Today we travel the 92 miles to the Central Belt to play Stenhousemuir, currently 3rd, just 4 points behind us and unbeaten since the start of september in the league (3-1 v Cowdenbeath)
Our other teams have both played this week – The U18’s beating Lothian Thistle Res 3-2, Orru, Gardiner & 18 yo striker Paul McCarthy with the goals.
Our Ressies Won 5-0 at Lossiemouth Res – Lewis Allan with a brace, Triallist central midfielder Sean McIntosh, 18 yo MC Ben Sedgwick & 19yo ML Ryan Grant with the goals.
Understandably Sean Slaven & Harry Nicolson get into the Team of the Week for League 2.
Now we have all the end of month loveliness to go through. Brace yourselves.
Seany Boy gets both player & young-player of the month after his 6 goals in 3 appearences – solid.
Manager of the Month again (2nd time this season, after August) – I’ve been 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, so not too bad overall 🙂
Solid progress on the attribute front – Dean Cornelius is the star, 10 attribute increases and now his Acc is at 15! Very nice for this level. Nice to see Liam Watt with some increases; 3 Technical, 1 Mental.
Lastly the stats for the month. Considering we lost to Peterhead (though we dominated) these are the best monthly stats I’ve seen I think.
- Passing & Crossing – Tom Sutherland with an almost 90% completion is very good (Though at the moment he’s going to struggle to get in the team as we’re not playing with an AM) and Dean Cornelius with just under 3 key passes a game is superb. Very solid crossing stats as well – Completions are high due to our strikers’ heading stats….
- Heading – Nice defensive stats with Harry Nicolson completing 93%. Sean Slaven & Kieran McGrath make the top 5 overall, both over 60%, Sean with 9 key headers!!!
- Attacking Prowess – Sean with 6 goals in 3 games stands out, over 2/3rd shots on target, half of those on target going in.
- Tackling, Fouls, Mistakes, Offsides – Yusuf Hussein had a great game v Brechin – 7 interceptions. The only minus in the whole pack is Sean with 6 offsides – I’ll take that though if he scores 2 goals a game 🙂
Stenhousemuir (3rd) will be a test of this new tactic (Though I’ve reverted to 4-3-2-1/4-3-3 to not be overrun in midfield), and is the start of the 3 most important games of the season. Stranraer (4th) will be a tough test and Cowdenbeath (2nd) is a must-not-lose game.
4-3-3 Wide – I’ve taken the Flanks focus off – Wing play is cool but I want a more holistic team approach. Otherwise the tactic is pretty simple. Turner & Cornelius also changed to CM(S) from Carilleros, simplifying the play. Stenny go with a 5-2-3 WB formation – Hoping we can overrun them 3-2 in centre midfield. I’ll settle for a point today. lets go.
HT Stenhousemuir 0 Berwick 1 (Turner 21)
A quick start, Stenny breaking dangerously after our own dangerous attack. We were dominating territory in the first 20, and the pressure told – 21st minute, lots of lovely interplay before astroked 20-yard finish bottom left by Turner. Stenny were holding on a bit, but always looked a handful going forward. Turner dropping back to a DM(S) role, Dunsmore has impressed more and more this season, he’s a proper attacking wingback, which I love. Turner’s strike was the difference as we go into HT 1-0 to the good.
The Stats for the half were interesting – both hit the woodwork once, Stenny have had 3 half-chances, though we’ve dominated possession and passing. It’s by no means over yet.
FT Stenhousemuir 0 Berwick 1 (Turner 21) Att 438 (66 Away)
I’ve told Balde to go narrow and further forward this half as he’s the only player who has underperformed so far. And it was a good start – Slaven with an offside headed goal – but Stenny came back at us in phases. 66 gone, Sutherland on for Balde, AP out wide, just posing another question. McGrath for Slaven with 15 left. Archie Gardiner for Barr with 8 left. Time to shut up shop. Stenny nearly caught us on the break, and as is normal looked very dangerous in the last few minutes, lobbing it forward. But some superb defending at the death saw us over the line. 1-0, a massive 3 points away against a title rival. really nice for Allison to get a clean sheet as he’s definitely deserved it.
Cowdenbeath keep pace with another win, away to Elgin. But we are now 7 points clear of Stenny in 3rd, just coming up to the halfway point in this league campaign.
Next up at Shielfield Park are Stranraer, currently in 4th but they’ve lost their last 2 games. Hoping for and expecting another 3 points to take us into the Cowdenbeath game having won 4 on the trot. See you then.