Lets get the philosophy out of the way first 🙂 I’ve been playing CM/FM since CM 97/98. If you love football you’ve most probably come into contact with the series at some point. Over the last couple of years I’ve really gotten back into regular game-play, mostly because I came across a few YouTube Creators playing FM18. They were:
Both suffered from being remote geographically, and as such I struggled with promotions due to not really being able to get the quality of players needed to move on and upwards. At the end of the day I got bored and stopped enjoying it.
Before that however I had hearkened upon another couple of creators in FM19, one of whom is doing a couple of amazing saves currently, and one who has a semi-fictional league and is doing a really strong play-through.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN0EpFqPAwCsEMygWV1qy8A – FMTahiti (Pelham) started a semi-fictional French Polynesian save with the Humpbacks of Rurutu about the same time as I started my save with Guernsey, and he has told a very interesting story. He also did a few pieces on something that is also near an d dear to me – Data Analysis.
Myday job is as a SQL & Business Intelligence Developer – Basically creating databases, moving data around/between databases and designing reporting from data on databases. Pelham’s work got me thinking about how I could get data out of FM, into a database so I could start working with it so I could be better informed about the team I was managing.
So I started thinking about a blog format – Where I can go into much more depth in telling a story than I ever can in Youtube – around a Journeyman save (Never done one before and after watching Loki Doki its something that really appeals) incorporating ways and means of getting data out of FM19 and using it (Thanks Pelham). And that’s why we are here.
Ladies and/or gentleman – I present to you, my FM Journeys.
After being shafted by the Refs in the last 2 games of October we need to turn the tide to stay in the play-off picture this month. 3 tough league games and what-should-be a nice trip up to the top of the country in the cup. My patience is being severely tested by FM19 currently…
QotS First up. I’m feeling a bit weak in midfield if we are playing 4 in there, so I’m looking to get in my 4th loanee…
5th November 2022 – Queen of the South (A) – Ladbrokes Championship
We make the 97 mile journey south-west to Dumfries to play a QotS side currently in 5th, 6 points behind us. They beat us at ours so we are looking to make amends.
Carrick & Slaven up top today, Gardiner keeps his spot as MacpHerson comes back in after suspension & mcManus takes Turner’s spot as he’s now suspended. Livingstone starting to become more of a regular at left back. QotS go with the OP 4-4-2.
FT QotS 0 Berwick 0 Att 1,646 (159 Away)
In our all-white strip today. QotS looking dangerous early on. And then only 1 highlight before half-time… 0-0, very dull.
And we get to 60 with nothing happening! Marku for Gardiner, Macbeath for Slaven, F(, Carrick to Poacher. Standard Passing, up the tempo a bit. And almost straight away we have the ball in the net – Macbeath offside though, and I think it would have gone in without him 🙁 A bit better now. Out of nowhere QotS hit the bar – the game is in a precarious state. MacIver on for McKay for the last 10-or-so, out to the right wing. The game is opening up. Loads of chances in Injury Time. But it finishes 0-0. Another point to the good.Sinclair with a 7.4!!!
Hamilton the only winners on the day meaning no real changes in the table.
Brora next up in 2 weeks in the cup – I’ll pop a friendly in next Saturday to see if I can try some tactics out towards getting a few goals.
Our U18’s beat Hill of Beath Res 3-1, goals from Tom Sutherland, Sean Mackie & an OG.
Ross Sinclair & his 7.4 make Team of the Week.
Our Reserves beat Heston Rovers Res 2-1, a brace from James Christie.
NEW LOAN SIGNING
Comes in from Kilmarnock
IRL he’s moved to Troon FC (West Of Scotland Junior Prem)
Jack Paterson comes in until the end of the season as more midfield cover whilst we pursue this midfielder-heavy tactic with the 2 up top. Good passing, useful mentals and physicals, he should be a good option as a CM(A)
Our U18’s beat Upper Annandale Res 3-1, goals from Gary Fletcher, Kris Millar (Non-Player) & Kris Donnelly (Non-Player)
Now – The Motherwell Job has become available… Worth a punt? Currently bottom of the Premiership but with a £3M/annum wage bill and Okay Finances….
Our Ressies beat Airdrie Res 2-1, goals from Causso Darame & Paul McKernon.
That was quick!!!
Max wage is worrying – hoping that’s a bug. Finances show as OK
£63k/wk wages allowed. We will see where that goes.
19th November 2022 – Brora Rangers (A) – Scottish Cup 3rd Round
Today we make the mammoth 275 mile, over 5 hour journey to the far North to play a Brora Rangers side currently 11th in the Highland League. That said I’m putting a full-strength side out. IRL Brora won the Highland League last season but the promotion playoffs to League 2 were never held.
Paterson gets his first start, Turner is back in after his suspension. Looking for a really strong performance from the boys. Brora play with a 4-1-2-3 DM Wide.
FT Brora 0 Berwick 2 (Carrick 62, Mackie 84) Att 270 (49 Away)
Lots of Berwick pressure early doors, and we win a penalty in the 11th minute – Macbeath shoved by Wharton. MacPherson steps up, but Sharp saves brilliantly down to his left. Like a repeat of the Morpeth friendly, so many chances. 0-0 at HT.
60 minutes already, McKay off, Slaven on, 4-3-3, Turner up to Centre Mid.. Almost straight away we score – Carrick fed by Macbeath after a long ball forward by Livingstone. Macbeath really can’t hit a barn door – it’s embarrassing – hitting the post with the goal at his mercy. Just gone 70, Mackie on for Livingstone. Coming up to 80, Marku on for Turner. 2-0 in the 84th, a bit of a freak free-kick, Sean Mackie from distance, the ball bounces and sneaks inside the post. A GK mistake.It finishes 2-0, another 15 shots on target today…
£9k in the bank. The shocks were East Stirlingshire (Lowland League) beating Montrose (L1) 4-3 and Linlithgow Rose (Lowland League) beating Dumbarton (L1) 1-0.
And so the 4th Round Draw – What’s the betting we get Motherwell 🙂 🙂
Boring. Away at Dundee. Tough one too. Some all Premiership ties in there.
I’ve also decline talks with Len & the Berwick board to stay at the club. If the Motherwell job doesn’t come my way I’ll be staying though, this is a one-off punt. I’m showing as 5/2 favourite right now on the Job Centre 🙂
Our U18’s beat Lothian Thistle Res 3-0, James Christie, Paul McKernon & Thomas Dempsie with the goals.
Our Ressies beat East Kilbride Res 3-0, goals from Paul McKernon and a brace from James Doolan.
Deja-vu after my move to Dundalk yesterday in FM20.
More draws, with only Dunfermline winning in the battle at the bottom. This makes tomorrows game with Hamilton huge – they could go top, we could close to within 2 points of Dundee and go back 2nd…
23rd November 2022 – Hamilton (A) – Ladbrokes Championship
We visti a Hamilton side who last lost in September, to us 🙂 6 Wins and 2 losses since then. So we go into this one not expecting anything at all. A Draw would be amazing.
Slaven in up top for Macbeath – he’s our best finisher, Macbeath couldn’t hit a Cow’s Arse with a Banjo. McManus in midfield, Mackie at left-back. Not expecting anything today. Hamilton go with an Attacking 4-2-3-1 Wide…
FT Hamilton 2 (Sinclair o.g. 14, Platt 45)Berwick 2 (Carrick 44, 65) Att 4,190 (156 Away)
A quiet first 10 in the drizzle here in South Lanarkshire this evening. And then Hamilton get a free kick after a Dunsmore foul. The ball comes over, is hit against the post by Gastien, but rebounds off of Keeper Sinclair’s boot and in to make it 1-0 – No luck at all in the League these last few games.Hamilton on top, as is to be expected, Sinclair making some good saves. But we keep ourselves in it, and just before half-time we equalize – a lovely counter ending up with Slaven holding the ball up beautifully, laying off to his left to Carrick to score in the open net, Slaven having drawn everybody including the Keeper over :). 1-1.Kick Off Highlight. 2-1 Hamilton 🙁 Front to back really quickly, Platt on his own at the back post to tap in. Poor.2-1 at the break.
