Part 96 – OS2 C2 S1 P13 Match Day 12 (SMD 31) Albion Rovers (H) 28th March 2020 15:00

Rodrigue Nanitelamio, star CB, back from his time with Forfar (2017/18)

Big Rodders (24, 6ft, 105kg in game) has been a stalwart this season, and part of a stable central defence set up with Martin McNiff. IRL he is in Bulgaria with Virhen Sandaski in the 3rd tier (Though some sources have him with Spartak Pleven in the 2nd)

Before we entertain Albion Rovers we have a few bits to go through, plus a friendly with Civil Service Strollers (!)

Our U18 beat Leith Res in a friendly 1-0, Adamson with another goal.

4 players in the League 2 Team of the Week this week – Nanitelamio (3rd time this season), Watt (2nd), Lyon (1st – with a 6.9!!) and Healy (3rd)

We’ve scouted Civil Service as we’re playing them in the friendly – There’s only really Scott Mackay that i’d take a look at for Berwick now.

League Home attendances – after a hopeful start the fans settled towards a 300-ish average – that has started to pick up as our fortunes have picked up, peaking on the Buckie Thistle fan day. Expect a decent crowd for Albion Rovers today!

21/03/2020 – Friendly – Berwick 2 (Barr 2, Lyon 25) Civil Service 1 (Hunter 79) Att 150 (5 Away)

Friendly goals v Civil Service

We played a pretty rotated team in the first half, and from the off we were on top, Lewis Barr with a left footed 20-yard volley after a clearance making it 1-0 in the 2nd minute. Ross Lyon made it 2 in the 25th minute; a header after a lovely deep McIlduff cross. The second half was pretty boring – Lewis Hunter getting a strange goal back after a set piece late on, but this was to be expected as we pretty much changed the whole team and Civil Service pretty much bought their first team on for the 2nd half. 2-1 it finished. 20 shots on target though!!!!

On the same day our U18’s beat Lochar Thistle Res 3-0, goals from Jamie Johnson (17, MR), Ben Sedgwick (18, CM) and Duncan Johnson (18, ST)

Our Reserves won their penultimate SPFL Reserve League 2 game 2-1 v Brechin Res, Scullion and 19 yo Aaron Ballantyne with the goals. Scullion was unfortunately injured in the game – out for a week with a twisted knee. They are currently 10th out of 20.

Contract renewed – Now on £450/pw up from £275/pw. There’s a nice Semi-Detached 3-bed nearby that I might rent – £475/month –

3-bed semi in Cornhill-on-Tweed – 12 miles and 20 mins drive away from Shielfield Park

Hoping this will be a morale boost to the boys -Even though they are already pretty happy, unbeaten in 10 league games!!!

McIlduff back at Left WB – Barr for Gardiner, Allan starts as a Poacher instead of a TM; still expecting him to get the headers though, but maybe from a more dangerous position. Albion Rovers start with a 4-5-1 formation.

First Half Comprehensive Highlights

HT Berwick 0 Albion Rovers 1 (McMillan 45+1)

Its a nice spring day here by the North Sea, and Berwick started well with some good attacking movement. Allan looks to be more in the game as well. Albion Rovers are playing a high press, rushing the boys a bit, and Albion made the breakthrough just before half time – a good shot from 20 yards from McMillan. 1-0 it finished, need to find a way to counter the press.

Second Half Comprehensive Highlights

FT Berwick 0 Albion Rovers 1 (McMillan 45+1) Att 487 (32 Away)

Moved the line up, counter pressing more urgently. Gardiner on for Barr. We started the half well, the Albion keeper keeping them in it a bit, though moving the line up was giving Albion a bit more space. We went to a 4-2-4, Adamson on for Watt, Healy moves out to the left wing. We were getting of chances, but it feels like ‘Not today’. Campbell on for McIlduff who’s on a yellow. And it finished 1-0 Albion Rovers – our 10 game unbeaten streak is at an end. Really disappointed but the stats show it could have gone either way.

5th with 5 games left, 3 points off Elgin, who drew, 4 points off Cowdenbeath, who leapfrog Elgin with a win, 4 points clear of Stenhousemuir, who also won, in 6th. Only 2 points difference now at the top with Buckie Thistle losing at home to Annan.

Next up is our first game in April 2020, visiting Annan down at Galabank. They are unbeaten in 3 games, winning the last 2 so it will be a tough one. We will look at the stats for March as well. See you then.

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