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Part Zero

Why are we here………

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:

https://www.youtube.com/user/DoctorBenjyFM/ – Ben’s Thames series was a major influence, very well put together and he tells a story really well. https://www.youtube.com/user/SecondYellowCard/ – Matt’s B67 series was brilliant from the gameplay aspect – the possibility of taking a team from Greenland as far as he did was amazing.

So I decided to have a go myself – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC49CuCMPebNZZh6PBlE1mrQ – With a couple of lower league saves, Guernsey in the English Football Pyramid and a resurrected Vulkan Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy in the Russian Football Pyramid.

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/UC-3wJqf60YbC6jzAfPRm2ig – Loki Doki (Jon) has both a superb lower league to legend going on with Fort William and a brilliant Journeyman that started in Luxembourg and is currently in Italy. He is definitely one of the best creators I’ve seen.

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.

My day 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.

Straight into the action! – PearceyPlays #FM20 Season 4 – Part 29 – Cobh Ramblers – February 2022

Lets do this!

Straight into the action today – we host Shamrock Rovers today in our first Premier Division game since 2008.

11th February 2022 – Shamrock Rovers (H) – Premier Division

The boys have had a good pre-season, especially that 7-0 7 days ago against today’s opponents!!! Still can’t believe that happened TBH.

For Evans read Graydon, for Sammon read Curran. Kehoe with his first competitive start for Cobh at left back, Josh Collins and Anthony Meade our starting central defence partnership, with Hughes waiting in the wings if more experience is needed. Feeling positive, but i don’t expect much this season TBH. Shamrock start with a 4-4-1-1, Sammon starting up top for them.

FT Cobh Ramblers 0 Shamrock Rovers 2 (Sammon 5, 49) Att 561 (253 Away)

We lasted just over 4 minutes… A real scramble in the box, Brian Sammon on hand to tap in. Really unlucky the way the ball rebounded from challenges a number of times. We’re looking good going forward though. Nearly 2-0 on 30 minutes, Meade dispossessed whilst dwelling on the ball, Sammon ending up receiving the ball but shot directly at Mylod, who stayed big. 1-0 Shamrock at HT, a really good showing from the boys so far, just need that goal.

A really good start to the half, Costelloe stealing the ball in the first 20 seconds, Curran well saved by. And then out of nowhere it’s 2-0 – Charlie Fleming dispossessed, a lovely tackle by meade by the ball falls straight to Sammon, who runs on an scores…. Taylor on for Fleming. 60 gone, Melody for Graydon. Last 20, O’Neill for Curran. But time ran down. A 2-0 loss, 2 unlucky rebounds and we certainly weren’t dominated.

Galway the biggest loser on the day versus Shelbourne. Cork beating Dundalk was a big result as well. Next up is Sligo in 4 days.

LOAN SIGNING

Brian McManus

  • 20yo MC
  • 6ft 1in
  • On loan from St. Pat’s Athletic after starting his career at Preston North End (Was a St. Kevin’s Boys player in Dublin)
  • IRL he still with Preston

Brian McManus comes in as a solid Midfield 3 option. Essentially an attacking CM I see him working with Ethan Devine this season (As we have 9 more league games to play than last term). A nice no-money signing for the season.

Get promoted, sell 3. More. Season. Tickets………………….

LOAN SIGNING

Bosun Lawal

  • 18yo MC
  • 5ft 10in
  • Joins on loan from Dundalk, who picked Bosun up on a free from Watford (Like Brian McManus Bosun was a St. Kevin’s Boys player in youth football)
  • IRL he’s in the Watford U18’s

Bosun Lawal joins us as our best player by CA – Very solid and determined, another player vying for the starting centre mid spot, or he could play as a playmaker from further back if Eoin Porter doesn’t fire as the Number 10. A very nice inclusion to the squad, and again no money changing hands 🙂

15th February 2022 – Sligo Rovers (A) – Premier Division

The Showgrounds, Sligo

We make the 4 hour, 212 mile journey north-west to play Sligo for the 1st time this save. Sligo lost 2-0 last time out versus Derry City, so this could be a game we could get some points from.

A bit of rotation with Phillips going to left wing-back in place of Kehoe, Hughes into central defence in place of Meade, Lewis at right wing-back in place of Fleming, Hurley as the BWM, Lawal straight into centre mid as a CM(S), Melody on the right wing in place of Graydon. Sligo start with a 4-4-2.

FT Sligo Rovers 0 Cobh Ramblers 2 (Costelloe 44, 90) Att 1,512 (36 Away)

Away games could be a bit scary I think, not going into this expecting too much. A slowish start, but we possibly should have been 1-0 up in the 9th minute, a lovely free kick, Hughes on his own at the back post, a weak half-volley into the Keeper’s arms when it looked easier to score. Cobh definitely with the better of it early on, McGinty in the Sligo net making a number of saves. Plenty of chances, just constant blocking from the Sligo defence. Sligo score from nowhere in the 39th – a voley from a free kick, but it was offside, their first meaningful attack, but Cobh take the lead in the 44th minute – A Pierce Phillips long throw headed straight in by Dara Costelloe at the near post. 1-0 Cobh, and fully deserved. 1-0 at Half Time, dominant.

Another good start to the half, Cobh with the ball in the net, though Hurley is adjudged to have fouled someone, and has gone into the book. 50th minute, should have been 2-0 – Curran with the goal at his mercy hits McGinty in the Sligo net from 5 yards. Still getting plenty of chances. First change at 60, O’Neill for Curran. 70 gone, Graydon for Melody. 80 gone, Fleming for a tired Pierce Phillips. Feel like we might pay for not putting some of these chances away, but its been a really good showing today. And there’s a goal 6 seconds before the 90 is up – it’s that man Costelloe again 🙂 A Lawal corner flicked on by Graydon, Costelloe at the back post to volley home from 12 yards. 2-0, thoroughly deserved.

St. Pats and Cork City are the only team with 2 wins, Galway & Sligo now with 2 losses.

We’ve had the League Cup 1st Round Draw:

A nice one for a change, away to Wexford, though there are a fair few byes.

Our U19’s beat Arklow in a friendly 3-1, goals from Daire Doherty, 17yo AMR John O’Brien & 16yo AMC Anthony Fleming.

Just the 5 players in the Premier Division Team of the Week!!!

22nd February 2022 – Cork City (H) – Premier Division

The Co. Cork derby tonight as we host Cork City in what will be a very tough match. The season preview has them 4th at 7-1. They are 2 for 2 (Dundalk & Galway 1-0-ers) but I hope we can at least hold our end of the game up. It will be a good test.

O’Neill starts up top, Graydon back in on the right. Meade is ineligible versus his parent club. Cork go with a 4-4-1-1, old foe Conor Barry in the number 10 role after his move from Galway in the summer.

FT Cobh Ramblers 1 (Costelloe 22) Cork City 1 (Morrissey 30) Att 4,548 (3,680 Away)

At the very least this evening we should make a bit of money on the gate – 4,000 or so expected, mostly Cork City fans. A very slow start, no shots at all in the first 10. And then out of nowhere a goal – Dara Costelloe again, this time with a worldie! Pierce Phillips nodded a clearance down to him just inside the Cork half. Dara then ran with it all the way to the edge of the area before unleasing a lovely fizzing left foot shoot across the Cork City Keeper. 1-0 Cobh!!! Cork came into the game after that, maybe should have been 1-1, Stokes shooting straight at Mylod when 1-on-1 after a Lawal mistake. But it was 1-1 from the resultant corner, Mylod flapping and Morrissey heading home. 1-1, disappointing. And we should have gone 2-1 up from the restart, a beautiful Costelloe cross volleyed close enough to the Keeper by Graydon for him to tip over (From 2 yards!!!!!!!!!) 1-1 at Half Time.