Livingstone on for Mackie at HT (On a booking). Swapped McKay & McManus over as well. 60 comes up quickly – Paterson on for McKay. And we go and do it again. 65th minute, very quick counter, McManus firing the ball forward after a blocked Hamilton shot, Slaven getting the ball, picking out Carrick with a lovely cross, who scores beautifully on the volley 🙂 A bit of an FM-ing here, that’s our 3rd shot on target.75 on the clock, Marku for McManus, Mezzala(A).Still fully expect Hamilton to nick this, we shall see…Injury Time… Hamilton pressure… But a Berwick break, and we get a corner – a minute left. But time ticks away. Another draw, but a really good one!
Rapidly approaching the halfway point in the season and we are still there-or-thereabouts. 6th placed Ayr next up in our last game of November.
And Ayr have just played 120 minutes beating Livingston on pens in the Scottish Cup 3rd Round Replay on the Saturday (We play on the Tuesday) so hoping for a few tired boys there.
Dundee & Hamilton both win, meaning we really need a win versus Ayr to keep pace.
Our U18’s drew 1-1 with Leith Res, Paul McKernon with the goal.
Michael Carrick makes the Championship Team of the Week.
29th November 2022 – Ayr (H) – Ladbrokes Championship
We welcome an Ayr side who beat us 2-0 at ours earlier in the season – the result that led me to this current tactic, so I’m hoping for a better showing. They are currently 6th, only losing to hamilton in their last 7 games, but they have drawn 4 of their last 5 games (In normal time).
Paterson for McManus, Livingstone for Mackie. A few tweaks tactically but nothing major. Ayr start with a 5-2-1-2 WB. Expecting this one to be interesting.
Hoping for a bit more positive play today after a defensive display versus Hamilton. And it’s a good start, with plenty of Berwick ball.And we indeed take the lead in the 6th minute – an absolute swirler of a ball over from Paterson, after good work by Carrick, finds a Keeper in two minds – Slaven is there to nod home – his 50th goal for Berwick!! A bit quieter after the goal. And Ayr, with their first highlight, equalise. 25th minute – a free kick headed in by Ivison. Poor defending again.1st goal of the season, of course. Show some Passion you dickheads. And it worked!, 2-1 Berwick, 29th minute, Carrick with a header from a Paterson corner 🙂And it was 3-1 in the 42nd minute – nice play leading up to a Livingstone near-post low cross, McKay spraying a lovely ball out to Livingstone in the first place, tapped home by Seany-Boy.Really nice play lads!3 goals from 5 shots, all on target. 3-1 at HT 🙂
Livingstone off for Mackie (On a booking, plus we have Livingston in 4 days) at Half Time. More of the same please!! Yet again 60 minutes arrives with no dramas, McManus on as a DLP(S) for Paterson (Booked), Turner to Half Back.65th minute – Penalty to Berwick – Carrick pushed by McArthur.Slaven for his hat-trick… straight down the middle 🙂He really is a player who belies his star rating.4-1 Berwick.And it’s a perfect hat-trick at that (left foot, right foot, header) 🙂 🙂 75 gone, last sub, Macbeath on for Carrick.84th minute, 4-2, a blunderbuss by Murdoch from inside the ‘D’. Was going to say how nice it has been to be comfortable in a match!! Kick-Off highlight… nearly a Slaven 4th, a superb volley from the edge of the area somehow saved at full stretch by Ruddy. And we get to Injury Time with no more highlights. 4-2 it finished, a really nice performance.
A vital win, putting 7 points between us and Livingston in 4th, who drew with Dunfermline.
That’s it for this month’s games – We just have tomorrow left of the calendar month – will Motherwell pull their finger out though?
Nope – we get to 1st December with no other news.
A good month – 5 points from the 3 (tough) League games and an easy cup win. Next Month Livingston is the hard game, followed by games versus the bottom 4 – Got to be gunning for 9 points at least. Or I could be moving to Motherwell with the next click of ‘Continue’…
Lastly here are the Key Highlights from this month’s games. See you soon.
Welcome to the 2022 Post season/2023 Pre season. Lots of contracts expiring, lots of deals to be done, and at the end of the day this is a Journeyman – It might even be time to move on?
Firstly we will take a look at the player stats.
PASSING & CROSSING
Bosun Lawal & Ethan Devine top the passing completion, 6 players above 80% (82-83%). Eoin Porter and Ethan Devine best for Key Passes. Alan Kehoe very good for a full-back at 79% – Kane Lewis & Charlie Fleming low at the right-back position. Dara Costelloe also good at just under 80% as a winger.
Bosun Lawal stands out massively in the crossing – 36% completion. Daire Doherty & Conor Melody also doing well of those with a lot of crosses attempted. Ryan Graydon, David EVans and Dara Costelloe all quite weak from a crossing standpoint.
Anthony Meade steps above of everyone else – 17 jumping reach will help that 🙂 Kane Lewis with a good % at right back, otherwise we need to keep the ball on the floor. Anthony Meade with over 4 key headers per 90 as well! Funnily we have the best header completion in the League – 62%!!
TACKLING & INTERCEPTIONS
Alan Kehoe & Kev Taylor, the leftbacks, stand out on tackling completion, both over 90%. David Hurley doesn’t do very well as a BWM.
FOULS, MISTAKES & OFFSIDES
The left wingers Dara Costelloe & Lyamine Mihoubi standing out as being pests. David Evans drew nearly 4 fouls a game during his time with us!! The fullbacks, apart from Alan Kehoe again were quite mistake-prone. No real standouts with regards to offsides – Dara Costelloe quite low, to me means he’s too withdrawn for an AML on W(A)…
SHOTS, GOALS, ASSISTS, CHANCES & DRIBBLES
Dara Costelloe ended up top goalscorer with 11, almost a goal every 5 attempts, just under 38% of shots on target resulting in goals. Daire Doherty & Lyamine Mihoubi were the most accurate, over 65% shots on target. Dara, Daire & David (Evans) all above 0.4 goals/90 mins. Bosun Lawal made the most assists, with 6, Conor Melody by far the most chances with 18, over 1 a game. David Evans was the dribble king. Conor Melody & Dave Hurley need to be on ‘Shoots Less Often’, Under 40% shots on target. Eoin Porter weak for goals – 20 shots on target, just 2 goals – lots of weak shots to the keeper.
REDS & YELLOWS
Yes, 9 Reds and 92 yellows!!!! Need to drop that whilst still being combative.
We are Currently £17k in the Red, but should start the new season relatively flat as we will have a bit of prize money coming our way.
All Fringe Player expectation, all on less than last year 🙂
John Douglas – 19yo DRL – £40/wk
Adam Mylod – £90/wk
All 1-year deals as well.
Our U19’s lost to Dundalk U19’s 2-0 in the U19’s National League Playoff QF.
Conor Melody – £190/wk
Charlie Fleming – £160/wk
Anthony Meade joins for 2 years from 1/1/23. I underutilised him this year, i won’t make that same mistake. He will be a starting Centre Back. £325/wk agreed. 6ft 4in, 17 Jumping Reach, 4* CA, 5* PA at 20 yo, I think with game time in 2023 he could become a star for us. And maybe get some goals from set pieces?
And we’ve had the last League game of the season – the final table is as follows:
Galway down, Sligo into the play-off, Euro spots all decided as Shamrock play St. Pat’s in the Irish Senior Challenge Cup Final.
Our U19’s had a friendly, beating Ballinasloe 3-0, goals from James Hobbs, Patrick Walker & Ryan O’Donnell.
Balance now £40k in the black – we will be just in the Red at the start of the 2023 season I think.
ANd we are into the relegation/promotion playoffs. Limerick lost 4-3 to Finn Harps on aggregate in the first round, Bohemians beat Finn Harps 6-3 in the 2nd, and now Sligo are playing Bohemians. And Sligo have taken a 4-1 lead back to Sligo for the 2nd leg, so it looks like Sligo will be staying up – Bohemians possibly consigned to the 2nd tier for another season.
Our U19’s had another game – Beating Maynooth town 2-0, goals from Kenny O’Shea and 16yo Liam Hartslief.
Sligo stay up, beating Bohemians 6-4 on aggregate.
Dara Costelloe – 3rd in Goal of the Season.
Adam Hughes the only new player in the First XI. Eoin McCormack (Retired Age 26) the only non-current player in the first XI.
Bosun Lawal Fans Player of the Season & Young Player, Dara Costelloe goal and signing of the season.
