And the answer is………………………YES!!!!
BSC lost 1-0 to Stirling Uni on Sunday 14th, handing us the title with 1 game still to play. Our late season form since the 2-1 loss v Edusport on 16th February has been very good – 4 wins & 2 draws from competitive games, only 2 goals conceded. So to the playoffs. First up a 2-legger v the champions of the Highland League, and they are……..
Buckie Thistle from the Moray Firth, halfway between Inverness & Fraserburgh. They secured the title yesterday as well, even though they lost to Keith, as Deveronvale also lost to Brora.
Their recent form has not been as good as ours – indeed the switched formation in the last game so that’s a good sign in that respect.
Anyway we still have the Cumbernauld game to play on the 27th, so a free weekend in the middle in which we will play Auchinleck Talbot ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auchinleck_Talbot_F.C. ) in a friendly. I have rotated the team a lot, lets see how it turns out.
FT Civil Service 1 (McCulloch 19) Auchinleck Talbot 0 Att 30 (9 Away)
Only 1-0 , but a missed penalty and hitting the woodwork 4 times tells a more accurate story. At the end of the day it was a nice run-out on a free Saturday against a useful side, indeed the best in Junior football in Scotland by all accounts.
On the same day our Reserves beat Leith Res 1-0, the goal from 16 y.o. Centre Mid Kai Scott.
On Thursday 25th I had the contract renewal talk proposition message, which of course I agreed to. This is the following package:
Tried for £350/wk but that was a no, so upped promotion wage rise to 20%, et voila – get promoted and that becomes £390/wk.
So to our last league game of the season, away to Cumbernauld. They play in the Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld, ground-sharing with Clyde from League 2.
Cumbernauld have been solid this season and are currently 5th. In our first meeting we drew 1-1 so this could be a difficult game. Even though nothing rides on it I want to continue winning as its so important for the morale in the lower echelons with the lower mental attributes the players have. Its one of the longer journeys of our season – 38 miles and 50 minutes along the M9 and down the M876, so who knows, we may take 2 or 3 fans for what-will-be our crowning….
We are going full strength except for Chris Barras, who is back from his twisted ankle after 5 weeks – he’ll get some game time in the 2nd half after having the last 10 mins against Auchinleck. The Colts are going 4-4-1-1, not quite as defensive as the 4-5-1 but not far off. Kev will mark-up their lone striker and we’ve taken the Work Ball into the Box instruction off as I’m expecting congestion in their final third. Lets go.
HT Cumbernauld Colts 2 (Henderson 18, Brown 38 ) Civil Service 1 (Hainey 33)
Cumbernauld started strong, looking composed on the ball, and they took the lead in the 18th minute, a quick break and cross from Holmes found Henderson unmarked who finished sweetly. I moved attack and defence to wider positions as Cumbernauld were looking dangerous. In the 33rd minute a beautiful ball from Cairney over the top found Hainey, who ran on and finished to make it 1-1. But in the 38th minute Sean Brown got free (in a similar situation to Hainey) and finished well to make it 2-1 to Cumbernauld.
A very disappointing half of football and even though the stats show us in the ascendancy (apart from the scoreline) it really didn’t feel like it. I’m dropping Newall back to FB(A) as he was done by Holmes a couple of times, plus brought the attacking shape back to standard. Balfour is off for Clappers, McVitie moves up to a BWM on Support to try and disrupt their centre midfield.
FT Cumbernauld Colts 2 (Henderson 18, Brown 38) Civil Service 2 (Hainey 33,85) Att 225 (3 Away)
Cumbernauld again started well, but nothing much happened in the first 15 minutes. Barras is on for the underperfoming Faye, and has gone to IF (A) on the right. McCulloch came on for Cairney. I tinkered with going extremely wide in attack, with Kelly overlapping as a Wingback and onto Attacking overall and we got the breakthrough in the 85th minute – a lovely ball from McCulloch found Kelly, who crossed to the back post. Mair’s header was saved but Hainey was on the spot to finish to make it 2-2. We then shut up shop – I was happy with a 2-2 that I didn’t really think we deserved, but anything is better than a loss. We need to play better against Buckie though otherwise it will just be a Lowland League title and no shot at promotion. Regular Season done, champions by 3 points from East Kilbride. I was right on the fans front as well – 3 Away fans!!!
Edinburgh Uni are relegated, 1 more goal v Whitehill and they would have stayed up. 38 goals in 28 games for us is by no means standout, but 13 goals conceded is. And the form is the last 5 games got us there, the only team to not have lost in that time.
We play Buckie away first up next Saturday, 4th May, apparently on a terrible pitch, with the home leg a week later. See you for the 1st leg 🙂