Melody on for Graydon at half time, he’s really not firing at the moment, it might take him a while to gel. First minute of the half and it should have been 2-1 Cobh – a beautiful ball by Porter slipping in Costelloe, but his pass into the middle was to nobody and it was scrambled away. 60 gone, Devine for Lawal, CM(A). Almost another Cork goal from a corner as it somehow gets into the middle and bounces, Mylod pulling off a fantastic reaction save (though he should have come and collected it in the first place). 75 gone, last change, Fleming for Lewis. Hold on boys!!! TBH Cork are in a far worse state of condition than the Cobh boys. Time is running down. Last minute of normal time, a Cobh break, O’Neill & Porter on goal and somehow they get it cleared, O’Neill scythed down – how is that not a penalty!!!! O’Neill the has the ball in the net, but he’d come back from an offside position to collect it… Mad end-to-end football in the pouring Cobh rain. 1-1 it finishes, a really creditable draw.

4 points from 3 games, really happy with that!! Sligo looking a bit like whipping boys after both promoted teams have now beaten them. Also we took about £40k in gate receipts 🙂 And we host them again later in the season. Next up a bit of rotation – Mervue Utd in the Munster Senior Cup QF.

Cobh Ramblers attendance record for the save 🙂

25th February 2022 – Mervue Utd (A) – Irish Munster Senior Cup Quarter Final

Fahy’s Field,

We’re looking to make it 3 Munster Senior Cups in a row this season, but first lets get past Mervue Utd. It’s a 2hr 45min 135 mile journey to Galway (So shouldn’t Mervue be in a Connaught Cup???)

Full rotation, only Mylod starts both this and started the Cork City game as we have St. Pat’s Athletic in 3 days. Mervue start with a 4-2-1-3 2DM formation.

FT Mervue Utd 1 (Chung Fung 54) Cobh Ramblers 2 (Curran 24, 46) Att 185 (1 Away)

The first real highlight was a Mervue free-kick that was cleared, taken forward by Hourihane, who found Mihoubi with a pass. Mihoubi advanced quickly, crossing low in Curran’s path and he scored to make it 1-0 Cobh. Melody had a couple oh headers go close and Curran another couple of chances but we go in 1-0 up

45:21 – Curran scores, a lovely through ball by Ethan Devine. 2-0 Cobh. Then 54th minute, out of nowhere it’s 2-1, Leung Chun Fung (Newgen Irish and Hong Kong National from U.C.D. originally) there to tap in after a free kick goes over the Cobh defenders… 60 minutes, Hurley for McManus. Curran should have had his hat-trick in the 64th minute, another 1-on-1 chance spurned. 74th minute, Conor Melody hits the post. 76 gone, Bernet for Hourihane, O’Riordan up to DM(S), Devine as the AP(A), but in centre mid. Mervue very nearly equalise in the 83rd, Mylod with a quality save. But it finished 2-1. Domination but about 4 less goals than we should have had.

Cork snuck past U.C.C. on penalties. Limerick won 4-1 v Douglas Hall back on Tuesday 22nd. College Corinthians make up the semi final line-up. Also £5k into the kitty for the win.

3 games played this evening in the Premier Division – low scoring but they saw both Sligo & Galway lose again (Dundalk have had a few cup games) leaving us in a good position. though St. Pats will be tough.

Another record – 7 wins in a row in the Munster Senior Cup.

Got this through – must have been because of the FAI Cup final last year.

And our U19’s beat Killester 2-0, Daire Doherty and Axel Bernet with the goals.

We’ve had the Munster Senior Cup Semi Final Draw…

We’re going to have to do it the hard way – away at Turners Cross.

28th February 2022 – St. Pat’s Athletic (H) – Premier Division

We welcome St. Pats from Dublin 8 to St. Colman’s Park. They’ve not lost this season or let in a goal in their 4 competitive matches but drew 0-0 last time out versus Shelbourne. This will be tough.

The first team is about 14/15 strong, so we will see the same names allseason hopefully. Curran gets another go up top, Lawal partners Hurley in centre mid with Costelloe, Porter & Graydon across the attacking midfield line. Phillips playing nicely at left back, Fleming in at right with Collins and Meade the centre backs, Mylod in goal. St. Pats (Who own Brian McManus, so he’s not involved today) start with a 4-4-1-1. Brian Connolly starts on the left, who we know well from Limerick.

FT Cobh Ramblers 2 (Bossin o.g. 18, O’Neill 85) St. Pat’s Athletic 3 (MacAuley 8, Markey 35, 38) Att 414 (130 Away)

It’s Charlie Fleming’s 125th game for the club this evening. We go 1-0 down in the 8th minute, Connolly skinning Fleming & Graydon before crossing to McAuley, who heads home. It’s an uphill struggle now. A good chance to Cobh not long after, Graydon getting forward, a nice ball into Porter, but his shot was somehow blocked. But we do get back into it. 1-1 in the 18th minute. A Lawal outswinging corner headed by Meade, off of the inside of the post, off the Keeper and in for an own goal. We’ll take it! Again we should have scored soon after – A Phillips big arm, Graydon flick on, Curran headed over when in plenty of space. Far too profligate. We are very much in charge if you look at the stats. But its 2-1 St. Pats in the 35th minute, a Madden cross headed in by Markey. Disappointing defending. And it’s 3-1 in the 38th – Markey from a nice McAuley pass slipped through the gap. What to do? Going Cautious, Lawal back to DM, Porter to AP, but in centre mid, lines back a bit and taking Counter Press off. 3-1 at Half Time, St. Pat’s look a cut above going forward.

A few chances at the start of the 2nd half for Cobh. 64 gone, Devine for Porter, O’Neill for Curran. 75 gone, Taylor for Phillips. And maybe a glimmer of home? Some nice play by Hurley, a lovely ball out to Taylor, and his near post cross finds O’Neill, who smashes home into the roof of the net on the volley. 3-2 St. Pat’s, 5 minutes of normal time left… Positive for the last 5. More chances, Costelloe passing it to the St. Pat’s keeper from 8 yards after doing all the hard work… St Pats nearly get one of those weird Keeper-hits-it-straight-at-the-oppo-striker goals, but the ball came back off of some other St. Pat’s player and the striker was offside. And that’s that, a 3-2 loss, undone by good attacking, poor defending and wayward shooting on our part. We’re not getting completely blown away by teams (yet anyway).

I’d have taken 5th after 4 games!! Galway losing again, but Sligo getting 3 points at Shelbourne. Honestly, I think we could finish anywhere from 6th to 8th, just need to get points versus the Galway’s and Shelbourne’s of this world.

And that wraps up February 2022. A tough month but we’ve shown we can hang at this level.

Only the 4 games in March, All Premier Division – 4 more points from them would be lovely. Lastly find below a round-up of the key Highlights from February 2022’s competitive matches. See you soon.

February 2022 Key Highlights

Path to the Championship – Berwick Rangers – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 174 – OS4 C2 S3 – January 2022

Happy New year boys and girls!! We start 2022 top of League 1 on goal difference after 2 very good months to end 2021.

I’m starting with the monthly format for posts now for my FM19 Journeyman save as I’m just going to be doing this forever otherwise if I keep on posting every game – 10 or so posts a year versus 40-odd.

Lots of home games this month 🙂 Dumbarton (2nd) at home first up, Alloa (9th), East Kilbride (1st in the Lowland League) in the Cup, Edinburgh City (5th) and Montrose (8th), so not the toughest month all in all.

Before the start of the games I have a few bits to go through.

DECISION POINT – DUNDEE UTD OFFER INTERVIEW

They are currently 4th in the Premiership… it’s a merry-go-round, Jack Ross has left Rangers to go to Southampton so they are managerless, Robbie Neilson has left Dundee Utd to go to Swansea, Brian Rice has left Hamilton to go to Aberdeen and Ayr have let two managers go this season so far… Obviously I can’t attend. Nice to be asked though.

Our Ressies beat East Kilbride Res 5-1, goals from Thomas Dempsie, Tom Sutherland, Connor McManus, Sean Slaven and triallist Cameron MacPherson (Released by St. Mirren).

CONTRACT EXTENSION

JAMES CHRISTIE – To stop him getting poached I’ve signed James for 2 years. 17yo Pressing Forward/Target Man, he’s currently rated as our 4th best striker at the club, 2* CA, just a smidge off of Sean Slaven. £40/wk is a steal.