Make Most of Set Pieces 🙂 Get some big lads 🙂
Conor Melody signs a contract extension – £190/wk.
Shamrock Rovers win the Irish Senior Challenge Cup for 2022.
OK, 1st November – We are already £1k in the Red….. £18k paid out in bonuses for not getting relegated in that…
Gary Delaney (In Black)
28yo Centre Back
Joins after 4 seasons with Cork City on a free. IRL he’s back with North End United playing as an Amateur.
Gary Delaney joins for a year as another big defender. Has the potential to be a good Ball Playing Defender.
Initial Budgets – Wage up to £10k/wk!! We won’t use anywhere need that!
World Cup 2022 Qatar has started – first 3 game days have England drawing 2-2 with Sweden, Brazil drawing 1-1 with Nigeria and France 1-1 with Australia. 37yo Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 105th goal for Portugal in their 3-0 tournament opener versus Qatar – 8.9 for his 21 minutes (1 Goal, 1 Assist) on as a impact-sub.
The day after USA got a creditable 0-0 versus Portugal.
Continental C gotten, Continental B started. My reputation now at 30%.
England won their 2nd game at the World Cup 2-1 versus Chile, having been 1-0 down until Dele Alli scored in the 64th minute. South Korea got a good win versus Uruguay 2-1 and Senegal a good 1-1 draw versus Germany.
A few shocks – Greece beating Portugal 2-1 (That Ronaldo chap with a penalty for Portugal) And England losing 2-0 to DR Congo!! All 4 teams in Group C have 4 points, England bottom with a -1 GD. DR Congo & Sweden go forward!! Germany Qualify by 1 goal as Italy beat them 3-2. Biggest shock of the groups definitely England.
Comes in after 4 seasons as a regular for U.C.D.
IRL he’s still there
Jack Keaney comes in from U.C.D. on a Free. Ostensibly a WTM on the right he can play in a number of positions – I see him as a Swiss Army Knife, mainly playing on the right but also in midfield, or even at right-back.
A couple of shocks in the Second Round at the World Cup – Portugal knocking Belgium out 3-2 AET and DR Congo beating Argentina 1-0! In two other huge ties Croatia knocked out Italy 3-2 AET And Germany beat France, also 3-2 after being 3-0 up early.
And then 2 mad Quarter Finals – USA beating Sweden 1-0, DR Congo beating Portugal on Pens after finishing 1-1 in extra time.
6ft 5in (6ft IRL)
Arrives from Shamrock Rovers on a free
IRL he’s with Waterford FC
Sam Bone, all 6ft 5in of him joins as our starting DM/DLP(S). Another Swiss Army Knife – 15 Jumping reach. Definitely going for tallest team in the league 🙂 £350/wk is a decent amount but I see him playing a lot.
The other two World Cup Quarters are done – Spain & Brazil beating Germany & Croatia, both 3-1.
But the dream final (USA v DR Congo) doesn’t occur – USA losing 2-0 to Brazil AET, DR Congo losing 1-0 to Spain.
And Spain finally win it all, beating Brazil 2-1 in the Final. Spanish league Football starts again on 1/1/23 – The final was on 18th December….
Comes in for £4.6k from Kingstonian after starting his career at Southampton, where he is IRL
Expected to be a 4* CA when he joins in January
A little bit of a punt, James joins as the starting DL-WB(L) – decent full-backs are really rare. he’s been playing Tier 6 Football in England with Kingstonian, who have been promoted to the Vanarama North this season. Quick and determined – that’ll do, Pig.
Fuck me, have I missed something? £875/wk for Ethan Devine??? When did Athlone get that kind of money? Showing secure financially – has there been a takeover? They have a German chairman now so possibly.
Comes in on a free from Haverfordwest in Wales
IRL he’s with Llanelli Town, after starting his career at Swansea.
A bit of a punt 🙂
A real shot in the dark here – Daniel Alfei comes in on 6th January – he looks solid, thinking potentially 3* CA, plus looks like a natural wingback. There are no decent fullbacks that I can get at – Conor Kane is unhappy at Drogheda but they want £50k for him… At the very least Daniel will replace Kane Lewis (2.5* CA and gets sent off a lot)
We have picked up an Assistant manager for the U19’s, and replaced our Head Physio and U19’s Manager, all trying to improve the staff team.
A fair few lads released.
And so 2023 arrives, and we also have a few arrivals:
Biggest Overachievers 🙂
Longford first up, at home 🙂
£44k just come in for TV Rights.
Non-Irish newbies arrive – not as good as I’d hoped for TBH.
NEW SIGNING (JULY 2023)
One for the future, we will be welcoming Gareth Agnew at the end of the Northern Irish season to Cobh. Already 2.5* CA, Soon to be 18 Gareth has a ton of potential and will hopefully become a first-team midfielder in the next couple of seasons.
LOAN SIGNING (4 Months)
Comes in from Larne until May
Good cover for Right winger and Striker
IRL he’s with Drogheda
Brandon Bermingham comes in for 4 months from Larne. Solid covering option.
And then, out of nowhere, a question from the press:
The Dundalk job is open…..
And I’m 5/1 on!!!!! Now, do I apply, or do I wait for the call? I’ll give it a few days 🙂
Defender Jack Funge has gone to Galway on a Free.
David Evans in again, this time for the full season 🙂
Stepping up the pressure 🙂 The Cobh board have released a statement hoping I stay 🙂
Bosun Lawal in for another season as well 🙂
OK, I’ve left it a week – applying for the Dundalk role…
And we are at our first pre-season friendly – College Corinthians at St. Colman’s Park.
Friendly –FT Cobh Ramblers 3 (Lawal 6, 25, O’Neill 30) Col Corinthians 0 Att 120 (21 Away)
Pretty standard – all over early, then the players got bored. Higgins saved a Pen in there as well.
U.C.C. took a shock lead but 2 headed goals from Sam Bone set that straight. Business-like whilst heavily rotating.
And then the big day arrives, the Dundalk interview. But first a transfer offer for Dara Costelloe…
Initial £39k offer, got them up to £75k!!!. So lets have a look at Athlone’s landmark screen…
4 Chairmen in a year, with a German Tycoon taking over, and turning them Professional!!! Expecting to see Athlone in the top flight soon!
And so to the Interview. All the normal stuff, they want to be Competitive in the Conference League (So Qualifying for the Europa or Champions League would trump that) and continue winning the Premier Division – nothing else matters!
Just £2.8M for transfers 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
And £56k/wk for wages 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Munster Senior Cup QF drawn – Limerick being one of the tougher draws (With Cork)
Friendly – FT Wexford 1 (O’Hanlon 60) Cobh Ramblers 3 (Costelloe 2, Evans 48, Hurley 50) Att 76 (11 Away)
More of the same. Might be be Costelloe’s (And my) last game with Cobh????
Dara Costelloe to Athlone – £86k with additions – nice to cash in like that.
And here we go:
The Dundalk board added the Champions League & Europa League bits – apart from that all good. £1.7k/Wk is a bit of a step up. I’ve got them up to £1.8k wk.
And there we have it!!! I’m now manager of by far the best team in Ireland. Next post we will get to know the players and get through what is left of the pre-season – knowing we have lots of commitments in lots of competitions. This should be really interesting!
I’d like to think I’ll be leaving Cobh in a good spot – a bit of money in the bank (About £100k after the 40% severance for my Cobh contract is paid by Dundalk), and players capable of keeping them up. If they nose dive I will not be happy. See you soon for the start of the Dundalk adventure 🙂
Welcome back to another Berwick Rangers post, which sees us moving into a quiet October (Just the 4 games) still in 2nd place in the Championship after a very good start indeed.
They’re all tough games at this level for a team like ours – That said ate least we have 3 home games after a run of 5 away out of the last 6.
We go straight into the Dunfermline match today – we need a bit of momentum so a win would be amazing.
1st October 2022 – Dunfermline (H) – Ladbrokes Championship
We welcome a Dunfermline side currently in 8th, but unbeaten in the league in 4 games such is the topsy-turvy everybody-beating-everybody nature of the games this season so far.
Playing to our strengths with the 4-1-3-2 – Countering, very good midfield and 2 good strikers… Hoping that this can really progress as a tactic. Macbeath is a good F9, working with Slaven as a Poacher I’m hoping he can link with McLay and Palmer well. Dunfermline go with a 4-2-3-1 Wide. Again , expecting a clash of styles.
