Happy New year boys and girls!! We start 2022 top of League 1 on goal difference after 2 very good months to end 2021.
I’m starting with the monthly format for posts now for my FM19 Journeyman save as I’m just going to be doing this forever otherwise if I keep on posting every game – 10 or so posts a year versus 40-odd.
Lots of home games this month 🙂 Dumbarton (2nd) at home first up, Alloa (9th), East Kilbride (1st in the Lowland League) in the Cup, Edinburgh City (5th) and Montrose (8th), so not the toughest month all in all.
Before the start of the games I have a few bits to go through.
DECISION POINT – DUNDEE UTD OFFER INTERVIEW
They are currently 4th in the Premiership… it’s a merry-go-round, Jack Ross has left Rangers to go to Southampton so they are managerless, Robbie Neilson has left Dundee Utd to go to Swansea, Brian Rice has left Hamilton to go to Aberdeen and Ayr have let two managers go this season so far… Obviously I can’t attend. Nice to be asked though.
Our Ressies beat East Kilbride Res 5-1, goals from Thomas Dempsie, Tom Sutherland, Connor McManus, Sean Slaven and triallist Cameron MacPherson (Released by St. Mirren).
JAMES CHRISTIE – To stop him getting poached I’ve signed James for 2 years. 17yo Pressing Forward/Target Man, he’s currently rated as our 4th best striker at the club, 2* CA, just a smidge off of Sean Slaven. £40/wk is a steal.
Sean Mackie gets in the League 1 Team of the Week.
FFS, leave it out, will you?
Nice, another £25k in the bank.
Ross MacIver 2nd in Player of the Month for League 1.
And I get Manager of the Month for December 2021 🙂
Financially not too bad – a good Scottish Cup run could do wonders with the right draws. But we still need more gate receipts; that said we’ve only had 1 competitive match at home in the last 2 months. Four matches at home coming this month though.
1st January 2022 – Dumbarton (H) – Ladbrokes League 1
We are now at the day of the Dumbarton game. They are 2nd and have had a decent couple of months until the last game (WWWDDWL) – we are WWDDWWW in the same period so this will be a tight affair.
Dow’s been a bit off colour and Leitch has been playing well so I’m putting him on the left wing, allowing Palmer back in as the Carillero. Davidson and McManus are playing for that attacking centre-mid spot – Davidson currently just a bit better. Slaven starts up top as a TM(A) – a focal-point to try and get goals more for MacIver, Davidson, Palmer and Leitch than himself currently, though he needs to start putting chances away when they come to him. Dumbarton are playing a 4-4-1-1, with an 18yo Newgen keeper…
FT Berwick 0 Dumbarton 0 Att 588 (73 Away)
Dumbarton with the first chance of the game, but overall a slow start. Stalemate. 0-0 at half time, no chances for either side.
Dumbarton again with the first chance, Sinclair making a good save with his legs. 50 gone, Palmer makes way for McLaughlin, Leitch to Carillero, McLaughlin as an IF(S), Mackie up to WB(A), Overlaps on the left on. 68th Minute. Slaven off, James Christie on for his debut as a PF(S). 75th minute. McManus for Davidson as CM(A). Christie with a chance after a good McManus ball in the 80th minute, blocked for a corner. Time runs down, and its 0-0. Jusr 3 shots on target in total all game, a real clash of styles and a stalemate resulted.
Back to 2nd with Albion Rovers beating Morton 3-0. 3 points between 1st and 6th… That’s our 4th clean sheet in a row though, and we’re now unbeaten in 7 league games. Form like that should see us promoted if we can keep it up. Alloa up next (9th)
Our U18’s lost 3-1 to Motherwell Res, George Mitchell with the goal.
Cameron MacPherson (right)
- 23yo CM/DM
- 5ft 9in
- Comes in from St. Mirren on a Free.
- IRL still there, with Premiership experience
And we welcome Cameron MacPherson to the club. £180/wk until 2024, Rated our best midfielder by CA, our 3rd Cameron comes in mainly as a BBM, but as a good BWM as well if needed. he’s technically strong, mentally strong and physically solid.
Our Reservers drew 1-1 with St. Mirren Res, Sean Slaven with the goal.
8th January 2022 – Alloa (H) – Ladbrokes League 1
We welcome an Alloa side that haven’t won since November and have lost the last 3 games 8-1 on aggregate. Should be easy, shouldn’t it….
Cameron MacPherson straight in as the BBM. Cammy Dow back on the left wing, Palmer as the CM(A), George Mitchell gets another chance up top, this time as a Poacher. Kyle Allison gets some time in goal. Alloa start with the same formation as us, 8 newgens this time.
FT Berwick 2 (Bow 16, MacIver 22) Alloa 0 Att 601 (77 Away)
Another quiet start, Berwick with the first good chance in the 16th minute – a Dunsmore cross met by Dow on the half volley from 8 yards, saved by the Alloa Keeper. We go 1-0 up from the resultant corner, pulled back to Palmer by Dunsmore, his pass finding Bow just inside the box – he gets it out of his feet and toe-punts low to the left of the Alloa Keeper. Berwick very much in charge of the game at the moment. And it’s 2-0 in the 22nd. Dow headers an Alloa clearance from a MacIver cross down to MacPherson, who plays in MacIver in space to score his 8th of the season, a first time shot across the Alloa Keeper, keeping himself just onside. It should have been 3 in the 35th, Mitchell heading over from 5 yards. 2-0 at half time, a really good showing from the boys.