Sean Mackie gets in the League 1 Team of the Week.

FFS, leave it out, will you?

Nice, another £25k in the bank.

Ross MacIver 2nd in Player of the Month for League 1.

And I get Manager of the Month for December 2021 🙂

Financially not too bad – a good Scottish Cup run could do wonders with the right draws. But we still need more gate receipts; that said we’ve only had 1 competitive match at home in the last 2 months. Four matches at home coming this month though.

1st January 2022 – Dumbarton (H) – Ladbrokes League 1

We are now at the day of the Dumbarton game. They are 2nd and have had a decent couple of months until the last game (WWWDDWL) – we are WWDDWWW in the same period so this will be a tight affair.

Dow’s been a bit off colour and Leitch has been playing well so I’m putting him on the left wing, allowing Palmer back in as the Carillero. Davidson and McManus are playing for that attacking centre-mid spot – Davidson currently just a bit better. Slaven starts up top as a TM(A) – a focal-point to try and get goals more for MacIver, Davidson, Palmer and Leitch than himself currently, though he needs to start putting chances away when they come to him. Dumbarton are playing a 4-4-1-1, with an 18yo Newgen keeper…

FT Berwick 0 Dumbarton 0 Att 588 (73 Away)

Dumbarton with the first chance of the game, but overall a slow start. Stalemate. 0-0 at half time, no chances for either side.

Dumbarton again with the first chance, Sinclair making a good save with his legs. 50 gone, Palmer makes way for McLaughlin, Leitch to Carillero, McLaughlin as an IF(S), Mackie up to WB(A), Overlaps on the left on. 68th Minute. Slaven off, James Christie on for his debut as a PF(S). 75th minute. McManus for Davidson as CM(A). Christie with a chance after a good McManus ball in the 80th minute, blocked for a corner. Time runs down, and its 0-0. Jusr 3 shots on target in total all game, a real clash of styles and a stalemate resulted.

Back to 2nd with Albion Rovers beating Morton 3-0. 3 points between 1st and 6th… That’s our 4th clean sheet in a row though, and we’re now unbeaten in 7 league games. Form like that should see us promoted if we can keep it up. Alloa up next (9th)

Our U18’s lost 3-1 to Motherwell Res, George Mitchell with the goal.

NEW SIGNING

Cameron MacPherson (right)

And we welcome Cameron MacPherson to the club. £180/wk until 2024, Rated our best midfielder by CA, our 3rd Cameron comes in mainly as a BBM, but as a good BWM as well if needed. he’s technically strong, mentally strong and physically solid.

Our Reservers drew 1-1 with St. Mirren Res, Sean Slaven with the goal.

8th January 2022 – Alloa (H) – Ladbrokes League 1

We welcome an Alloa side that haven’t won since November and have lost the last 3 games 8-1 on aggregate. Should be easy, shouldn’t it….

Cameron MacPherson straight in as the BBM. Cammy Dow back on the left wing, Palmer as the CM(A), George Mitchell gets another chance up top, this time as a Poacher. Kyle Allison gets some time in goal. Alloa start with the same formation as us, 8 newgens this time.

FT Berwick 2 (Bow 16, MacIver 22) Alloa 0 Att 601 (77 Away)

Another quiet start, Berwick with the first good chance in the 16th minute – a Dunsmore cross met by Dow on the half volley from 8 yards, saved by the Alloa Keeper. We go 1-0 up from the resultant corner, pulled back to Palmer by Dunsmore, his pass finding Bow just inside the box – he gets it out of his feet and toe-punts low to the left of the Alloa Keeper. Berwick very much in charge of the game at the moment. And it’s 2-0 in the 22nd. Dow headers an Alloa clearance from a MacIver cross down to MacPherson, who plays in MacIver in space to score his 8th of the season, a first time shot across the Alloa Keeper, keeping himself just onside. It should have been 3 in the 35th, Mitchell heading over from 5 yards. 2-0 at half time, a really good showing from the boys.

Only change is for Mitchell to play as an AF up top. A very quiet first 15. George Mitchell is disinterested – Martin on for him in the 65th as a Shadow Striker. Absolutely teeming it down again. 80 gone, Turner off for Davidson, MacPherson to Half-Back, Davidson as an AP(A) in Centre Mid. Leitch on for Palmer, Carillero. The clock runs down, 2-0 Berwick; another 3 points and now 5 games with no goals conceded (456 minutes since the last goal against, 4th December v Forfar).

6 points now separate the top 6 with Morton losing to Airdrie. Dumbarton losing to Forfar was a bit of a shock. Edinburgh City somehow in 3rd after a difficult start to the season.

We get a break from league football for the next couple of weeks – next up is the Scottish Cup 4th round versus East Kilbride, top of the Lowland League, 2 tiers below us. Form does interesting things in match-ups that look like there should only be one winner. it will no doubt be a tough game. We lost to Gretna in this competition last season so we need to be on our game.

Morton’s manager Gary Caldwell has been sacked. They are only 6 points off the top but obviously that’s not good enough for the Morton board. As a relegated side they know they are going to struggle financially in League one if its for more than 1 season.

Our U18’s beat Upper Annandale Res 6-0 (Goals from Sean Slaven, triallist Ciaran Diver and 4(!) from Gerry Martin)

Aaron & Jordan in the League 1 team of the Week

Our Ressies beat Civil Service Res 5-1, goals from Tom Sutherland, Cameron MacPherson, Ciaran Diver, George Mitchell & an o.g.

15th January 2022 – East Kilbride (H) – Scottish Cup 4th Round

Expect a tough one, even though our Scouts don’t rate any of the players more than 2.5*CA – They have won their last 4 games and have only lost 3 times all season in all competitions.

That said I wanted to try and get Dempsie and Martin involved. Thomas Dempsie is an Inverted Winger – that works with Sean Mackie taking the wing as a wingback, and he can move into central midfield more. Davidson as that Attacking CM right of centre takes that channel, Martin as an AM (S) left of centre takes that channel. I just don’t want too much on Turner as the DLP(S) when withdrawn, so this may be a tactic for expected wins… Slaven up top as a Poacher, he’s training off the scale rescently so needs to be given chances. East Kilbride go with a standard 4-4-2.

FT Berwick 4 (Slaven pen 16, 70, Wilson o.g. 58, Turner 88) East Kilbride 0 Att 471 (52 Away)

A good start by Berwick, hitting the bar in the first minute – a header from a Gerry Martin free kick. 16th minute – a long bomb by Andy Turner finds Slaven, who is hauled down in the box. Penalty. Slaven himself steps up… and scores with a horrible shot down the middle. The Keeper doesn’t move but can’t do enough to parry it. 1-0 Berwick. He should have scored his 2nd just after – an unmarked header sailing over. MacIver should have also scored in the 40th, a volley from 3 or 4 yards straight at the Keeper. 1-0 at Half Time.

A slow start to the half, though Berwick are still very much in charge. And we made the dominance pay, 2-0 in the 58th minute, a Mackie free kick headed onto the right upright by Davidson, Jordan Bow and EK defender Aidan Wilson both lunge at the rebound and unfortunately the ball trickles over the line – accredited as an own goal. Straight away a sub – MacPherson on for Martin, as a BBM – Dempsie as a Wide Midfielder now on Attack. And in the 63rd minute things go from bad to worse for EK – Stewart sent off for a second yellow after lunging at MacIver. 70th Minute – A Dunsmore far-post corner headed back into the mixer by Bow – Slaven on hand to get his 2nd of the game with a close-range header at the near post. 3-0 Berwick. McLaughlin on for MacIver. Last 10, Palmer on for Davidson as the CM(A). 88th minute, it’s 4-0 – A Turner blockbuster from a yard outside the ‘D’ just left of centre. And that’s that. 4-0 Berwick. Dispatched. And yet another clean sheet!!

Another £10k into the coffers 🙂 Some juicy 5th round ties available. Dumbarton, us and possibly Airdrie will be the lowest placed teams left in the competition.