FT Berwick 1 (McKay 16) Dunfermline 0 Att 1,586 (493 Away)
A rainy Northumberland afternoon – used to playing in slick conditions here.A quiet first 10.Then one of those really long highlights, back and forth before we move up the pitch with some nice passing. The ball finally falls to McKay, who unleashed an absolute fizzer from 22 yards-or-so. Boom. Our Old friend Chris Barras is playing for Dunfermline, and has picked up a knock early on. Berwick on top – we’ve got to finish out games though. The Dunfermline midfield looking tired already. Macbeath has had a couple of really good chances so far, he needs to be putting them away.It’s pandemonium in the Dunfermline box, but they just seem to be able to block everything currently. 41st minute, Slaven slams the post from just inside the area – feels like another one of those games… 1-0 at the break, 18 shots to 3 to Berwick…
Dunfermline always look dangerous going forwards, we need that 2nd goal.So many chances!!!Carrick on for Macbeath just before 60. TM(S).Almost straight away Cammy Palmer picks up a knock –Sutherland on as the DLP, Turner to Half Back. Potential Thigh Injury – Hammie most probably. Just coming up to 80, Slaven off, Sutherland to AP(S) at AM, Dempsie on in midfield as a Mezzala (left side).Time running down… and there are highlights, but mainly for Berwick. And it’s all over – 1-0 Berwick, should have been 5-0, dominant even if the scoreline doesn’t show it.
Back level with Dundee at the top as Falkirk gets another really good point. Hamilton looking good in 3rd, then a gap back to QotS. Clyde next for us in 2 weeks.
CAMERON PALMER – TORN HAMSTRING – 3 MONTHS. Fuck. A chance for Kristi Marku to step up.
Our U18’s beat Montrose U18’s 8-0 – Goals from James Christie, Roger Scott, James Doolan, Paul McKernon and braces from Kristi Marku and Tom Sutherland. However Paul McKernon sprained knee ligaments and is out for 6 weeks…
Our Ressies lost 1-0 to Arbroath Res.
Aaron Dunsmore in the Championship Team of the Week.
Really awaiting how this takeover has progressed as well – A triallist (Manny Perez) was rated at 5* CA at right-back… he would need a work permit however (USA, was with Celtic, lots of youth caps but no senior, 23 yo)
Our U18’s beat Dumfries Res 2-1, goals from Calum Waters and Cammy Dow.
Our Ressies beat Brechin Res 2-0, goals from Ross MacIver & Connor McManus.
15th October 2022 – Clyde (H) – Ladbrokes Championship
We welcome 8th-place Clyde after a 2 week break – They had a terrible August but have won 2 and drawn 2 of their last 5 games so this will be another tough one no doubt.
Trying out a Carrick & Macbeath front line today, trying to find something that gets the best from Macbeath, who should be a class act up top. Marku gets a chance after Palmer’s injury, going with the Mezzala for him and Mackie gets a start in place of Livingstone, who does look class. Clyde go with a 4-5-1 – no newgens at all.
FT Berwick 2 (Carrick 15, Mackie pen 39) Clyde 1 (Dow 34) Att 1,157 (36 Away)
Wow, its not raining!! Backwards and forwards early doors, Clyde with a good chance, McKay hitting the crossbar with a header from a Mackie Corner. Berwick take the lead in the 15th minute– a Mackie free kick near the corner of the area headed home by Carrickfrom the edge of the 6-yard box. Our height giving them all kinds of problems.Play for Set Pieces on. Clyde look dangerous on the attack here, wonder if 4-5-1 will be a bit too deep for them?We are winning nearly all headers today. But again, we need that 2nd goal.And it was 1-1 in the 34rd, a deep cross finding Dow on his own to tap in. Poor defending.Only a few minutes later and Berwick win a penalty, Gallagher all over the back of Macbeath from a looped Mackie Corner.Mackie steps up to take it… a beautiful penalty, showing the Keeper the wrong way. 2-1 Berwick.And that’s how it stays at the half-time whistle.
McManus on for Marku at half time – on a yellow and a bit out of his depth. Also trying Carrick as a TM(S), Macbeath as an AF.Over 1,100 Berwick fans in attendance today 🙂 60 minutes comes and goes with no highlights, will leave it until 70 I think for the 2nd sub. Macbeath off, Slaven on as a Poacher. Last 15, Mackie off for Livingstone. And we are in injury time again, just 1 goal up…But we’ve seen another one out!! 2-1 Berwick, yet another win 🙂
Top of the table with a third of the season gone 🙂 Dundee pegged back by Patrick Thistle. Hamilton also pegged back by Livingston, We’re now 9 points clear of 5th; play-offs are maybe most likely now…
Another decent break – 11 days until we go to Partick on a Wednesday evening before hosting Dundee on the Saturday – 2 huge games.
And we’ve had the Scottish Cup 3rd Round Draw.
Not quite as far north as playing Wick Academy, but we make the trip to Brora Rangers, currently 15th in the Highland League. Ayr v Livingston is the only all-Championship clash. 5 wins from the final 🙂 The tie takes place on 19th November.
Our U18’s beat Burntisland Res 2-0, goals from Cammy Dow & Thomas Dempsie.
Looks like Len’s getting cold feet again. He obviously loves the Rangers so much 🙂
Our reserves lost 2-1 to Ayr Res, James Christie with the goal.
Right – lets have a look at Manny Perez… He wants £900/wk, max is £575…. Bugger 🙂
Our U18’s drew 0-0 with St Andrews U18’s
And Livi beat Dunfermline – Dunfermline in 9th with 9 points meaning we are 17 points clear of the relegation places with 24 games left. I think we are about 4 wins from safety TBH – You would have needed 42 points to stay in 8th last season, but before that 37 was the highest needed for 8th – indeed in 18/19 33 points would have been enough!
Berwick looking to tie me in!! £100 more per week. Looking at £100k compensation if I were to go to another club now, £50k at the end of the season. I’ve signed.
And our Reserves beat Stranraer Res 1-0, James Christie with the goal again! Now rated better than Sean Slaven at TM! 16 strength at 18yo, 5ft 11in.
Games on the Tuesday evening – Dundee go back top with a win at Dunfermline. Falkirk picking up more points with a good win over QotS. Hamilton one point behind us after beating Clyde.
26th October 2022 – Partick Thistle (A) – Ladbrokes Championship
We make the 105 mile journey to Northern Glasgow to face a Partick side languishing a bit in 7th, 12 points from 12 games, no wins in the last 4.
Going with a Carrick/Slaven front 2 as Macbeath hasn’t been setting the world on fire. McManus comes in as the 3rd centre-mid. Livingstone back at left back. Partick start with a 4-2-3-1 Wide.
Berwick are the All-Whites this evening versus the Partick Yellow-and-Red. 6th Minute, MacPherson sent straight off for a scything lunge. Come on guys!!!! FFS.Bow on for Carrick, Wingbacks up, 3 at the back, try and play compact, slow everything down, that kind of thing. We get to 25 minutes with no real issues, a couple of good saves from Sinclair but not looking too bad.And we are getting chances, Slaven missing a 1-on-1 in the 34th minute. Partick have the ball in the net in the 38th minute, Bannigan well offside. Last minute of the half, Penalty Partick, for absolutely nothing – Looks like FM wants to fuck me today – Dunsmore too forceful with Coulibaly apparently. Rose hammers the Penalty home. 1-0 Partick.1-0 at the break.
2-0 in the 54th minute – Dunsmore’s poor header straight to Coulibaly, who scores easily.60th minute, Macbeath on for Slaven. 3-0 in the 66th minute – Cammy Macbeath with a thunderbolt volley from a Spittal free-kick. 1st of the season. Fuck. Off. Game. Mackie on for Livingstone. AND ANOTHER FUCKING PENALTY FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! Certainly did look harsh. Rose scores, 4-0. We get one back in the last minute – Joel Macbeath with a nice header from a Dunsmore cross. That’s how it finished, an absolute shitshow.
Dundee next up.