Only change is for Mitchell to play as an AF up top. A very quiet first 15. George Mitchell is disinterested – Martin on for him in the 65th as a Shadow Striker. Absolutely teeming it down again. 80 gone, Turner off for Davidson, MacPherson to Half-Back, Davidson as an AP(A) in Centre Mid. Leitch on for Palmer, Carillero. The clock runs down, 2-0 Berwick; another 3 points and now 5 games with no goals conceded (456 minutes since the last goal against, 4th December v Forfar).
6 points now separate the top 6 with Morton losing to Airdrie. Dumbarton losing to Forfar was a bit of a shock. Edinburgh City somehow in 3rd after a difficult start to the season.
We get a break from league football for the next couple of weeks – next up is the Scottish Cup 4th round versus East Kilbride, top of the Lowland League, 2 tiers below us. Form does interesting things in match-ups that look like there should only be one winner. it will no doubt be a tough game. We lost to Gretna in this competition last season so we need to be on our game.
Morton’s manager Gary Caldwell has been sacked. They are only 6 points off the top but obviously that’s not good enough for the Morton board. As a relegated side they know they are going to struggle financially in League one if its for more than 1 season.
Our U18’s beat Upper Annandale Res 6-0 (Goals from Sean Slaven, triallist Ciaran Diver and 4(!) from Gerry Martin)
Aaron & Jordan in the League 1 team of the Week
Our Ressies beat Civil Service Res 5-1, goals from Tom Sutherland, Cameron MacPherson, Ciaran Diver, George Mitchell & an o.g.
15th January 2022 – East Kilbride (H) – Scottish Cup 4th Round
Expect a tough one, even though our Scouts don’t rate any of the players more than 2.5*CA – They have won their last 4 games and have only lost 3 times all season in all competitions.
That said I wanted to try and get Dempsie and Martin involved. Thomas Dempsie is an Inverted Winger – that works with Sean Mackie taking the wing as a wingback, and he can move into central midfield more. Davidson as that Attacking CM right of centre takes that channel, Martin as an AM (S) left of centre takes that channel. I just don’t want too much on Turner as the DLP(S) when withdrawn, so this may be a tactic for expected wins… Slaven up top as a Poacher, he’s training off the scale rescently so needs to be given chances. East Kilbride go with a standard 4-4-2.
FT Berwick 4 (Slaven pen 16, 70, Wilson o.g. 58, Turner 88) East Kilbride 0 Att 471 (52 Away)
A good start by Berwick, hitting the bar in the first minute – a header from a Gerry Martin free kick. 16th minute – a long bomb by Andy Turner finds Slaven, who is hauled down in the box. Penalty. Slaven himself steps up… and scores with a horrible shot down the middle. The Keeper doesn’t move but can’t do enough to parry it. 1-0 Berwick. He should have scored his 2nd just after – an unmarked header sailing over. MacIver should have also scored in the 40th, a volley from 3 or 4 yards straight at the Keeper. 1-0 at Half Time.
A slow start to the half, though Berwick are still very much in charge. And we made the dominance pay, 2-0 in the 58th minute, a Mackie free kick headed onto the right upright by Davidson, Jordan Bow and EK defender Aidan Wilson both lunge at the rebound and unfortunately the ball trickles over the line – accredited as an own goal. Straight away a sub – MacPherson on for Martin, as a BBM – Dempsie as a Wide Midfielder now on Attack. And in the 63rd minute things go from bad to worse for EK – Stewart sent off for a second yellow after lunging at MacIver. 70th Minute – A Dunsmore far-post corner headed back into the mixer by Bow – Slaven on hand to get his 2nd of the game with a close-range header at the near post. 3-0 Berwick. McLaughlin on for MacIver. Last 10, Palmer on for Davidson as the CM(A). 88th minute, it’s 4-0 – A Turner blockbuster from a yard outside the ‘D’ just left of centre. And that’s that. 4-0 Berwick. Dispatched. And yet another clean sheet!!
Another £10k into the coffers 🙂 Some juicy 5th round ties available. Dumbarton, us and possibly Airdrie will be the lowest placed teams left in the competition.
546 minutes and counting!!!
And we now have the 5th round draw – Celtic/Rangers Away please!!!!
Not bad at all – Hearts (3rd in the Premiership) away, just had a 15,000 crowd for their 2-0 win versus Morton. £23/ticket average, looking at c. £180k gate receipts 🙂 Should put us over £500k in the black 🙂 The match is scheduled for the 5th of February.
Our U18’s beat Lossiemouth Res. 1-0, 18yo DL John Graham with the goal.
Our Reserves beat Queen of the South Res. 3-2, goals from Cammy Dow and a brace from George Mitchell.
