OK – The crunch match – Cowdenbeath at Home for a toe in the playoffs. Our form has been slipping drastically so a final throw of the dice – 5-3-2 WB, with the emphasis on short passing, higher temp counter attacks. We have the players, lets do this!
Keeper Tom Warburton (17, 6ft 5) has put pen to paper for another season – 1 Star Current, 5 Star Potential. Will look to loan him & Shea Dowie out next season.
Our U18’s won 5-1 v Arniston Res – ML Ryan Grant (18), ST Ross Gilmour (18), DC Simon Boyd (17), ST Duncan Johnston (18) & Ross Lyon with the goals
Our Reserves went 1 goal better, winning 6-1 – ST Alex Gourlay (16) with 2, WR Jamie Johnson (18), CM Ben Sedgwick (18), Craig Reid & Cameron Dawson with the goals
So to Cowdenbeath, who come to Shielfield Park on the back of a 4-0 battering (4-0 at HT) v Stenny and a 1-0 loss at Buckie Thistle. The Scout report for them is impressive, so I’m gambling with a 5-3-2 WB v their usual 4-1-3-2, attempting to overrun them through the middle, keeping it compact.
Looking for quick counters here, McNiff & Meecham are our best true WB’s at the club, McIlduff comes back in to a defensive 3 with impressive Aberdeen loanee Archibald as the Stopper in the middle. Sutherland, Gardiner & Barr can all play in this formation, Barr as a DLP D, Sutherland as an AM S. Healy and Adamson up top, no need for a target man though I imagine McNiff will get a good few crosses in. The Cowdenbeath 4-1-3-2 is a 1 DM, 1 CM formation with wingers, so I hop my central 3 will pull the (possibly) inverted wingers out of position. No idea how this will pan out, lets give it a go.
HT Berwick 0 Cowdenbeath 2 (Malcolm 2, Dunlop 7)
A dangerous start from Berwick, where it should have been 1-0 in the first minute, but straight away Cowdenbeath go and score – a 25 yarder from Malcolm. 1-0 in the 2nd minute. And it was 2 in the 7th minute, a corner headed home by Dunlop. An absolutely shocking start. Changed to play wider. 2-0 at half time, shocked at how bad that was regardless of the tactic change. Gardiner & Archibald off, Watt & McLaughlin on, back to 4-4-2 wing play. The gamble failed miserably.
FT Berwick 0 Cowdenbeath 2 (Malcolm 2, Dunlop 7) Att 699 (118 Away)
Again, should have been a Berwick goal in the opening minute, McNiff missing a close range header. We definitely look better though, with last-ditch defending from Cowdenbeath. far too many mistakes though, mostly because of the higher tempo. Allan on for Healy. So many blocks from Cowdenbeath, really feels like one of those days, unfortunate really, with the Beath keeper pulling off save after save. And a disallowed goal in the 85th for Offside from Allan – great. We’ve absolutely battered them in the 2nd half with no reward whatsoever. 2-0 it finished, absolutely gutted. 15 shots to 1 against, been FM’d a bit here. 4 losses from 5 games.
The play-offs are decided as Stenny also lost today – we play for 5th – And Elgin winning means they and Cowdenbeath go forward. East Fife still have something to play for in their game with us next week – 2 points behind Stirling in 9th – after they drew with Buckie Thistle, meaning Albion Rovers go top on goal difference with 1 game left.
So we reconvene for our last league game of the season at home to East Fife next week and we look back at a poor month, losing 3 out of 4 games. Then we can cull and plan for next season, as I’ve said before a quality striker is desperately needed. See you then.