29th October 2022 – Dundee (H) – Ladbrokes Championship
A really tough one today, without 2 of our best midfielders (MacPherson and Palmer) – I think 4-2-3-1 might be the best plan? Maybe not… Cammy Dow is owned by Dundee so we’d not have a left winger…
Slightly more defensive, McManus as the DLP(D) in Centre Mid, Archie Gardiner starts as a CM(A) with McKay, Turner plays as a HB. Macbeath starts as an AF to Carrick’s TM(S). Mackie starts as DL-WB(S). Dundee start with a 4-2-3-1 Wide.
FT Berwick 0 Dundee 2 (Forrest 55, pen 74) Att 1,946 (864 Away)
Back to the rain this afternoon 🙂 A quite first 25, 2 highlights, Dundee with a long shot and McKay clipping the bar from 25 yards.But in the 34th minute we get a penalty this time!! McKay tripped by Ralston. Mackie steps up… and Ridgers saves brilliantly low to his left. And from the clearance Dundee break and Turner gets sent off for what looked like a perfectly good tackle. Fuck this game! Only thing I’m changing is Get Stuck In is now off, this is a joke. Still getting chances near the end of the half.0-0 at the break.
Nearly 2,000 people in the ground today!! Dundee bringing 864. A decent start to the half, but Dundee open the scoring in the 55th minute – Mackie missing a header, Forrest scoring well at the back post.Livingstone on for Mackie.Quiet until the 73rd minute, when a good Berwick attack is broken on, and a penalty given to Dundee again for a beautiful tackle by Nicolson. What the Actual Fuck.Forrest steps up and scores well. 2-0 Dundee, completely undeserved.Marku on as AP(A) at AM for Macbeath, who’s had another poor game.Last 8 or so, Sutherland on for Gardiner, who has looked pretty good.Fucked by the Ref yet again, 2-0 it finished.
Three draws means the loss wasn’t too hurtful, but Get Stuck On needs to come off now, the Match Engine has fucked me twice in two games now.
That’s it for games, just a few more days to get through.
Our U18’s beath Bonnyton Res 5-0, goals from James Doolan, James Christie and a hat-trick from non-player Allan McKenna.
Our Reserves lost 1-0 to Morton Res.
And that’s that – 2 great wins, 2 terrible results, 1 caused by a justified sending off, but 2 unjustified penalties, the 2nd caused by an unjustified sending off and an unjustified penalty.
Just the 4 games next month – All the league games will be tough. See you soon.
We reach the end of the 2022 season today – a superb first-season in the Premier Division, blowing all our highest hopes of (maybe , just maybe) avoiding relegation via a play-off completely out of the water 🙂
Dundalk will be tough as usual, and I’m not expecting any games to be a walkover but we have a decent opportunity to get to 50 points – currently we sit on 40, 5 points back from Cork & Derry, who we both play – an outside shot at a place in the Europa Conference League is still there!
We have Dundalk first up – I mentioned in the last post their crazy schedule for September because of cups and Europe – 9 games, 8 of them from the 13th onwards… However we play them on the 6th so expect to go up against a full strength side, without Lawal who is owned by them.
‘B’ from the board. Dynamics still good as well.
6th September 2022 – Dundalk (H) – Irish Premier Division
Dundalk arrive at St. Colman’s Park with 2 games in hand at the top of the league, 3 points separating them from St. Pat’s in 2nd. Shamrock are 13 points behind them on the same games, so it’s a 2-horse race for the title. Can we throw a spanner in the works? Anything from this game would be a massive bonus. The ‘news’ says ‘survival at state for Cobh – seriously, we need a point from our last 6 games!!!
Graydon starts on the left as an IW(A), Costelloe rested for the Cork game in a few days. Hurley in for Lawal as a BWM(D), a spoiler of midfield play. Phillips starts at left back, Fleming at right. Mylod gets his first start since injury for Higgins. Dundalk go 4-4-2, OP this FM IMO.
A slowish start, but Dundalk take the lead in the 7th minute. Free Kick, poor headed clearance, Rea on hand to score from 10 yards. 1-0 Dundalk. We go straight back up the other end and hit the post; an O’Neill header from a Phillips Free Kick.And in the 9th minute it’s 2-0, Duffy from the edge of the area… Going to be a long day.And another goal in the 21st minute – but this time to Cobh!A lovely move, resulting in a Fleming cross being headed in by Graydon coming in off the wing. 2-1 Dundalk.Dundalk have the ball in the net for the 3rd time in the 25th minute, but Kelly was offside by 5 yards. 30 minute, 3-1, Duffy again from outside the area. Mylod should be doing better.We do look dangerous going forward though – 3-1 at Half Time.
Taylor on for Phillips, Get Stuck In on. 4-1 in the 55th, a wonder goal, half-volley from 30 yards from Forde, 1st of the season (Of course it fucking is). McManus on for Hurley. Penalty in the 75th, Collins with a push apparently.Duffy scores for his hat-trick.O’Riordan for Hughes. 5 goals from 7 shots on target. 5-1 it finished.
Not quite safe yet as Sligo beat Shamrock at theirs, Derry in 4th as they beat Cork. Cork next.
9th September 2022 – Cork City (A) – Irish Premier Division
We make the short journey this evening to a Cork side just 6 points above us after 31 games, something I could never have dreamed at the start of the season. There have been some Media rumblings about Neale Fenn and his position as manager there – He shows at the top end of stable in the Job Status in the Staff screen but Cork’s finances are Insecure – Would I take Cork City if it came up, do a cull and get them back up challenging again???
They weren’t on a bad run until losing to Derry last time out 1-0, lets see if we can cause an upset.
Doherty gets some time up top, a changed middle-3 of Lawal, Hurley & Allardice, Porter misses out. Kehoe at left back. Hoping for a much better show than last time out. Cork go with a 4-3-3 narrow – Extremely Wide boys!!!
FT Cork City 1 (Morrow 8) Cobh Ramblers 2 (Hurley 10, Evans 11) Att 4,347 (287 Away)
In our light blue shirts this evening. Looks like a good crowd in, evening though its raining. A combative start from the boys, Evans should have scored in the 4th minute following a Doherty cross, the Cork Keeper Ryan saving brilliantly – immediately on a 7.0!And then we are cut apart by a Cork move – 1-0, Morrow at the back postfollowing an amazing piece of control from Sheppard.Didn’t last long though!!A Doherty Corner headed clear – a bit of play on the edge of the box, the ball squared to Hurley who thunders one home from 25+ yards, dead centre. 1-1. Kick-Off highlight…. And it’s 2-1, to Cobh!!! Another screamer – Kehoe gets the ball wide, runs with it unchallenged towards the centre, hits a cross and Evans thunderbastards a half-volley just inside the near post from 12 yards. Crazy goal! 5-5 incoming? It does calm down a bit though, Cork hitting the bar in the 18th minute and a few chances for both sides coming up to the half hour. Towards the end of the half Higgins has made a good few saves. Cobh had a couple of really good chances in the last couple of minutes of the half but we go in 2-1 up.
Good chances again early doors for Cobh. 60 Gone, Porter on for Allardice (On a Yellow) – Lawal to DLP, Porter to CM(A). 70 gone, Melody on for Costelloe as an IF(A) on the left.Just lacking the finish at the moment, should be 3 or 4 up.Last 10, McManus for Hurley. 5 minutes stoppage time… And Bosun Lawal gets injured with 3 minutes left…Cork pushed right up now.Into the 8th minute of stoppage time… and the ref blows the whistle. 2-1 win, a superb result!!!And that sees us safe from relegation with 4 games left.
14 Points clear of Waterford, 8 if they win both games in hand. And only 3 points back from Cork!!! Galway’s time is running out, and Sligo need Shelbourne to slip up a bit.
Never in doubt… We’ve paid out about £.5k for avoiding relegation.
BOSUN LAWAL – Twisted Ankle – 3/6 Weeks – A real shame, Bosun has had a really good season (6.97 Av in the League). It would be really nice if we can get him again next season.
Our U19’s are also doing well – securing a playoff spot in the U19 National League after beating Shamrock U19’s 3-0, goals from Fowler and a brace from Hobbs.
Some very good performances this season.
As Shelbourne have qualified for the Irish Senior Challenge Cup Semis our league game with them is now on 26th September, meaning our last game is Galway on the 30th.
Dundalk now 8 clear at the top – We play Waterford next in 3 days. Shelbourne with a good win over Shamrock, whose season is petering out a bit.