22nd January 2022 – Edinburgh City (A) – Ladbrokes League 1
3rd plays 2nd today on the square pitch at Ainslie Park. Edinburgh are unbeaten in 7 (Since we beat them in the Scottish Cup 3rd Round), we are unbeaten in 10 (Since they beat us in the league) – Draw anyone?
Dempsie impressed versus East Kilbride so starts as a Wide Midfielder this time, with the central midfield triangle back in play, McManus getting some time as the CM(A), Palmer the BBM, with MacPhesron & Davidson in the wings waiting for their opportunity. Mackie works well as a CWB(S) with Demspie out wide. Slaven up top after his brace in the last game. Edinburgh go with their standard 4-5-1.
FT Edinburgh City 0 Berwick 0 Att 478 (76 Away)
It’s a drizzly 6C today, and another slow start. Edinburgh score in the 26th minute, but Savoury was a yard or so offside. Berwick dominant across the stats, but no breakthrough. 0-0 at Half Time.
Nothing doing at the start of the 2nd half – 58 minutes, Martin on for McManus, back to the asymmetric formation, with Dempsie as the IW(S), Palmer Carillero and Martin AM(S). Martin nearly scoring in his first 5 minute, his direct free kick tipped over by the Edinburgh Keeper. 70 minutes, MacPherson for Palmer, as a BBM. Really quiet. Last sub, 82nd minute, McLaughlin for MacIver, with a few tweaks to roles. But the game has run away – 0-0. Another clean sheet, but points dropped.
Albion Rovers 3 points clear now as we draw our 10th league game in 23. Airdrie level on points with us but 14 goals behind. Morton & Dumbarton drawing was a really good result for us. Montrose next up in our last game in January – They’ve lost their last 3 games. 636 minutes without conceding a goal now!!! 13 league games left.
Our U18’s beat Oakley Utd Res 5-0 – Goals from Jordan Armstrong, Cammy Dow, Sean McIntosh & a brace from Tom Sutherland.
Our Reserves beat Mid Annandale Res 2-0. goals from Daryl Healy & Tom Sutherland.
29th January 2022 – Montrose (H) – Ladbrokes League 1
Three big games coming up in the next 7 days and we entertain Montrose knowing we need to win to keep pace with Albion Rovers at the top and Airdrie just below us.
The Dempsie experiment is over, Dow back in as AML. Palmer and Davidson back as CAR and CM(A) respectively. Mackie as CWB(A), Dunsmore more defensive. Montrose go with a 4-2-3-1 Wide.
FT Berwick 1 (Palmer 29) Montrose 1 (McLeod-Kay 75) Att 566 (61 Away)
An interesting kick-off highlight, Montrose possibly should have scored with a massive Counter. 7th minute, Dow goes on a mazy run, is dispossessed, but the ball ends up with davidson, his shot saved brilliantly by Parry in the Montrose net. 10th minute, Berwick at 6’s and 7’s defending a corner, Bow cleared off the line. Weird feel to the game so far, very open. But the breakthrough is Berwick’s! 29th minute, a lovely counter, Slaven collects, passes to MacIver, who cuts back inside, passing low to Cammy Palmer, who scores nicely from inside the ‘D’ past a (what looked like out-of-position) Montrose Keeper. 1-0 Berwick. Montrose now throwing their bodies in front of everything. 1-0 at Half Time.
Mackie back to WB(S) at HT, Dow (Who is struggling TBH) told to attack. Very quiet, first real highlight in the 67th minute, Sinclair saving well to his left. Dow coming off, Martin on as a Raumdeuter on the left; just want him to be a nuisance TBH. 73rd Minute, the booked Davidson off for MacPherson, Palmer to CM(A), MacPherson BBM. Montrose on the front foot now, and it’s 1-1 – a good move, McLeod-Kay scoring from the edge of the area after a Maguire interception went loose. Positive for the last 10, Martin to the centre as an AP(A), Turner to Half-Back, Mackie to CWB(A) on the left, Palmer as MEZ(A). Last change on 80 minutes, Mitchell for Slaven. Time running down. 1-1. Bollocks. Not good enough.
Still just 3 points off of first, though Airdrie leap-frog us with a win versus Dumbarton. Seems so difficult to get wins at the moment for a lot of the teams.
We’re now unbeaten in 12, since 30th October, but I’m still disappointed with our inability to put teams that we should be beaten away. We are lacking a quality man up top now IMO – Slaven only shows as 2* CA, Mitchell 3.5 but isn’t really doing anything (6.61 Average). Gerry Martin as an AF might be the way forward. Low Crosses as he’s only diddy. Worth a go. Dow is a worry as left winger too – he’s just not getting involved in the game.
Next month is huge – Current 2nd-placed Airdrie on 1st Feb, currently top Albion Rovers on the 12th with a massive cup tie at Hearts in the middle with the Quarter Finals beckoning.
Our U18’s drew 1-1 with St Andrews Utd U18’s, Archie Gardiner with the goal.
And that’s that for January 2022. Lastly here are the key highlights from the month. See you soon.