Today we welcome Stranraer to Shielfield Park, after their scenic 166 mile journey to Berwick, through the stunning environs of the Borders.
Our other teams have had some games in the lead-up to Saturday. Our U18’s beat Dunbar Utd Res 3-0, Conor McLauglin (No idea why he was playing TBH), 18 yo striker Paul McCarthy & 17 yo striker Alex Gourlay with the goals.
Our Ressies then went and beat Montrose Res 2-0 – An OG and Ross Meechan (MotM 9.0) scoring the goals. We are now 3rd in the Reserve League after 13 games!!
I feel really bad about Meechan – he’s just not going to displace Dunsmore and he’s not really good enough anywhere else…. I really want to find him game time somewhere in January.
Dunsmore & Turner make the League 2 Team of the Week. Loads of Cowdenbeath players too…
I’ve had another “Remarkable Improvements” email – Dean Cornelius – And he is now ranked as our best midfielder by current ability. Lewis Barr is now 3rd, after Andy Turner…
Stranraer – a decent quality squad , if a bit on the small side (17 First Teamers). Most are unhappy and I’ve a few on my watchlist. They seem to be on the downward curve after finishing 2nd in 2014/15 season in League 1, though they have performed OK so far in League 2 and are the best of the rest, sitting 13 points behind us currently.
Its been going nicely since our crazy defeat to Peterhead at the start of November – 3 league wins on the bounce including the hard-fought 1-0 last time out away at 3rd placed Stenny. Slaven is keeping mcGrath out of the starting line-up, and at the moment the team is picking itself. Stranraer go with a relatively defensive 5-1-2-2 DM WB, interestingly with 2 newgens up top.
HT Berwick 1 (Slaven 19) Stranraer 0
It looks like they are going to send long-bombs forward at every opportunity today, such is the gap between their midfield and front 2. This means we had a lot of the ball, and plugged away early on, getting a succession of corners. The breakthrough came in the 19th minute, a great ball from Barr over to Balde, who cut the ball back for Slaven, putting it on a plate for a tap-in. 1-0 Berwick. We were starting to dominate, their keeper keeping them in the game. Their back 3 were intercepting a lot of crosses so I changed to Work ball into Box. Chances kept coming but Stranraer looked quick up top and will need to be kept in check. 1-0 at HT, 9 shots on target!! Lets keep hammering away at them in the 2nd half.
FT Berwick 2 (Slaven 19, 70) Stranraer 1 (Burnett 85) Att 502 (32 Away)
A competitive start to the half. Sutherland on for Turner, moves up to AP in the AM area, Barr to CM. And Barr was involved again for the second goal. He took the FK, Slaven completely unmarked, 2-0. Gardiner on for Barr in the 78th, Slaven really pushing for the hat-trick. Marky Munro on for a booked Dunsmore with 8 minutes left. Stranraer made it uncomfortable – Burnett scoring in the bottom corner from the edge of the area in the 85th minute, but after a few more nervous moments we held on to the win, for which we were good value when you look at the stats. that late goal from Burnett (On loan from Kilmarnock) puts him top of the scoring charts for League 2 this season with 13. Guess who’s 2nd…. yes, Sean Slaven with 12. Aaron Dunsmore is top of the average rating so far this term in League 2 with 7.43. Its going well.
Cowdenbeath are keeping pace with a very good 4-2 win v Stenny, meaning we are 10 points ahead of 3rd currently. Annan move up to 4th after beating Brechin – that 4th place last playoff spot is going to be really hard fought for this season.
Next up is the 6-pointer – We entertain Cowdenbeath at home in our last game before Christmas. We are 4 league wins on the spin, they are 3 wins and 2 draws since last losing, it looks like its going to be a humdinger. See you then.