2021/22 Match Day 16 – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 170 – OS4 C2 S3 – Berwick Rangers – Airdrie (A) – 27th November 2021

The Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie

I start this post not knowing if I’ll be in charge of Berwick for the Airdrie game, but if I am we will be travelling 93 miles to North Lanarkshire to face Airdrie in a 4th v 5th clash.

Firstly we have the 4th Round Draw for the Scottish Cup.

And its a good one – giant killers East Kilbride coming to Shielfield Park and a really good chance of getting to the 5th round!!! Livingston away to our next opponents Airdrie!! Very very interesting indeed.

Our U18’s beat Annandale U18’s 4-1, goals from 16yo ML Bobby Lowe and a hat-trick from James Christie, on the scoresheet again.

And our Reserves lose 1-0 to Livingston Res (We can’t get away from them).

…And the Livingston interview has come back as unsuccessful – Steve Clarke got the job….

Okay reputation v my Nominal reputation, about 1 star less. His last job was Wales manager, coming bottom of the 2020 Euros Group E (Spain, Slovenia and Poland above them).

Right, back to concentrating on getting Berwick promoted đŸ™‚

We make the trip to Airdrie at full strength. Our scouts really rate Airdrie, so it should be a tough one, but they’ve had some really mixed results in the past 2 months (LDWLLWDLW) with Dumbarton spanking them 4-1 in their last league game.

Only changes from the cup win v Edinburgh City are Sinclair back in goal and to withdraw Gerry Martin back as a Shadow Striker, to which he’s better suited than any of the roles up top. Will be interesting to see if this allows the wingers to cut in more and be an outlet at the back post. Airdrie are going with a 4-4-1-1.

FT Airdrie 2 (Clayton 43, Barron 80) Berwick 2 (Martin 17, MacIver 90+3) Att 693 (93 Away)

Key Highlights

A slowish start at the Excelsior, Airdrie with the first meaningful chances. However it’s Berwick who take the lead, Martin (maybe a bit too withdrawn?) lumps a ball out wide to MacIver which is partially headed clear by the Airdrie left winger. However this was straight back to MacIver, who crossed into the centre early, finding Martin (Who’d made a 40 yard run from his initial pass) in over 10 yards of space, and he spanked it past Allan in the Airdrie net on the half volley. 1-0 Berwick. Moving Martin up to DLF(A) as we now have the lead. A few minutes later Airdrie nearly did the same to us but Sinclair pulled off a fine save. And Sinclair nearly gave a silly goal away – a horrible roll-out to Davidson, who was dispossessed on the edge of the area. However Sinclair closed the angles and pulled off another fine save. But it was 1-1 in the 43rd. A free kick wide finding Clayton on his own, and he volleyed in from 5 yards. 1-1 at Half Time.

Going to try the the wingers as IF’s sitting more narrow, Martin as the Shadow Striker again, Wingbacks on Attack, Turner as a halfback so we can make a defensive 3 when the wingbacks bomb on. Also going positive. Stalemate first 15, Palmer not having a great one so changing him to a Carillero, less ground to cover. 70 gone, McManus on for Palmer, DLP(S), Davidson as a CM(A). But disaster in the 80th – Barron scoring from 22 yards or so. Mitchell on for Turner and McLaughlin for Dow for the last 10, going 4-2-4 Attacking. It never works, does it..? Into injury time, 3 minutes, in the third minute an Airdrie attack is intercepted by Bow, short pass to Davidson, short pass to Martin just inside our half. Martin then plays a lovely ball over to MacIver (Sitting narrow) between the leftback and the left centre back, who runs on a scores beautifully from 14 yards. 2-2!! And that’s how it finished. A good point all in all.

Such a strange league this season – down to 5th but only 6 points off of Albion Rovers in first, who lost to 8th place Montrose. Alloa, after getting beaten 3-0 at home by East Kilbride, 2 leagues below, beat 2nd place Morton 1-0…. Only Albion Rovers and us have lost as little as 4 times, everybody else more than that now.

Next up are Forfar (9th) at home in the first game of December 2021. See you then.

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