546 minutes and counting!!!

And we now have the 5th round draw – Celtic/Rangers Away please!!!!

Not bad at all – Hearts (3rd in the Premiership) away, just had a 15,000 crowd for their 2-0 win versus Morton. £23/ticket average, looking at c. £180k gate receipts 🙂 Should put us over £500k in the black 🙂 The match is scheduled for the 5th of February.

Our U18’s beat Lossiemouth Res. 1-0, 18yo DL John Graham with the goal.

Our Reserves beat Queen of the South Res. 3-2, goals from Cammy Dow and a brace from George Mitchell.

22nd January 2022 – Edinburgh City (A) – Ladbrokes League 1

3rd plays 2nd today on the square pitch at Ainslie Park. Edinburgh are unbeaten in 7 (Since we beat them in the Scottish Cup 3rd Round), we are unbeaten in 10 (Since they beat us in the league) – Draw anyone?

Dempsie impressed versus East Kilbride so starts as a Wide Midfielder this time, with the central midfield triangle back in play, McManus getting some time as the CM(A), Palmer the BBM, with MacPhesron & Davidson in the wings waiting for their opportunity. Mackie works well as a CWB(S) with Demspie out wide. Slaven up top after his brace in the last game. Edinburgh go with their standard 4-5-1.

FT Edinburgh City 0 Berwick 0 Att 478 (76 Away)

It’s a drizzly 6C today, and another slow start. Edinburgh score in the 26th minute, but Savoury was a yard or so offside. Berwick dominant across the stats, but no breakthrough. 0-0 at Half Time.

Nothing doing at the start of the 2nd half – 58 minutes, Martin on for McManus, back to the asymmetric formation, with Dempsie as the IW(S), Palmer Carillero and Martin AM(S). Martin nearly scoring in his first 5 minute, his direct free kick tipped over by the Edinburgh Keeper. 70 minutes, MacPherson for Palmer, as a BBM. Really quiet. Last sub, 82nd minute, McLaughlin for MacIver, with a few tweaks to roles. But the game has run away – 0-0. Another clean sheet, but points dropped.

Albion Rovers 3 points clear now as we draw our 10th league game in 23. Airdrie level on points with us but 14 goals behind. Morton & Dumbarton drawing was a really good result for us. Montrose next up in our last game in January – They’ve lost their last 3 games. 636 minutes without conceding a goal now!!! 13 league games left.

Our U18’s beat Oakley Utd Res 5-0 – Goals from Jordan Armstrong, Cammy Dow, Sean McIntosh & a brace from Tom Sutherland.

Our Reserves beat Mid Annandale Res 2-0. goals from Daryl Healy & Tom Sutherland.

29th January 2022 – Montrose (H) – Ladbrokes League 1

Three big games coming up in the next 7 days and we entertain Montrose knowing we need to win to keep pace with Albion Rovers at the top and Airdrie just below us.

The Dempsie experiment is over, Dow back in as AML. Palmer and Davidson back as CAR and CM(A) respectively. Mackie as CWB(A), Dunsmore more defensive. Montrose go with a 4-2-3-1 Wide.

FT Berwick 1 (Palmer 29) Montrose 1 (McLeod-Kay 75) Att 566 (61 Away)

An interesting kick-off highlight, Montrose possibly should have scored with a massive Counter. 7th minute, Dow goes on a mazy run, is dispossessed, but the ball ends up with davidson, his shot saved brilliantly by Parry in the Montrose net. 10th minute, Berwick at 6’s and 7’s defending a corner, Bow cleared off the line. Weird feel to the game so far, very open. But the breakthrough is Berwick’s! 29th minute, a lovely counter, Slaven collects, passes to MacIver, who cuts back inside, passing low to Cammy Palmer, who scores nicely from inside the ‘D’ past a (what looked like out-of-position) Montrose Keeper. 1-0 Berwick. Montrose now throwing their bodies in front of everything. 1-0 at Half Time.

Mackie back to WB(S) at HT, Dow (Who is struggling TBH) told to attack. Very quiet, first real highlight in the 67th minute, Sinclair saving well to his left. Dow coming off, Martin on as a Raumdeuter on the left; just want him to be a nuisance TBH. 73rd Minute, the booked Davidson off for MacPherson, Palmer to CM(A), MacPherson BBM. Montrose on the front foot now, and it’s 1-1 – a good move, McLeod-Kay scoring from the edge of the area after a Maguire interception went loose. Positive for the last 10, Martin to the centre as an AP(A), Turner to Half-Back, Mackie to CWB(A) on the left, Palmer as MEZ(A). Last change on 80 minutes, Mitchell for Slaven. Time running down. 1-1. Bollocks. Not good enough.

Still just 3 points off of first, though Airdrie leap-frog us with a win versus Dumbarton. Seems so difficult to get wins at the moment for a lot of the teams.

We’re now unbeaten in 12, since 30th October, but I’m still disappointed with our inability to put teams that we should be beaten away. We are lacking a quality man up top now IMO – Slaven only shows as 2* CA, Mitchell 3.5 but isn’t really doing anything (6.61 Average). Gerry Martin as an AF might be the way forward. Low Crosses as he’s only diddy. Worth a go. Dow is a worry as left winger too – he’s just not getting involved in the game.

Next month is huge – Current 2nd-placed Airdrie on 1st Feb, currently top Albion Rovers on the 12th with a massive cup tie at Hearts in the middle with the Quarter Finals beckoning.

Our U18’s drew 1-1 with St Andrews Utd U18’s, Archie Gardiner with the goal.

And that’s that for January 2022. Lastly here are the key highlights from the month. See you soon.

Key Highlights from January 2022

2021/22 Match Day 20 – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 173 – OS4 C2 S3 – Berwick Rangers – Stenhousemuir (A) – Boxing Day 2021

Just a win for Christmas please…

Today we travel inland to face bottom-placed Stenhousemuir in a game that could see us go top if other games go in our favour.

Before then we have a few more bits to go through.

DECISION POINT – HIBERNIAN OFFER JOB INTERVIEW

FFS, one of the big 4, £5.6M wage bill per year and I really can’t take the interview without causing a real ruckus with the Berwick board… Turning this one down. Lets get Berwick promoted to the Championship first, then possibly take a look at the bigger jobs.

Just the 4 players in the League 1 Team of the Week this week.

Our Ressies played Motherwell Res and got a creditable 1-1 draw, James Christie with the goal.

I’ve had 3 loan extensions asked for – MacDonald for Forres Mechanics, Marky Munro for Preston AThletic & Ryan Scullion for Deveronvale.

CONTRACT EXTENSION

Ross Sinclair – 3.5 year contract at £200/wk is an absolute bargain I think. At 20 he’s only going to get better as well with game time (6.98 average in the league this season is superb for a Keeper). 3.5* CA, 4.5* PA.

Our U18’s beat At. Andrews Utd U18’s 5-1, goals from Morgyn Neill, Thomas Demsie, Rod Nanitelamio, Cameron McGinn & 17yo STC James Doolan.

CONTRACT EXTENSION

Jordan Bow – 2.5 year contract & £200/wk is another bargain, and stands us in good stead for the future. 3* CA, 4.5* PA. I think that’s it for the May 2022 contract expiries, maybe Morgyn Neill as a back-up centre back.

And we are at Boxing Day – we make the 92 mile journey to the Central Belt to play a Stenhousemuir team in the doldrums. W1 D3 L4 in their last 8 games, but they have gained 5 points in the last 3 games, including a shock 2-1 win versus Airdrie. They are only a win away from getting out of the relegation places such is the league at the moment. But you know two 3-0 back to back wins versus 1st and 2nd in the league means nothing when you are playing bottom.

Leitch gets his chance as the Carillero in Centre Mid after Palmer’s early injury in the last game and his lovely goal from 22 yards. Mitchell gets his chance up front – Slaven may now be playing a bit above his level and it’s showing. Maybe its form, but Mitchell deserves a chance. Stenhousemuir go with a 5-2-3 WB – very similar to Morton… We will be playing very wide.

