Today we go to Coatbridge for the first time since January 2020 to face an Albion Rovers side in fine form. IRL they finished 19/20 9th in League 2, but in game they bounced back into League 1 in my first (half) season with Berwick (19/20 also), and finished 7th last year. They’ve W5 D1 L1 so far this season in the league so this will be another tough game.
Before then we have a free week, so I’ve scheduled a friendly versus Whitley Bay (IRL Tier 9, in Game no league, just a shell of a team) so we can try out the 4-2-3-1 again. I lost faith in it after the first 2 games of the season but Im wondering if that was because our Cohesion was so poor at that point.
Our Reserves drew 0-0 with Edinburgh City Reserves, right back Martin McStay man of the match.
And we come to transfer deadline day – will we see any action…..
NEW SIGNING (LOAN)
- 19yo AMC
- 5ft 8in
- Started his career at Alloa, and has Championship experience
- Bought by Dundee last season
Gerry Martin (19yo AMC) comes in from senior affiliate Dundee on a no-money-fun season-long loan. Somewhere between 3.5 & 4.5* CA he joins as our best player. Seriously thinking about the 4-3-2-1 Christmas-Tree-Of-Doom as we also have this player joining….
- 21yo MC
- 6ft 1in
- Started his career at Rangers, moved to Raith in 19/20
- Played 7 games in the Championship last season at a 7.1 Av
- IRL he’s at Orange Count SC in Florida in the 2nd tier of US Soccer, on loan from Rangers, having spent time at Partick Thistle in 2019
Our biggest signing of the save to date. Cammy Palmer joins on a free for the next 3 years at the princely sum of £300/wk. Very versatile in central midfield from a role perspective I will look now at the potential to play twin BBM’s (with Leitch/McIntosh) with McManus as the DLP(D), and AM/SS partnership in attacking mid and 1 up top. 15 vision is the stand-out. 3.5* CA, he rates as our 3 best owned player after Mark Davidson and Ross Sinclair.
And that’s the transfer window wrapped up. We spent £16.75k and moved in/out 18 players!! Maybe our cohesion is a sign of that but i hope with a really strong player base we could be in a good position to at least get playoffs this season, and if we don’t go up challenge for the title next.
Sean Mackie gets 3rd in Player of the Month for League 1 for August 2021.
Friendly – Berwick 4 (Martin 10, Mitchell 11, Davidson 13, Leitch 18) Whitley Bay 0 Att 161 (9 Away)
4 goals in 9 minutes killed this off as a game. First string in the first half played brilliantly, and only the 2 new boys and McManus continued in the 2nd, hence the 0-0 2nd half. That boy Martin looks a bit special as a Shadow Striker, and played really well with Mitchell.
Our U18’s lost 2-1 to Tweedmouth U18’s, Alex Gourlay (17yo STC) with the goal.
Then they played Musslburgh Athletic Res and won 7-0 🙂 Goals from New loanee Jordan Armstrong, Conor McLaughlin, Lewis Barr, Ross MacIver, Cameron McGinn & 2 from Daryl Healy.
Lastly our Ressies went to Dundonald Bluebell Res and won 7-1, goals from loanee left winger Cammy Dow, Lewis Barr, Archie Gardiner, Ross MacIver, Daryl Healy and a brace from Conor McLaughlin.
And so we reach the 11th September, and make the journey to Coatbridge for our 8th league game of the season. We know we’ve got quality and our scouts don’t rate Rovers very highly but the bookies have them favourites.
The Christmas-Tree-of-Doom. We have so many good midfielders now and a real dearth of wide players so this makes real sense. Mitchell heads up the line (rated a fair bit better than Sean Slaven), Davidson & Martin behind him, Palmer & Leitch BBM’s with mcManus controlling the game as the DLP(D). Mackie, Dunsmore & Sinclair are ever-presents, but the centre-backs will rotate I think, with new loanee Armstrong rated a bit better than Neill, and if Bow has a few off games a Neill/Armstrong partnership is possible. Albion Rovers go with another defensive set-up – 4-5-1.
HT Albion Rovers 1 (Sinclair 22) Berwick 1 (Davidson 13)
Sky Blue for us today versus the Yellow and Red of the Rovers. we’re playing on a long, narrow pitch today – this will be interesting in the pouring September Rain. Albion rovers start well, with a couple of early chances, but Berwick take the lead in the 13th minute. On a very congested pitch Dunsmore crossed, Monaghan headed clear straight to Palmer, who headed back into the mixer. Davidson was hand to collect, swivel and score from 7 yards. 1-0 Berwick. Rovers hit the post in the 17th minute, Shadow Striker Martin on hand to clear the danger. And it was 1-1 in the 22nd, a through ball, Sinclair on hand to score past Sinclair. The rest of the half was us trying to keep Albion at bay. We go in 1-1, but we’re hanging on.
FT Albion Rovers 1 (Sinclair 22) Berwick 1 (Davidson 13) Att 615 (66 Away)
We go back to a 3-at-the-back, Faulds on for Martin, Wingbacks move up a bit, Davidson at number 10, Leitch & Palmer as Carrileros as opposed to BBM’s. Also going balanced. Pretty dull for the first 25 – Slaven coming on as a TM. They look like a very good side, I’d take a draw here definitely. Last 10, Palmer looking knackered, so McIntosh on as a CM(D). And somehow we’ve snuck a draw!! 1-1 at FT.
Ok, currently 7th, but a win away from 2nd. It’s all very tight.
Next up is Forfar (Of course in 4th) at home in the last match in the first round of 9 matches. See you then.