Friday 16th September – Waterford (H) – Irish Premier Division
We welcome a Waterford side currently in 8th, just 3 points ahead of Sligo but with a game in hand. They have had some tough league results recently – Losing 6-1 to Shamrock being one of them, though they have beaten Derry 1-0 last week. However they’ve played 3 games in 5 days (9th, 11th, 13th) and now face us on the 16th – 4 games in a week! They are another team with financial woes – lets see if we can keep pace with Cork and push them and Derry to the death in pursuit of that last European spot.
A few changes due to Injury & suspension. Devine (Lawal), Meade (Collins suspended for yellows) and Lewis (Fleming suspended for yellows). Eoin Porter is a real worry – up until 2 weeks ago he showed as a full green at CM(A) – now he’s not got more than a partial green (On step up from half-yellow) in any role at either MC or AMC… And he’s only 2.5* CA… Development doesn’t show any great changes. he’s only 23 as well, might be him done as his contract is up at the end of the season. Waterford are playing a 4-4-1-1.
FT Cobh Ramblers 0 Waterford 0 Att 398 (148 Away)
4 players on the Waterford side start with under 85% condition, 2 under 80%. A quiet start though, Cobh with the chances, Connor pulling off some good saves. 0-0 at the break. Tight.
Waterford defending well at the start of the second half, blocking with all their might.Up to 65 minutes, Melody on for Evans, Porter for Devine, O’Neill for Doherty. Triple subbage. Positive. O’Neill fluffs a one on one on a break soon after… Feeling like a 0-0, Hurley (Apparently with a fractured finger!!) misses a sitter as well in the 88th minute. A bit of Waterford pressure at the end, but it finished 0-0.
6th looking pretty certain (Shelbourne can get to 45 points with 5 wins) as Shelbourne lose to Cork. Derry next up – can we do Cork a big favour?
Dundalk win the League Cup, beating UCD 1-0. We were the biggest underachievers apparently…
2 games left in the First Division – a Shoot-Out between Bohemians and Longford, who play each other next. Relegated Drogheda could sneak into the playoffs. – Looks like the winners will play Sligo.
We’re assured 6th as Shelbourne lose to St. Pats – They have just 12 points to play for now, as do Waterford.
Anthony Meade makes the Irish Premier Division Team of the Week.
Dundalk beating Derry, meaning Cork still in with a shout of 4th. They also beat Legia Warsaw 2-1 Away in their first Europa League Group game!! £490k for a win!!!! They must have made over a Million so far in Europe this season, or near to it. No way we can compete (Or any team in Ireland) until they are doing the same.
So, 3 games in a week to finish our Irish Premier Division campaign. We must be due a Youth Intake soon as well!!! The Preview says we have a good midfielder coming through…
23rd September 2022 – Derry City (A) – Irish Premier Division
Our last away-day of the season takes us to Norn Iron, where we face a Derry side Needing a win to keep Cork at bay, 4th being (Currently, dependent on the Irish Senior Challenge Cup) the last European spot. They’ve been a bit hot and cold this month, with 3 losses in the last 4 competitive fixtures.
Kehoe & Hurley suspended – Taylor & McManus in for them. Graydon for Evans on the right wing, Fleming back at right back. O’Neill back in up top for Doherty. Derry go with a filthy 4-4-2.
FT Derry City 2 (Hamilton 4, McNamee 11) Cobh Ramblers 1 (Costelloe 37) Att 1,140 (17 Away)
In the Light blue again this evening. 1-0 Derry in the 4th minute – fucking set pieces!!! Hamilton with a header from a corner.14 Jumping reach, 6ft 2in. 2-0 in the 11th, McNamee from the edge of the area… Get Stuck In, Have some fucking Passion. Wingers drawn back, O’Neill back to DLF(S), Cautious. And we get some chances, but the finishing is awful.But a little bit of a lifeline in the 37th minute – Costelloe finishing a Graydon low cross via a deflection. 2-1.Much better. We finish the half much the stronger, but we go in 2-1 down after starting really poorly.
60 minutes comes in a flash. Evans on against a tired left back. Phillips on for McManus in the 70th.No highlights.Doherty on for O’Neill for the last 10. First highlight is what looks like the end of game highlight – And it is – A 2-1 loss, considering it was down to a poor first 10 that’s quite disappointing.
Shelbourne almost safe after a good win away at Waterford. Galway almost mathematically at least in the relegation playoffs now despite a really good draw versus St. Pat’s. Shelbourne next up in 3 days.
Our U19’s beat Cabinteely U19’s 2-0, gaols from Hobbs & O’Brien. We are now 3rd in the table with all games played. Waterford can go back above us if they win their last match.
Dundalk win the League after a ding-dong battle versus Sligo, having been 2-1 down with 24 minutes left. 3 points for Waterford in their last 3 matches see Sligo at highest 9th now.
26th September 2022 – Shelbourne (H) – Irish Premier Division
Nothing to play for this evening – Shelbourne now being safe from the relegation spots. They’ve been pretty inconsistent – that said apart from Dundalk everybody is beating everybody else at the moment.
Doherty back in for more game time. Evans back on the right, Hourihane gets game time in centre mid, Hurley back from suspension. Kehoe also back, Lewis in for Fleming, O’Riordan in for a knackered Hughes. Shelbourne with a 4-2-1-3 2DM Wide formation…
FT Cobh Ramblers 2 (Doherty 2, 33) Shelbourne 3 (O’Hanlon 38, Lynch 55, 75) Att 323 (58 Away)
A great start for the boys this evening, Doherty opening the scoring after 100 seconds, Allardice chipping over to Evans, who cross found Doherty, who headed in beautifully from 9 yards. 1-0 Cobh. And we score again in the 4th minute, but Evans was offside. Good play from Hourihane.We’re very much on top in the first 10.Going past the half hour and they have some tired boys!! And we do get our second goal, almost exactly the same as the first; an Allardice pass, except Lewis crosses this time to find Doherty. 2-0, very much deserved. But we let Shelbourne back in, 2-1 in the 38th, O’Hanlon pretty much on his own at the back post.And then Lewis gets himself sent off, very similar to early on in the season, a fucking stupid lunge. Fleming on for Evans. 2-1 at Half Time.
OK, what to do because of that fucking idiot Lewis? A little bit more defensive, slow it down a bit.Also looking at the attendance I can’t see how this club can progress with only 250/300 fans coming to home games… 2-2 in the 55th, Lynch laid in by Ferdinand. Poor defending. Costelloe off, Devine on as we go to a narrow diamond.3-2 Shelbourne in the 75th, Lynch again getting away from the defenders……..Going positive for the last 15, O’Neill on for Hourihane, 2 up top. We had a couple of chances but Shelbourne see the game out.
It looks like nearly everything is settled. Cork need to win and Derry lose twice to get 4th, Waterford are now safe meaning Sligo and Galway will stay in the relegation spots, with most probably galway going down automatically. We play them next in the last game of our season.
Maybe a right winger and a centre mid… Don’t think we will keep many.
Sligo almost safe from automatic relegation – Galway need 2 wins and a 7 goal swing to not finish bottom. Derry have leap-frogged Shamrock Rovers into 3rd!!
The Youth candidate team won 1-0, Hartslief with the goal. Signed 5 – The MR O’Donnell, MC Dunne, DRL McCarthy, DC Bolger and GK Kelly, who looks a lot better than a 2* PA.
30th September 2022 – Galway Utd (H) – Irish Premier Division
The last day of term, and the last game for a fair few players here. Galway need a win.
Mihoubi in for a start for Costelloe, Hourihane keeps his spot in midfield. Fleming in for that twat Lewis, Hughes back in after a rest. Galway start with a 4-3-3 Narrow 🙂 – Extremely Wide it is!
FT Cobh Ramblers 2 (Evans 4, O’Neill pen 75) Galway Utd 2 (Wright 6, Walker 81) Att 392 (99 Away)
We storm out of the blocks again, this time scoring in the 4th minute – Evans on the end of a Kehoe cross, a nice side-foot half-volley finish.1-1 2 minutes later, a corner bounces in the area, Wright hammers home… I’ve definitely got the set-pieces set up!!Not much else for the rest of the half, 1-1 at the break.