FT Stenhousemuir 0 Berwick 2 (Mackie pen 33, Leitch 90+3) Att 498 (66 Away)

Key Highlights

A slow start today – maybe getting over the Mince Pies. First chance to Stenhousemuir, woodwork struck from a direct free kick. We started coming it to it a bit after that, macIver denied at the near post by Jackson in the Stenny net. It’s a very narrow pitch this one, very congested. 32nd minute, Leitch denied after a very nice shot on target from outside the area, looking like berwick are taking control. And in the 32nd minute we get a penalty – Bow shoved at a corner. Mackie steps up… and score unconvincingly almost straight down the middle… 1-0 Berwick. And with that time ticks down and we go in 1-0 up.

Only slight change at half time is to push Mackie on a bit with overlaps on, underlaps on the right to get Davidson up a bit. Very quiet, first extended highlight in the 58th minute. Double subbage in the 61st – McLaughlin for Dow as an IF(S), Martin for Mitchell as a DLF(A). 70 gone, last sub, Palmer for Davidson, like for like. Domination from Berwick, feels like a sting in the tail is coming though… Time is running down though. And it so very nearly is 1-1, Hurst with a 25-yard banana hitting the to of left-post and bar just into injury time. And there’s a goal!!! 2-0 Berwick, 3rd minute of injury time, a Berwick corner is cleaered, but the ball comes is retrieved by Palmer, passes wide to Mackie, who takes it to the byline, cuts it back to Leitch, who hammers home a stunning strike from 15 yards, off the upright. Deserved. 2-0 at Full Time.

We top the table for the start of the new year 🙂 Dumbarton losing at home to Albion Rovers and Morton losing at home to Forfar the big results for us. Next up on New Years Day 2022 we play Dumbarton at home in a top-of-the-table clash. See you then.

2021/22 Match Day 19 – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 172 – OS4 C2 S3 – Berwick Rangers – Morton (A) – 18th December 2021

Welcome to Greenock – looking towards Helensburgh

Today we make the East-West trip across the breadth of Scotland to play Morton in the first of the 3rd round of 4 games in the league this season.

DECISION POINT – KILMARNOCK OFFER INTERVIEW

Out of nowhere Kilmarnock (Premiership, 12th, Okay finances, £2.5M/yr wage bill) offer an interview, I’m going to take it (The interview that is).

An average wage of £900/wk but only a maximum wage allowed of £500 is a bit of a worry – sounds like a big fat cull is required – Suggests there are 65 players or so at the club with a weekly wage bill of £58k.

At the moment Aberdeen, Hibs and Kilmarnock are all looking for managers… Paul Lambert looks like he may get one of them or Luton in the EFL League 1. Nikola Jurcevic (Motherwell) is favourite for the Hibs job, so there could be a merry-go-round.

Our U18’s beat Dunipace Res 4-0 (Goals from Archie Gardiner, Tom Sutherland, George Mitchell & Conor McLaughlin)

OK – Is it the right time for me to move on, or have I got a shot at getting Berwick to the Championship. Personally i think I have. I’m staying at Berwick 🙂 Chances of me getting the Killie job is quite low I think anyway, lets get some good will with the board and players.

Only the 7 of the lads in the League 1 Team of the Week this week 🙂

Our Ressies beat Sauchie Res 7-0, goals from Daryl Healy, Jordan Armstrong and 5(!) from George Mitchell.

DECISION POINT – LINFIELD OFFER INTERVIEW

Interesting one, Linfield (7th, Danske Bank Premiership, N. Ireland) offer an interview. Season Preview has them 9th, they’ve released a ton of players, finances show as Okay, but what does that actually mean? Plus I’ve just committed to Berwick now. I’ll leave it for now I think. Interestingly my reputation matches Linfield’s (And is a bit higher now than Berwick).

And we are now at Saturday 18th December, ready for the Morton game. We’re 5 games unbeaten after our little blip at the end of October. Morton have won 6, drawn 1 and lost 1 of the last 8 league games after we last played them (3-1 win on 25th September). I’d settle for a draw I think.

Mackie back at left back and we’re going with Turner as the playmaker, Davidson free to attack from Centre Mid and palmer as the Carillero, meaning less requirement to keep slogging his guts out as a BBM. Morton go with a 5-3-2 wingbacks – overload out wide perhaps??

FT Morton 0 Berwick 3 (MacIver 49, Leitch 68, McManus 82) Att 1,407 (98 Away)

Key Highlights

Rain on the West coast, rain on the east coast, can’t get away from it! Berwick looking good early on, getting some joy down the left with Mackie & Dow. Dominating possession early on. 24th minute, Palmer gets a bruised foot – Leitch on in his place. Morton back in it a bit at the end of the half with a few set pieces but it’s 0-0 at Half Time – Berwick with the better of it.

A good start to the second half, Dow should have scored in the 2nd minute but took a touch when he should have hit it. But we did take the lead in the 49th minute – MacIver again getting into a good position at the back post, a Jack Leitch looped pass after running 30 yards unchallenged, MacIver controlling and scoring from 8 yards. 1-0 Berwick. Nearly 1-1 in the 58th, Maguire dispossed by Johnstone, Sinclair clearing up the mess with a great save. 58 gone, Martin on for Slavne as a Shadow Striker, moved the line up one to Standard. And then a stunner in the 68th, Leitch receives the ball from Turner from the right wing dead centre, takes a touch after controlling it and drills a daisy-cutter into the bottom left hand corner from the edge of the ‘D’. 2-0 Berwick! McManus for Davidson with 15 left for our last substitution. And it’s 3-0 in the 82nd, beautiful play from the boys. A free-kick on halfway taken short, Mackie to Dow, to Turner to Martin, who picks out MacIver with a worldie of a pass, all that’s left is a simple cut-back and McManus taps in from 7 yards (He actually thumped it but taps in seems more professional). Stunning play versus the league leaders. Morton get a goal back not long after but its offside, 3 players all offside when the cross came over, good stepping from the Berwick defence. We had a few more chances for a fourth but it finished 3-0 – back to back 3-0’s versus 1st and 2nd in the table!!

Up into 3rd as Albion Rovers lose again, now just 3 points off the lead. Still very tight with just 3 wins separating 1st and 7th.

Next up we’re away to bottom-placed Stenhousemuir on Boxing Day – as per with these games expect a difficult one. See you soon.

2021/22 Match Day 18 – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 171 – OS4 C2 S3 – Berwick Rangers – Albion Rovers (H) – 11th December 2021

In Bazza we trust

We start today with a quick look at Barry Maguire. He’s hit the ground running – last 5 games averaging 7.23, now rated our best owned player by CA and developing a nice partnership with Jordan Bow. IRL he has 6 caps and a goal for Scotland U21’s from 2019 on!

Today we face a strong Albion Rovers team, a win would be priceless in the context of the season.

Before then the usual.

Our U18’s lost 2-1 to Tranent Res – 18yo STC Alex Gourlay with the goal.

Our Reserves drew 0-0 with Albion Rovers Res.

Aaron in the League 1 Team of the Week.

And we welcome Albion Rovers to Shielfield Park for a massive game in the context of the season. They’ve lost their last two league games (Montrose & Airdrie) by the odd goal so will be looking to bounce-back today.

Lewis Faulds gets a chance at left-back, he’s very close if not slightly better than Sean Mackie now on CA. Palmer changes to a Carillero, Slaven up top as a poacher, dropped the tempo a bit, going Balanced, try to work the chances a bit more. Albion Rovers go with their 4-5-1.

FT Berwick 3 (Slaven pen 29, MacIver 55, 62) Albion Rovers 0 Att 511 (34 Away)

Key Highlights

A really quick start from Berwick, but it looks like Davidson has been injured in the first 2 minutes – No notification though… Albion get into the game a bit more after the first 5, and have some good chances. Quite an even game. And the first real chance comes from a Berwick quick counter, MacIver getting the ball, a looped pass to Slaven who heads the ball into Davidson’s path, and he’s brought down inside the box. Slaven steps up… and scores the penalty well. 1-0 Berwick. 29 minutes gone. Time ticks down towards half time, and the last seconds of the half it should have been 2-0 – Davidson picking a beautiful 50 yard pass over the Albion defence, Slaven runs on but his shot is saved well. 1-0 at the half.

