwick had chances but it was Berwick who found the net again. Healey scoring some sort of goal. I missed it as I was looking at my phone. I do don’t miss the next goal though. An overhead kick by Healey finding the net! Goal of the season already? Hopefully that will give him and the team a bit of confidence. The team looked in good shape overall and crucially held formation well. Last season it was schoolboy football where every player clustered around the ball and we had gaps all over the field. Brennan put in a good show in goals, he should be a safe pair of hands for the coming season.
Number 9 looked ok, took his goal well but also missed a sitter. He was in position to miss the sitter though. He had a bit of pace upfront so I wouldn’t be unhappy if he signed for us. It will be interesting to see the team next week against Ayr. Who will be in the starting 11. It will also be a tough one to judge. Ayr are a very good side and leagues above us. The rest of the Betfred cup games will also be tough to judge. It’s a cup set up that will Yield rewards financially, I think it’s. £17k for finishing bottom of the group plus spilt gates. It’s can also be demoralising to be thumped 4 times in a row before the league season starts. As much as I hope Berwick put up a show the odds are stacked against us. Ayr, Stranraer, Falkirk and Livingston are our opposition. I doubt we will see a point.
We then start the league midweek as our first home game is postponed due to the cup. Bonnyrigg Rose our first opponents. That will be a tough game for so many reasons. Bonnyrigg having been promoted into the league and managed by ex Berwick manager and player Robbie Horn. Bonnyrigg will be looking to make their mark. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bonnyrigg finished in the top 5.