Devine on for Hourihane for the 2nd half.Wow, we get to 70 with no highlights. O’Neill for Doherty, Graydon for Mihoubi. Peno in the 75th to Cobh – O’Neill to take (Higgins pulling back Allardice). Nice Finish, placed bottom left. 2-1 Cobh.But we let another goal in from a fucking corner… 2-2, 81st minute, Walker with his 1st of the season…And that’s how it finished.Season done.
Galway relegated. They will be replaced by…
Longford!!! A fair old surprise that – they finished 9th last season!!! The winners of 2nd, 3rd and 4th will play Sligo. We wont have the lowest wage bill in the Premier Division next year!!!
And with that we reach 1st October. I’m going to end the post there; we will have a load to do next time, over 4 months until the 2023 season starts. I leave you with the Key Highlights from the month. See you soon.
Welcome to another month with Berwick Rangers, now in the Ladbrokes Championship, and we have 5 games.
After a superb August we face Welsh Premier league titans TNS in the IRN-BRU Cup (Now the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup :)), followed by 4 league games. Currently with our form as it is, and beating a very good Dundee side at theirs we’ve got to fancy getting at least 6 points, hopefully more as we look to maintain the August high.
Sean Mackie second in the Ladbrokes Championship Player of the Month
Manager of the Month!! 🙂 Wasn’t expecting that at the start of the season!
And we’ve just signed an U18’s Coach – David McLeish (38, First role, 9’s for Attacking, Mental, Tactical, 14 Working with Youngsters – Fairly Ambitious) – Trying to help with the youngster’s progression whilst we’re still Part Time and have ‘Below Average Youth Facilities’.
3rd September 2022 – The New Saints(WAL) (A) – IRN-BRU Cup 2nd Round
We make the 274 mile, 5 hour journey South West to Oswestry, a few miles on the English side of the Welsh border for an all English tie in the Scottish/Welsh/Irish/English IRN-BRU Cup 🙂 We are slight favourites but know this will be a tough one. TNS went out of the Europa League Quals (No Conference League in FM19) 6-0 to IFK Mariehamn of Finland after beating Europa FC (Gibraltar) 1-0 on aggregate in the Europa League Champions 2nd Qualifying Round. They played 9 games in August so I’m hoping they may be flagging a bit.
Macbeath starts as an F9! Hoping that draws Dempsie and Mackie into the area a bit, Livingstone gets another chance – I’ve turned Get Stuck In off. TNS go with a 4-5-1.
FT TNS 1 (Clarke 45) Berwick 1 (Macbeath 68) Att 297 (42 Away)– TNS win 14-13 on Penalties
A slow start at the 2,034 capacity Park Hall. Only really set pieces until the 38th minute where there’s a monster highlight – Mackie being saved magnificently at the far post after an intricate build-up. Then just before half time TNS take the lead – Clarke with a tap-in at the back post from a Lee cross, Dunsmore should have been there-or-thereabouts.1-0 TNS at Half Time.
Mackie back to WB(A), Livingstone off for Sutherland (IF(A)). MacIver on for Dempsie. Macbeath to AF. Going Positive.Brighter from the boys. And we get the equaliser!! 68th minute, nice movement forward, a cross from Dunsmore overshoots the players at the back post but Sutherland runs on, crosses beautifully on the swivel and Macbeath heads in at the near post for a goal on Debut. Nice play, 1-1.Last 15, McKay is looking knackered, Palmer on. TNS looking dangerous from set pieces. And that’s that – straight to Pens….
Macbeath – Horrible penalty, straight down the middle and saved… 0-0
Dyson – Goal, 1-0 TNS
Mackie – Lucky, straight under the keeper, 1-1
Jones – Goal, 2-1 TNS
MacPherson – A boomer, Kevin Pressman style, 2-2
Burniston – Goal, 3-2 TNS
Palmer – Nice finish, 3-3
Josh Thomas – A beautiful save from Sinclair to his right!!! 3-3 – All Level
Turner – Top Bins!! 4-3 Berwick. TNS need to score to stay in it.
Lee – Good goal, 4-4
Nicolson – A proper defender’s penalty, foot straight through it, 5-4 Berwick
Clarke – Good finish, 5-5
Sutherland – Fuck, a good save by Maddison, 5-5 – It’s in TNS’s hands now.
Hmami – BLASTS IT OVER!!! 5-5, back in it!!
MacIver – Nice goal, just right of centre, 6-5 Berwick
Williams – straight down the middle – 6-6
Dunsmore – Beautiful penalty, top left bins, 7-6 Berwick
Maddison (Keeper v Keeper) – Nice finish, 7-7
Bow – Lovely penalty just inside the left upright. 8-7 Berwick
Hood – Just misses Sinclair’s legs, 8-8 (Will this ever finish!!!)
Sinclair (Keeper v Keeper 2) – straight down the middle!! 9-8 Berwick
Wilson (11th penalty) – Lovely penalty, 9-9. We start again
Macbeath – Scores this time!! 10-9 Berwick
Dyson – Sinclair got close, 10-10
Mackie – Solid, 11-10 Berwick
Jones – Lovely clipped penalty, 11-11
MacPherson – just off centre, 12-11 Berwick
Burniston – Straight through Sinclair, 12-12
Palmer – Straight at Maddison, who saves it, 12-12
Josh Thomas… SINCLAIR SAVES!!!! 12-12, we go again!!!
Turner – Bottom corner, 13-12 Berwick
Lee – High into the roof of the net (Fearing we are bugged here and this may never finish), 13-13
Nicolson – Straight at Maddison, who doesn’t move and saves it, 13-13 (Please someone win this!!!)
Clarke – It’s Over, top corner. TNS win 14-13 on penalties
Thank fuck that’s over!! I really thought we were in bug territory.
Nothing much in the way of shocks – Dundee, Partick, Ayr, Falkirk & Livingston all through, Hamilton, QotS & Dunfermline could join them, all meaning more games for them. £8k for the loss. Right, back to the League!
Our U18’s beat Leith Res 6-0, goals from Paul McKernon, a brace from Michael Carrick and an hat-trick from James Christie.
PLAYER LEAVING (LOAN)
Yusuf Hussain goes to Deveronvale (2nd bottom in the Highland League) until the new year.
Len looking to try and offload the club again – must be worth a bit more now we are doing well in the Championship 🙂
PLAYER LEAVING (LOAN)
Want-away keeper MacKenzie (1.5* CA) goes to Edinburgh Uni until the end of the 2023/24 season, which is also the end of his contract. Let’s see if game time lets him develop (Edinburgh Uni are currently 3rd bottom in the Lowland League)
Our Ressies lost 1-0 to Partick Thistle Res.
10th September 2022 – Ayr (A) – Ladbrokes Championship
We make the 145 mile journey across the breadth of the island today to face an Ayr side that finished 9th last season, surviving by beating Albion Rovers comfortably in the play-off final. They are currently 5th – just 1 loss to Dunfermline in their last 5 games surrounded by 4 wins. The bookies have them slight favourites, and their wage bill is getting on for 3 times ours… Ayr have been a Championship side since 18/19 in game – IRL they finished 4th in both the last 2 seasons. They;ve not been in the top flights since 1977/78.
Going with the old faithful set-up today – Slaven, Down & MacIver as the front 3, McKay, MacPherson & Turner the midfield diamond, Mackie & Dunsmore the wingbacks, Nicolson & Bow in defence, Sinclair in goal. Ayr go with a 5-2-1-2 WB formation – think we need to exploit the wings.
FT Ayr 2 (MacKay 34, 79)Berwick 0 Att 1,677 (116 Away)
It’s a rainy Ayr this afternoon – and they get a very dodgy penalty in the 3rd minute (Clarke apparently tripped by Mackie… Come on Sinclair, you had a ton of practice in the last game… Robinson steps up, AND ITS A BEAUTIFUL SAVE BY SINCLAIR!! Down low to his left!! Slaven nearly through just after, his shot bloked after a lovely Dow pass. Ayr on top though. Going a bit more cautious. Ayr take the lead in the 34th minute, Mackay getting free after a cross and scoring well. Not been good today.Show some Passion you twats. And we should have equalised in the 41st minute, a lovely break, MacPherson with a completely free header straight at the keeper…Going to be one of those days I fear. 1-0 Ayr at the break.