Only change at half time is to get Turner a bit further up the pitch as a DLP(S) as the wingbacks are on support, Davidson given free rein as a CM(A). Davidson only showing slight signs of a coming together at the start of the game, his condition is a tad low. 55th minute, and maybe a massive goal for our season. Sinclair lumps it long, Slaven picks it up and lays off to MacIver, who in acres and he slams it home to make it 2-0 Berwick. And not long after it was 3. Starting with Turner, he whips a ball wide to Cammy Dow, and the two wingers combine as his lovely cross finds MacIver, again in acres, who heads home beautifully. A massive performance so far, 28 minutes of normal time left. 75 gone, Leitch on for Davidson, Palmer goes to CM(A). 85 gone, McManus for Palmer, McStay for Dunsmore. And it’s all over, 3-0, a really good performance. Turner as DLP really pushed us on.

A really big win as everybody around us even drew or lost. 5 points off of top at the halfway point of the season and in the playoff places – not bad for a promoted team.

Mark Davidson – Tight Thigh – 2-3 Days – OK, so he was injured early on…

Next up is another huge game, top-of-the-table Morton away in our last game before Christmas 2021. See you then.

2021/22 Match Day 17 – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 170 – OS4 C2 S3 – Berwick Rangers – Forfar (H) – 4th December 2021

Forfar 4 East Fife …

Today we entertain a Forfar side currently sitting 9th, but only 4 points behind us, such is the league this season. Wins are at a real premium, so we need to really have a go today.

Before then the usual.

Our U18’s beat Annandale Res 6-0, goals from AMR Triallist Michael Cowie (20, released by Inverness CT), Lewis Barr, George Mitchell, Connor McManus & a brace from Conor McLaughlin.

Ross’s Sinclair & MacIver, & Gerry Martin make League 1 Team of the Week.

Our Reserves beat St. Cuthbert Res 3-1, goals from Lewis Barr & a brace from George Mitchell.

On so to the Forfar game. We’re Evens favourites and beat them 3-2 in our first game with them back in September. They’ve lost 5 of their last 6…

An unchanged team – Turner as the halfback allowing the wingbacks to bomb on, Martin as a DLF(A) – Still unsure about that one, may be seeing Sean Slaven back in soon I think. Forfar go with a 4-4-1-1.

FT Forfar 1 (Butterworth 84) Berwick 1 (Slaven 50) Att 466 (71 Away)

Key Highlights

It’s a drizzly day in Angus – the Berwick boys have started evolving webbed feet after playing in water so often. A slow start, but Berwick on top. It does seem to be a struggle to score through all the blocking currently. 0-0 at HT, I think we need an outlet up top, and Gerry Martin might not be that man…

Slaven on for Martin, going as a Poacher, just get in there and make a nuisance. Forfar nearly score in the first 15 seconds, a long hump forward beating our offside trap, Sinclair saving the 1-on-1 well. The big-lump-up-top came into fruition in the 50th minute, nice passing leading to a Dunsmore near-post cross, headed in well by Sean. 1-0 Berwick. 60 gone, MacIver off for McLaughlin. 67th minute, Davidson hits the post from 12 yards… just hit the woodwork 3 times today, that’s all… Last 10, McManus for Davidson. Then out of nowhere it’s 1-1 – An Easton corner headed in unchallenged by Butterworth. FFS, complete domination and we’re looking at dropping points again… Forfar could have won it in injury time on the break, a great save by Sinclair. We just can’t finish games off. 1-1

5th, still only 7 points off of top, nearly halfway through the season. It’s taken 90, 77 and 72 points to win this league in the last 3 season – Currently looks like 65 points or so will do it. We need to start winning games.

Next up is now 2nd placed Albion Rovers at home. See you then.

The Premier Division!!! – PearceyPlays #FM20 Season 4 – Part 28 – Cobh Ramblers – 2022 Pre-Season

I’m under no illusions – we will lose more games than we win and it will be a struggle to stay up. But we’ll give it a bloody good go. And a large part of that will be down to this pre-season. Can we secure the likes of Brian Sammon, David Evans, Dara Costelloe & Anthony Meade for another season? Can we entice the like of Brian Connolly (Limerick) to the club – basically can we raid the 1st Division for the best players, maybe even get some cast-offs from England and Scotland???

We have a few staff members now happy to renew contracts.

  • Alex Hughes (Scout) – £25/wk (10’s for judging current and potential ability)
  • Ryan Evans (Head Physio) – £45/wk ( 10 for Physiotherapy)
  • Liam Doyle (Head Scout) – £50/wk (9’s for judging current and potential ability)

It’s a slow December – putting some feelers out but I’m really awaiting all the releases at the end of the month – January 1st will be the start of the build.

We’ve had a tax bill of £13k, but a new Kit Sponsor has come in at just under £16k for the year, so swings and roundabouts there.

OK. So we’re at 1st January 2021. We’ve had one piece of good news.

LOAN SIGNING

Anthony Meade joins for another year. Brian Sammon is a no (Shamrock wants to give him a shot in the first team), David Evans is a no (Turned us down after the loan bid was accepted, and now they want him in the first team) and Dara Costelloe has now had an offer put in for him as he’s a free agent (only wants £120/wk, but we may have to pay a decent whack in compensation…).

We’ve released the following:

And got best part of £800/wk off the wage bill.

We’ve also received the £12,250 yearly payment from Shamrock Rovers as their affiliate.

We are entertaining our senior affiliate Shamrock Rovers on the first day of the season. Just got a news story that the link has been terminated as we’re in the same division.

We’ve also been give just over £40k for TV Rights for the coming season 🙂 And we are to fight bravely against relegation.

NEW SIGNING

We got Dara for nothing 🙂 He joins on just £120/wk as our starting left winger.

We’ve also hired another Physio, Gerald Stevenson, who has 13 for Physiotherapy (The leaving Physio had 6)

Friendly: Cobh Ramblers 5 (Hughes 40, Collins 54, 57, O’Neill 73, Melody 81) Cobh Wanderers 1 (Deady 12) Att 543 (108 Away)

A much better second half than first, and our first 3 goals were all headers by centre-backs. Adam Hughes with the first, Triallist DC Josh Collins with 2 in 4 minutes before a nice volleyed tap-in by triallist STC O’Neill and break-away finish by triallist AMR Conor Melody.

NEW SIGNING

Alan Kehoe

  • 25yo DL
  • 6ft (IRL he’s 10cm/4.5in shorter :))
  • Comes in on a free after 3 years at Limerick (Av 7.09 last season on 14 games)
  • IRL he’s playing in Iceland with Njardvik in the 3rd Tier after spending time playing for/studying at the University of New Hampshire in the USA.

We welcome Alan Kehoe to the squad as the starting left back. Good defensively with decent passing, crossing and dribbling, good mentals and naturally fit Alan should see a lot of game time this season. £220/wk, 3* CA 4* PA, B- from the fans but they seem pleased.

NEW SIGNING

Josh Collins

  • 24yo DC
  • 6ft 2in
  • Joins on a free after spending his career to date with U.C.D.
  • IRL he’s still with U.C.D.
  • Older brother of Nathan Collins (Stoke FC)

We welcome Josh on a free as a starting centre back. Decent mentals and physicals, Heading, Marking & Tackling and 6ft 2in, he should do a job for us. £150/wk as well, so not breaking the bank.

NEW SIGNING (LOAN)

Ryan Graydon

  • 22yo M/AM RL
  • 6ft
  • Comes in from Waterford on loan
  • IRL he’s at Bray Wanderers after time at Bohemians

We welcome Ryan (We are paying his wages @ £300/wk) as our starting right winger as David Evans is staying with Shamrock Rovers. Quick, with great dribbling, good first touch, work rate and flair, I hope he can be half as successful as David was – his attributes suggest he could be.

