Hamish Morrison (20, 5ft 7) has started well in the Betfred but had 2 indifferent games in the League. We brought him in from Hamilton Accies in the summer; in real life he left for Haywards Heath (Having started his career with Brighton) before the start of the 19/20 season. He is very solid, 6 is his lowest attribute, if unremarkable, and I hope he kicks on a bit this season.
Before our 3rd game in 7 days, entertaining last season’s bottom team East Fife we have a couple of bits to look at.
There were 2 games on Wednesday – East Fife getting a result v Stenny at home, Elgin (Another one to keep an eye on) winning away at Peterhead – IMO the biggest under-performers in the league with the largest Salary bill by £13k (£136k), £53.5k higher than our bill!!!!
So to East Fife, who’ve had a day’s lest rest after the midweek games. Their squad show 12 real first team players and 7 in the reserves – their almost-relegation saw 19 players released and 10 come in – 3 Free’s and 7 from Lowland/Highland league teams so unsurprisingly they are favourites for bottom spot this season.
We go Gegenpress today, allowing more rotation for our 3rd game in 7 days – Slaven up top in place of McGrath, Balde & McLaughlin back in on the wings, Sutherland, Turner 7 Barr the midfield triangle. Marky Munro gets a start at right wingback, McIlduff, Big Rod & Harry Nicolson at the back with the ever-present team leader Allison/Alisson. East Fife go 4-5-1, so I may need to reconsider the line heights up the pitch as it looks like they are going to sit back.
HT Berwick 1 (Slaven 27) East Fife 0
From the start it became clear East Fife weren’t going to offer too much offensive threat, with Berwick having shots and possession, but shooting from range wasn’t cutting it. Nicolson had a goal ruled out for offside after a free kick that was very marginal, but the breakthrough came in the 27th minute – McIlduff & Balde combining, with McIlduff crossing beautiful for Slaven to finish on the volley. 1-0 Berwick. There were a few more really good chances before East Fife had their first, and only shot of the half. 1-0 it finished, really need to exert our dominance in the 2nd half, through ability & fitness. Stats-wise its not even a game at the moment, but FM has a habit of FM-ing in situations like this, so I need to be wary. Changed to Work Ball into the Box, dropped the tempo a bit.
FT Berwick 3 (Slaven 27,82, Balde 60) East Fife 0 Att 556 (90 Away)
East Fife showed a bit more threat early on in the 2nd half, but with nothing to show for it. Cornelius on for Turner. Then breathing-room – it was 2-0 in the 60th minute, a lovely Balde run ending in a placed bottom-corner finish. Soon after he crashed the ball against the underside of the bar. Healy on for McLaughlin. And then a rare set-piece goal – A beautiful back-post corner from Munro headed in superbly by Slaven for his second. 3-0 Berwick. Gardiner on for Sutherland, going 3 in centre-mid. And that’s how it finished, 3-0, a lovely workmanlike performance with plenty of attacking threat, 2nd clean-sheet in a row. Job done!
It’s all going very nicely – 4 draws meaning most team dropped points, including Elgin & Brechin, who played out a goalless draw. 7 Competitive games this season so far, no losses (2 penalty losses after normal time don’t count in my books), very satisfactory indeed.
xG – 2.525 (Highest ever for Berwick, 24 games) v 3 Goals scored., so slightly over xG, but under xG from Shots on target (4.232 v 3 actual) and Expected Shots on Target (11.136 v 10 Actual) so, as it felt whilst watching we haven’t hit our straps yet.
Next up in 4 days will be our affiliates Dundee coming to Shielfield Park for the IRN-BRU Cup 1st round, where we will be hoping for a bumper crowd. We’ve done well so far against Championship opposition this year, lets do it again!! See you soon.