Dempsie for MacIver (6.3) at half time.Show me something else in the second half.55 gone, MacPherson is on a yellow so Palmer on. FUCK OFF GAME!!! ANOTHER FUCKING PENALTY FOR A BEAUTIFUL CHALLENGE! Mackie again, gorgeous sliding challenge. Quitongo taking this one, AND HE’S SAVED IT AGAIN!!!!Sinclair the hero, down to his right this time!! 8.2 for Sinclair!!!! 70 gone, going for it – 4-2-4, Macbeath for Turner, Poacher to Slaven’s TM. 2-0 Ayr…. Mackay again, unmarked at the back post.And that’s that, a 2-0 loss – really not good enough today – should have been 4-0.Honeymoon over.
Dundee look a class act – really and truly I don’t want promotion this season even if it was a remote possibility – Raith have the lowest wage bill up there at £1.5M/annum… Livingston next up in a week at the Tony Macaroni…
Our U18’s beat Dumfries Res 1-0, Paul McKernon with the goal.
Our Reserves drew 2-2 with Forfar Res – Goals from Paul McKernon & Archie Gardiner.
Obviously Ross Sinclair makes the team of the week – 7.7 for 2 penalty saves…
PLAYER LEAVING (LOAN)
Simon Boyd goes to Whitehill Welfare (8th in the Lowland League, mid-table) until the end of the season.
Saturday 17th September 2022 – Livingston (A) – Ladbrokes Championship
We make the short (for us) journey of 76 miles to the south-west of Edinburg to play a Livingston side with a tumultuous past. Previously known as Meadowbank Thistle, they moved to and became Livingston in 1995 in the (then) third division. They made it to the Premiership in 6 seasons, but went into administration twice, in 2004 & 2009, finding themselves at the bottom of the League Pyramid (Third Division) again. They were back in the Championship/First Division for 11/12 after back-to-back promotions, but suffered relegation back to the 3rd tier (Now League 1) in 15/16. They bounced straight back, and then gained promotion to the Premiership in 17/18. In game they were relegated again in 19/20, IRL they are 10th in the Premiership in the 20/21 season after 6 games, having finished the 19/20 season in 5th, outside the European spots by 0.2 pts/game. They only have the 6th highest wage bill in the Championship currently, £747k/yr and have Insecure finances.
Quite a big tactical change. My feeling is the wings are our weakness – so lets get better players on the pitch if we can. 4-4-2 Diamond WB? Turner plays as a Halfback, almost like a Sweeper, bolstering Nicolson & Maguire in the back line. Mackie & Dunsmore are the Wingbacks, though Livingstone is rated a fair bit higher than Mackie. Sutherland gets a go as an AP at the Number 10 position, and our best 2 strikers, Macbeath and Carrick play for the first time together as a TM(S)/Poacher combination. This could go horribly wrong? But i need to give it a go, the wingers have been bugging me all season. Livingston go with a 4-1-2-3 DM Narrow, could be a Cricket score…
FT Livingston 1 (Bowman 60) Berwick 1 (Carrick 87) Att 1,049 (174 Away)
We are in our blue kit in the rain on the 4G pitch here this afternoon – could be very interesting. A quiet first 10 though. A few highlights, mainly for Berwick, not looking too bad as we get towards the half-hour. 0-0 at Half Time, tactics cancelling each-other out a bit.
Macbeath on a booking and a 6.4, Slaven on at Half Time as the Poacher. Might drop my Wingbacks back a bit, a draw would not be a bad result. Early on we are getting chances, just getting blocked all the time – Will we roux missing these chances? 60 mins, Livingstone on for Mackie. McKay gives a silly free kick away and its 1-0 Livingston – Bowman with a header after a Tansay cross, before Livingstone gets on the pitch.Last 15, MacPherson on for Sutherland, BWM(S) in the middle, Palmer and McKay CM(A) either side. Coming into the last 5, Livingston make a mistake, Lyon takes a heavy touch, Sean Slaven wins the ball…Goal Berwick!! Slaven slips the ball to Carrick, who blasts one into the roof of the net from just outside the area for his first for the club. 1-1, 87th minute. Injury Time, Livi pushing, corner after corner, but the game ends 1-1 – I’ll take that any day!Well deserved.
Just 2 points off top as Dundee are beaten by Hamilton, who we play next…
Battle near the bottom as Clyde and Dunfermline draw. Currently 11 points and 12 goals clear of the Relegation places.
Our U18’s beat Sauchie Res 3-0, goals from James Christie & a brace from James Doolan.
Our Ressies drew 0-0 with Dumbarton Res.
Michael Carrick makes the Ladbrokes Championship Team of the Week.
24th September 2022 – Hamilton (H) – Ladbrokes Championship
We welcome a Hamilton side sitting in 3rd, 5 games unbeaten after 2 losses in mid August. They beat us 5-1 in the Betfred group, I’m hoping for a better display today. Reality is biting a bit now.
In game Hamilton have been bouncing between the Premiership and Championship – 2 relegations and a promotion in the last 4 seasons. IRL they have been a premiership side since 2014, and finished last season 11th. Currently they sit 11th after 5 games, with a solitary win versus bottom-placed Motherwell.
Going more cautious today – 4-1-3-2 WB Narrow, Slaven starts as the Poacher, Carrick the TM(S), MacPherson as the BWM(S) in the middle of two CM(A) who I hope do some underlapping. Livingstone starts as the WB(S) – Mackie in the wings if needs be. Again a draw would be really good when you look at the wage disparity (No guarantee of better players, but its usually a good sign). Hamilton start with a 4-2-3-1 Wide.
FT Berwick 2 (Slaven 4, 37) Hamilton 1 (Keatings 28) Att 1,426 (332 Away)
A bit of a shock start, first highlight after the kick off, 1-0 Berwick!! A MacPherson outswinger finds Slaven unmarked, who’s (tame) header gets through the Hamilton Keeper Woods’s hands somehow!!Not going down as a mistake though.Highlight straight after the goal, Hamilton hit the post with a header… But Berwick look good going forward, and in the 18th minutewe get a Penalty – Turnertripped by Platt as our physicality unsettles the Hamilton defence. Slaven steps up… And Woods saves down low to his right… Hope we don’t regret that!!(Had a feeling that wasn’t going in).And it was 1-1 in the 28th minute – A Corner pinballing around after a fine Sinclair save, finding Keatings in the right place to tap in. It’s a day for corners!!! Slaven with his 2nd in the 37th minute, almost identical to the first goal, just a better header this time.2-1 Berwick.Doubt it will finish 2-1 though.Half Time.
Over 1,100 home fans in the ground today!!! Just coming up to 60 minutes, Palmer no having a good one, so going 3 at the back, Bow on, Wingbacks up a bit to give some width. Mackie on for Livingstone. Hamilton really pushing now. Last 20, going to try and do them on the break, Macbeath on for Carrick as an AF, Slaven to TM(A). And we so nearly get our 3rd, Turner’s shot blocked at the last. Injury time, Hamilton really playing high.30 seconds left of added time, a Hamilton free kick. Hamilton hit the bar!!! But it was offside anyway – good play lads!!!And it’s over!! 2-1, a superb result!!
Dundee stage an amazing comeback to win 3-2 versus Ayr – 2-0 down as they entered the final 10 minutes!!! Lots of sharing of points going on as well – 19 points from the first 9 games is a superb total for us.
Now for 2 games in the next 7 days – Falkirk away on Tuesday (The last game of September) followed by Dunfermline at home on the 1st October.
Our U18’s beat Tranent U18’s 3-1, goals from Calum Waters, Cammy Dow and triallist Andy Dallas.
Ross SInclair makes the Team of the Week again for the Ladbrokes Championship.
Here we go again… The problem here is I’ve got a 5* Rightback on trial, and I can’t even put my toe in the water and see what he would want to sign…
27th September 2022 – Falkirk (A) – Ladbrokes Championship
We travel to Falkirk for our 4th away game of 5 this month – I’ve been there with Civil Service a few times as East Stirlingshire ground-share there. Second versus last (Form DWLDL) – What could possibly go wrong…
Playing around with the front 2 combinations – Today Slaven as TM, Macbeath as AF. trying Palmer as a BBM up and down that left corridor. Mackie back as the WB. Trying to not rotate too much – Rest after games where there’s a training session between is nearly-always getting the lads above 90% condition for kick-off when there’s at least a 3 days gap. Falkirk start with the 4-1-2-3 DM Wide we used to u