Who did we get – the answer is……..
We’ve only gone and got Rangers away!!!! What a draw, expecting a huge gate share (really hope that happens in this cup) that could set us up for the next few years.
We travel to Annan today for our second league game – the scout report is pretty dismissive of them but we will take every game as it comes – but before then the few normal bits.
Our Ressies drew 2-2 with Forfar Res – Triallist Liam Scullion with the goals.
Just the 5 players in Team of the Week No. 1 – Allison, Big Rod, new boy Andy Turner, Lewis Barr & Conor McLaughlin, showing our strength in midfield.
I’ve also let midfielder Liam MacDonald go out to Forres on loan until the year end – conscious he wouldn’t get much game time and I’m interested in how he evolves as a BBM (He wants to be a BBM/BWM)
So to Annan. They finished just behind us in 7th last season, this season the preview has them a lowly 9th, fighting off relegation with East Fife and the scout report only has 1 or 2 players who could make our first team. They’ve not really lost anybody, with 3 players released, and have signed a few (Including Berwick Old Boy Calum Adamson) – Have we strengthened that much that our scouts now don’t rate teams anywhere near as much as they did last season??
We go with our control tactic away – allowing a few guys a bit of a rest (McLaughlin, Balde & McIlduff; Turner on the bench) whilst allowing a few others a game (Watt, Hussain, Allan) – This was the tactic we outplayes QotS with so I hope its enough to put Annan away in a workmanlike fashion. Annan start with a 4-4-2, Calum Adamson up front 🙂
HT Annan 0 Berwick 0
A nice attacking first 30 seconds from the Boys, on what looks like a smallish 4G pitch, Berwick wearing their white strip tonight. We’re getting lots of headers, just none of them troubling the scorers. They are pressing quite intensely, so we need to be careful when playing out from the back. Annan are defending well, getting plenty of blocks in. A little bit underwhelming, but Annan have rarely threatened. 0-0 at HT.
FT Annan 0 Berwick 1 (Watt 80) Att 609 (173 Away)
I moved the wingbacks to slightly more attacking at HT and almost straight away we had a couple of really good chances, one thundering off the bar from Morrison. Slaven on for Allan on 60. McGrath off, Gardiner on, going 3 in centre mid, 1 up top (Slaven). Barr & Cornelius as underlapping Mezzala’s on Attack. Meechan on for Morrison as the final change. And then the breakthrough – a lovely break by Barr, a nice switched pass to Watt who was on his own on the left, who moved in on goal and finished well. 1-0 Berwick in the 80th. Annan were really pushing though, flooding forward, but our defenders were up to the task. 1-0 it finished, a really hard-fought win that bodes well for the rest of the season. Also we took 173 people to Annan midweek – the fan base is certainly looking up!
Quick xG – 1.66 v 1 goal scored, so below the ante, and to be honest in felt it, with Kieran McGrath having a poor game up top. It was also our lowest xG this season so far, but the control/work ball into the box tactic for me is about being tighter away from home/against good opposition so the clean sheet is what I’m looking for mostly.
Brechin win the battle of the relegated teams – I think they will be our main rivals (Hopefully we cam do what the bookies think this season), with Cowdenbeath dropping points v Stirling.
Next up its a 4 day turnaround – League action v East Fife at home before 2 Cup matches in a row – Dundee at home in the IRN-BRU and a team called Glasgow Rangers (never heard of them) Away in the Betfred. See you soon.