NEW SIGNING

Conor Melody

  • 24yo M/AM RL
  • 5ft 6in
  • Joins on a free from U.C.D. after time at Galway Utd.
  • IRL he’s been with Galway since 2015

Conor joins us as our backup left/right winger. He had a great season for galway in 2019 before going to U.C.D. where he’s stagnated a bit. He should get a fair amount of time on the pitch this season. A very solid player, £220/wk isn’t too bad.

NEW SIGNING

Enda Curran

  • 29yo STC
  • 6ft
  • Comes in on a free from Limerick FC, a slower last season after 2 really good ones (7.41 & 7.28 averages)
  • IRL he’s at Galway Utd, after time at Longford, Derry & Mervue

Enda comes in from Limerick to lead the line/possibly rotate with someone else who’s joining soon this season with Brian Sammon not being available to us. He’s a proven goalscorer and I’m hoping his off the ball and anticipation will help him link up with Eoin Porter like Brian did. £450/wk and added benefits feels a bit OTT, but he’s a known goalscorer.

Our U19’s have played Athlone U19 in a friendly, winning 3-0 (goals from 16yo AMR John O’Brien & a brace from 16yo MC David McMahon)

Friendly : Cobh Ramblers x (Curran 8) Dundalk x (McEleney pen 16, Duffy 41, McShane 49) Att 292 (49 Away)

A loss to set pieces again, a pen, direct free kick and corner. Curran’s goal was gorgeous and a real throwback to the fluidity of the end of last season. Real positives to be had.

The Munster Senior Cup Quarter Final has been drawn for this season – away at Mervue Utd. We’re looking for a Three-peat 🙂

NEW SIGNING

Paul O’Neill

  • 22yo STC
  • 6ft 1in
  • Comes in on a free from Glentoran in Belfast, where he started his career
  • IRL he’s still there

Paul O’Neill is an interesting one – outside my scouting range but he was happy to come in on trial. He will be vying for the starting striker spot with Enda Curran. Looks useful, good finishing and heading for this level, determined and decent acceleration. Welcome Paul.

And this leaves our current squad depth (3* CA and up) like this:

We have a decent starting 11, and not much else. We have about £1700 wage bill left – Might get a Centre Mid/DM or 2, maybe another Centre Back if they are good enough. We have 2 loans left, so might go down that route.

Only 5/2 on to get relegated….

Friendly: U.C.C. 1 (Wilson 10) Cobh Ramblers 3 (Curran 58, Costelloe 74, Lewis pen 76) Att 94 (79 Away)

A little bit of a struggle until the wall was breached – 30 shots to 3, 15 on target v 2, 4 Clear-Cut/5 Half Chances to 0, so domination, just took a while.

Friendly: Clonmel Town 0 Cobh Ramblers 4 (Hourihane pen 19, Mihoubi 20, Sobowale 29, O’Neill 30) Att 53 (12 Away)

This game came 3 days after the U.C.C. friendly so a totally rotated team was put out. And it was all over as a contest in the first 30 minutes. A decent showing from the second string.

Friendly: Cobh Ramblers 7 (Porter 23, Curran 29, 31, 58, Mihoubi 72, 79, 82) Shamrock Rovers 0 Att 306 (81 Away)

Seeing as we are playing Shamrock in a week in our first league game it could be an interesting test against what looks to be a strong side, though i’m not expecting anything (really not expecting anything this season TBH). Some really nice periods of play from the boys today, in what turned out to be a bit of a demolition job, and all the goals were beautifully put together moves with some lovely passing. The boys Evans and Sammon came on for Shamrock in the 2nd half, and they combined on one highlight, but the hat-tricks from Curran and Mihoubi were absolutely sublime. I know it’s “Just a friendly” but Shamrock finished 3rd in the league last year!!!

And with that we wrap up this post. We still have some irons in the fire with regards to loan signings for Centre Midfield, just to bolster the numbers, and we will be back next time for our first 5 games of what will be a tough campaign.

If we can get 4 points from the first 4 league matches there I’d be happy enough I think.

See you soon.

2021/22 Match Day 16 – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 170 – OS4 C2 S3 – Berwick Rangers – Airdrie (A) – 27th November 2021

The Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie

I start this post not knowing if I’ll be in charge of Berwick for the Airdrie game, but if I am we will be travelling 93 miles to North Lanarkshire to face Airdrie in a 4th v 5th clash.

Firstly we have the 4th Round Draw for the Scottish Cup.

And its a good one – giant killers East Kilbride coming to Shielfield Park and a really good chance of getting to the 5th round!!! Livingston away to our next opponents Airdrie!! Very very interesting indeed.

Our U18’s beat Annandale U18’s 4-1, goals from 16yo ML Bobby Lowe and a hat-trick from James Christie, on the scoresheet again.

And our Reserves lose 1-0 to Livingston Res (We can’t get away from them).

…And the Livingston interview has come back as unsuccessful – Steve Clarke got the job….

Okay reputation v my Nominal reputation, about 1 star less. His last job was Wales manager, coming bottom of the 2020 Euros Group E (Spain, Slovenia and Poland above them).

Right, back to concentrating on getting Berwick promoted 🙂

We make the trip to Airdrie at full strength. Our scouts really rate Airdrie, so it should be a tough one, but they’ve had some really mixed results in the past 2 months (LDWLLWDLW) with Dumbarton spanking them 4-1 in their last league game.

Only changes from the cup win v Edinburgh City are Sinclair back in goal and to withdraw Gerry Martin back as a Shadow Striker, to which he’s better suited than any of the roles up top. Will be interesting to see if this allows the wingers to cut in more and be an outlet at the back post. Airdrie are going with a 4-4-1-1.

FT Airdrie 2 (Clayton 43, Barron 80) Berwick 2 (Martin 17, MacIver 90+3) Att 693 (93 Away)

Key Highlights

A slowish start at the Excelsior, Airdrie with the first meaningful chances. However it’s Berwick who take the lead, Martin (maybe a bit too withdrawn?) lumps a ball out wide to MacIver which is partially headed clear by the Airdrie left winger. However this was straight back to MacIver, who crossed into the centre early, finding Martin (Who’d made a 40 yard run from his initial pass) in over 10 yards of space, and he spanked it past Allan in the Airdrie net on the half volley. 1-0 Berwick. Moving Martin up to DLF(A) as we now have the lead. A few minutes later Airdrie nearly did the same to us but Sinclair pulled off a fine save. And Sinclair nearly gave a silly goal away – a horrible roll-out to Davidson, who was dispossessed on the edge of the area. However Sinclair closed the angles and pulled off another fine save. But it was 1-1 in the 43rd. A free kick wide finding Clayton on his own, and he volleyed in from 5 yards. 1-1 at Half Time.

Going to try the the wingers as IF’s sitting more narrow, Martin as the Shadow Striker again, Wingbacks on Attack, Turner as a halfback so we can make a defensive 3 when the wingbacks bomb on. Also going positive. Stalemate first 15, Palmer not having a great one so changing him to a Carillero, less ground to cover. 70 gone, McManus on for Palmer, DLP(S), Davidson as a CM(A). But disaster in the 80th – Barron scoring from 22 yards or so. Mitchell on for Turner and McLaughlin for Dow for the last 10, going 4-2-4 Attacking. It never works, does it..? Into injury time, 3 minutes, in the third minute an Airdrie attack is intercepted by Bow, short pass to Davidson, short pass to Martin just inside our half. Martin then plays a lovely ball over to MacIver (Sitting narrow) between the leftback and the left centre back, who runs on a scores beautifully from 14 yards. 2-2!! And that’s how it finished. A good point all in all.

Such a strange league this season – down to 5th but only 6 points off of Albion Rovers in first, who lost to 8th place Montrose. Alloa, after getting beaten 3-0 at home by East Kilbride, 2 leagues below, beat 2nd place Morton 1-0…. Only Albion Rovers and us have lost as little as 4 times, everybody else more than that now.

Next up are Forfar (9th) at home in the first game of December 2021. See you then.

