Part 90 – OS2 C2 S1 P7 Match Day 6 (SMD 25) Buckie Thistle (H) 8th Feb 2020 15:00

Conor McLaughlin, our own wolf-man a la Trifon Ivanov, seemingly without a club IRL

A big game today, hosting league leaders and newly-promoted Buckie Thistle, who have had an amazing season so far. We played them twice in the playoffs with Civil Service last season so know they are a decent side, but I wouldn’t have expected them to be where they are currently.

Before the game a few bits – Our U18 lost 2-0 to Hibs Res (A creditable performance in my eyes) and our Reserves beat Heston Rovers Res 5-2, all goals from triallists; Mcbride with a hat-trick, Murihead & Robert Jones.

Wow! 6 players in the team of the week, Allison’s 4th appearance in a row, McNiff’s 3rd, Barr’s 2nd and 1st time appearances for McIlduff, Nantelamio, Meechan and new boy Lewis Allan. Having a whole back-5 is pretty amazing.

NEW CONTRACT – Kyle Allison

Kyle Allison (29, 6ft 2) signs for another year. He’s having an absolutely lovely time of it recently, really glad to get him at-or-approaching his peak.

The Queen’s Park manager Robbie Horn is loving our form!! (He played 117 games for Berwick from 2004/5 to 2009/10)

So to Buckie Thistle and our Fan Day – do well and we may get a few more supporters turning up week-on-week, do not so well and maybe not.

Buckie play a 4-3-3 narrow or a 4-5-1, and have not won in 3 games (D2 L1) – indeed they drew at home to Stirling so it could be an interesting game 🙂

We have a good set 11 at the moment – only really change is our front 2 swap sides. Buckie go 4-3-3; I’ve had success by playing wide against the 4-3-3 before, hoping we can exploit the width and pull the Buckie midfield all over the park.

First Half Comprehensive Highlights

HT Berwick 1 (McLaughlin Pen 32) Buckie Thistle 1 (Craigie 36)

More rain, it really never ends! A good start, we should have been 1 up in the 2nd minute after a nice break. We seemingly are getting plenty of room, but its pretty even. Then disaster, McNiff getting a Red in the 10th minute for a professional foul. Reid on for Allan to cover. Its looking like a real uphill battle, after such a bright start. In the 21st minute Healy hit the bar with a superb shot from the edge of the area, and Allison was again having a superb game with some class saves. And in the 31st minute, a 70 yarder from McIlduff found Healy who was fouled for a penalty. Up stepped McLaughlin, who fired home. 1-0 Berwick!!!! But it only lasted 4 minutes or so – Craigie finishing a low cross. 1-1. We were really under the cosh but saw the half out. 1-1, I need to work out how we can at least keep it that way.

Second Half Comprehensive Highlights

FT Berwick 1 (McLaughlin Pen 32) Buckie Thistle 1 (Craigie 36) Att 516 (22 Away)

A relatively quiet start. Gardiner on for Sutherland just before 60 mins as a CM. Overall we were defending superbly. Orru on for Watt just after 70 minutes. gadiner had a chance from a corner in the dying minutes, and set upon keeping the ball for most of the rest of the game. 1-1 against the top of the league, 10 men for 80 minutes – the boys defended like absolute demons!! Massively chuffed with that! Leftback McIlduff with the MotM.

Back in 7th as Peterhead won again, but we are 13 points away from East Fife now with 11 games left so we will almost certainly be in League 2 next year. Cowdenbeath only 6 points away in 4th………

The fan day looks like it was a success – 494 home fans v 359 v Annan in the last game. Hoping we keep hold of a few of these going forward.

Next up will be Cowdenbeath away next Saturday. See you then.

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