Today we have a challenge v 2nd-in-the-championship Dundee in the 1st Round of the IRN-BRU cup, before then the usual admin.
Five of the boys in the League 2 team of the week again – Watt and Munro at the wingback positions, Balde and Barr (2 for 2 this season) in midfield and Slaven up top.
Our U18 beat Mid-Annandale Res 2-1 -goals from James Doolan (ST, 16yo) and non-player Jay Hill off the bench
Our Reserves beat Arbroath Res 5-0 in their 2nd reserve league game of the season – Goals from new sigining Cameron McGinn, Duncan Johnson (PF, 18yo), Simon Boyd (CD, 17yo), Declan Maxwell (DLC, 19yo) and Johnny Conway (DL, 18yo)
So Dundee ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dundee_F.C. ) – relegated to the Championship in game last season (19/20), IRL relegated in the 2018/19. Their squad as per our scouts looks very strong, and they’ve started their 20/21 season well, 2nd after 3 games to newly promoted Partick Thistle.
We go with our 5-2-1-2 balanced possession-based tactic that worked so well v Queen of the South (Currently 4th in the same division) though I reallt expec nothing from this game at all – its a majorly tough draw when we could have got a Highland/Lowland League team (Though these can be tough – ask East Fife – https://www.fifetoday.co.uk/sport/football/east-fife-3-4-bsc-glasgow-1-5051322 ) but its a good test, and will keep our feet planted if we do end up losing our first game in normal time this season.
McGrath is back in with Slaven, coming off of his brace v East Fife last time out. Sutherland, Barr & Cornelius make up the midfield triangle. Watt & Morrison are the wingbacks, Morrison conventional, Watt inverted. Big Rod, Nicolson & Hussain make up the back 3 with the indomitable Allison in goal. Dundee are going with a 4-2-3-1 formation – numeric dominance out wide may need to be looked at. I’m expecting a decent crowd. Let’s go.
HT Berwick 0 Dundee 0
Dundee came out like a freight train, looking massively dangerous and should have scored in the 1st minute. However we weren’t overawed, and had a good few chances ourselves. A really good, close game, both teams looking dangerous going forward, with Watt & Morrison causing a few problems with their delivery to McGrath & Slaven. And the half finished 0-0, a really good spectacle for a 0-0 as well. By the stats Dundee have had the chances, we’ve had the lions-share of the possession. Its set up fascinatingly for the 2nd half.
FT Berwick 1 (McGrath 58) Dundee 0 Att 1,274 (810 Away)
A few little tweaks, turned off work-into-the-box, turned Watt onto automatic instead of support, Sutherland to AP on Support to see if we can get him more involved, Barr to CM automatic. And almost a goal in the first 30 seconds, McGrath’s shot tipped round the post. Berwick really on top in the first 5 minutes. But it was still back-and-forth, Allison pulling off a wonderful save to keep the scores level. And then breakthrough – a 70-yard over the top ball from Big Rod found McGrath, who ran in and scored – 1-0 Berwick!!!! Double sub just after 70 – Gardiner on for Barr, Allan for Slaven. Sutherland pulled back into centre mid. Dundee were pushing and pushing, it was feeling inevitable, but our defenders were absolutely outstanding. We’ve only gone and done it!!!! 1-0 Berwick, we’ve beaten our senior affiliate 🙂 fully deserved, and we march into Round 2!!!
We also got a £16k gate! All helps, finances are at £77.5k in the black currently, with prize monies to come from this, the Betfred, the Scottish Cup and the League at the end of the season.
The Draw is today for the IRN-BRU 2nd round, where the English, Welsh & Irish teams join. And we get…………
Rangers Reserves!!! On the 5th September. We are playing at the Reserves ground though, Auchenhowie, which only holds 750 so the plan is to dispatch them and maybe get a draw. No second trip to Ibrox and a decent gate which is a shame.
Next up is the madness that is a game v Rangers at Ibrox. John Balde can’t play for us as he’s a Rangers player so I’ll need to have a think on the tactical front. See you then.