2021/22 Scottish Cup 3rd Round – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 169 – OS4 C2 S3 – Berwick Rangers – Edinburgh City (A) – 20th November 2021

Today we travel to Edinburgh for our 3rd match versus City this season, off the back of a lovely 4-1 win v Montrose last time out. As it’s 2 weeks between games I slipped a friendly in v Morpeth Town to trial Gerry Martin playing as a DLF(S).

Five of the lads in the League 1 Team of the Week – New boy Barry Maguire, Aaron Dunsmore, Cammy Dow, Cammy Palmer and Ross MacIver.

Got a news item – Stephen Warnock is now studying for his Continental Pro Licence!!!

Our Ressies beat Nairn County Res 7-0, goals from Connor McManus, Daryl Healy, 2 from Lewis Barr & a hat-trick from Ross MacIver. Unfortunately Ross tweaked his hamstring – he’ll be out for a few days.

Friendly: Berwick 5 (Davidson 12, 33 Dow 19, 29, Mitchell 80) Morpeth Town 1 (Dalton 75) Att 153 (8 Away)

A good outing, Martin showing promise as a DLF up top in the first half.

Our U18’s beat Dalkeith Thistle Res 4-2 on the same day – goals from 17yo DR Gary Fletcher, non-player Frazer Weir & a brace from 17yo STC James Christie.

Our Ressies then drew 2-2 with Montrose Res, goals from James Christie again and Daryl Healy.

Lastly our U18’s played again, losing 4-2 to Craigroyston Res, goals from thomas Dempsie and Tom Sutherland.

DECISION POINT – LIVINGSTON OFFER INTERVIEW

So Livingston. Championship (Currently 8th, relegated from the Premiership last season), underperforming, but there’s 20 games left of the season to turns things around. Professional. 2nd only to Dundee with their wage bill (£1M/season). Lets have a chat 🙂

So £23.5k week wage bill, Estimated value only £45k…. Alarm bells about the finances, but given a January transfer window and the Summer I think I could cut a fair bit of fat away from the bones.

I will await the result of the interview.

So with the Livingston job possibly on the horizon we make the trip into Edinburgh to play a City side who’ve been on a good run and beat us 1-0 in a god-awful game at the end of October. The Bookies have them as favourites.

Martin starts as a DLF(A), with Mitchell on the bench to come on if necessary. Turner back in at DM after his short injury. Allison keeps his place in goal today for the cup (He’s a team leader as well so needs some game time). Edinburgh go with that horrible 4-5-1.

FT Edinburgh City 0 Berwick 1 (Martin 31) Att 374 (63 Away)

Key Highlights

We’re on a square pitch today – makes a massive difference to games. 9th Minute, Martin hits the bar with a direct free kick. Not to bad a start by the boys. And we take the lead in the 31st minute, a punt forward by Maguire (it’s such a short pitch it was only a 30 yard ball or so) finds Martin in space in the middle – he runs through and scores well with 7 Edinburgh players trailing in his wake. 1-0 Berwick. Edinburgh look a little bit more sprightly after the goal but we go in 1-0 up.

A slowish start and then the oddest goalmouth scramble I’ve seen on FM19 (53rd minute in the highlights) – A Mackie corner, Turner half-volley at Mach 1, somehow the keeper parries it, Bow slams it and its blocked, Maciver hits it from 6 yards off the underside of the bar so hard the balls takes a curved path back out to Davidson, physics be damned, Mackie gets the ball back in for MacIver, but he’s pushed someone and the highlight ends. That looked a bit mad. We get our 2nd at another corner, but its disallowed for a Dow offside. 65 gone, Leitch on for Dow (Leitch can play AML). 75 gone, McLaughlin on for MacIver. Last 5, McManus for Davidson. 88 gone, we should have finished it, martin hitting the keeper twice from close range. We’re into injury time, which passes with no further complications. 1-0 Berwick, we’re through 🙂

The big shock of the row was East Kilbride beating Alloa 3-0 at the Indodrill. Nice to see livingston beat St. Johnstone as well, just in case 🙂

Next up is a biggie, away to Airdrie who currently sit in 5th – Or it might be the first post at a new club? See you soon.

2021/22 Match Day 15 – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 168 – OS4 C2 S3 – Berwick Rangers – Montrose (A) – 6th November 2021

Links Park, Montrose

Today we make the 163 mile, 3 hour journey north to Links Park for our first game in Montrose in this save.

We are really struggling for form and cohesion currently, so I’m going to go with a 4-1-2-3 to try to get our best players involved.

Just really had a complete lack of highlights in the last couple of games – I want Davidson in the team – Where we fit Gerry Martin I don’t know currently. And I think Dow and MacIver are going to need a few games to get into the swing of things, so it may be lose a few more to win in the longer term.

Before then our U18’s beat Creetown Res 5-0 (Goals from 18yo DL John Graham, 17yo DR Gary Fletcher, Jack Leitch and 2 from Sean Slaven.

And our Reserves beat Brechin Res 3-1, goals from George Mitchell and a brace from Gerry Martin (playing as a striker). Thomas Dempsie picked up a pulled groin – 3-4 Days.

Montrose are currently in 8th and have not won in 8 games, drawing 5 of those. We were OK until the Stenhousemuir game, but everything has felt a bit of a struggle so far this season – maybe its promotion catching up with the boy, plus all the new faces meaning team cohesion is taking a while to increase.

So the wingers are going to get a good chance at it – I feel the width might be key. Not decided about the striker – might be Martin, Mitchell ot Slaven. The centre mid looks fairly settled – Palmer & Davidson are the best on paper, and Turner makes a fine DM. We have 2 from 4 for the centre-backs and the wing-backs are pretty set, though Lewis Faulds will be snapping at Mackie’s heels. Lastly Allison is getting antsy so he may need some game-time in goal,. though on paper Sinclair is far better. Montrose go with a 4-2-3-1, the mirror ours so man-for-man.

FT Montrose 1 (Fotheringham 90+1) Berwick 4 (Dow 16, 61, Palmer 59, Davidson pen 90+2) Att 556 (68 Away)

Its a dry November afternoon on the Angus coastline, and Berwick start OK, and take the lead in the 16th minute. A clearance by the Montrose Keeper is met well, headed back to Slaven by Maguire. Slaven lays off to MacIver, who dinks a cross to the back post. Dow, in acres, heads in well. 1-0 Berwick. Good start! Andy Turner then takes a knock on the ankle – he’ll be coming off at half Time. We go in 1-0 to the good.

Leitch on for Turner, BWM(D) in the centre of a midfield 3. We should have gone 2-0 up in the 52nd, Slaven dispossessing the Montrose centre back after a short pass from the Keeper, but he hits it straight at said keeper with the goal at his mercy… we definitely look better going forward though. And we go 2-0 up in the 59th minute. Leitch passes out to MacIver, who crosses, hits it straight off of the arse of the Montrose left-back, straight into the path of Palmer, who fires home from just inside the box. A little bit fortunate, but we’ll take it!! Subbage, Faulds for Mackie. You know I said it was dry, not any more, stair-rods 🙂 And we get our 3rd less than 2 minutes later, Davidson with an audacious cross, almost unsighted over his left shoulder, straight to Dow who volleys his second of the game from just inside the 6 yard box. Nice. 75 gone, Slaven looking tired, McGinn coming on. And we’re going for 4!! Montrose have gone 4-3-3 – a bit late I feel. And we are breaking really well from their attacks because of it. Montrose get their goal in injury time – Fotheringham with the finish after a quick break, with a distinct touch of offside about it. But the goals may not be finished. 2nd minute of injury time, a cross from Dunsmore, and Palmer is adjudged to have been pushed. Davidson steps up… and scores the penalty to make it 4-1. And that’s how it finished. Much, much better.

Back up to 4th; we need to keep pace with the top 3 and Airdrie.

ANDY TURNER – Bruised Ankle – 1-2 Days. No problem at all, a day off of training, no more.

Next up in 2 weeks in-game is our Scottish Cup 3rd round versus Edinburgh City – I’d like to get a few rounds in, maybe get a Celtic or Rangers away for another pay day, that would be immense. See you soon.