Promotion Push – Berwick Rangers – PearceyPlays #FM19 Journeyman Part 176 – OS4 C2 S3 – March 2022

Hopefully where we will be next season πŸ™‚

This month brings us just the 3 games, versus 9th, 6th & 10th respectively – Has to be 9 points really, though we have a 4 point cushion now with 8 games left so its not essential

The last 4 months have been pretty good; only the one cup loss, at Hearts, and we got almost Β£200k gate for that so swings and roundabouts πŸ™‚

9th-placed Stenny are first up – They can be an awkward team to play against so no resting on laurels at all.

Firstly the usual monthly honours and other bits.

Aaron & Gerry in the Ladbrokes League 1 Team of the Week for their part in the 3-2 win v Morton.

Ross MacIver Ladbrokes League 1 Player of the Month for February 2022 πŸ™‚

The two Cammy’s 1 and 2 in the Ladbrokes League 1 Young Player of the Month for February 2022.

Cammy Dow loving life in Northumberland πŸ™‚

And another Ladbrokes League 1 Manager of the Month for me πŸ™‚ Noting Colin McMenamin of Stenny, who we face next up, got 2nd.

And we’ve had the youth intake…

Just the 1 then – Paul McKernon (STC From Ayr) – 14 Acc/12 Pac, plus 15 Teamwork & 13 Work Rate at 15 years old – Could be tasty. Possibly Danny Paton (DL, 15 Teamwork, 15 Nat Fit) and Roger(!) Scott (DM/MC, 15 Leadership, 13 Determination) as well.

Continental A badge incoming – In a years time πŸ™‚ Just Pro left after that πŸ™‚

The Youth Intake have played against our U18’s losing 5-3 – Goals from Paul McKernon , Roger Scott & an o.g. for the Intake, Cameron MacPherson, James Christie, an o.g. and a brace fromTom Sutherland for the U18’s – Roger Scott Man of the Match!!

As such the 3 mentioned previous will be signing, plus Aaron Webb, the Keeper, with 14 Handling & Reflexes already.

I’ve also offered pre-contracts to almost all my staff for the start of next season – removing the 30% promotion wage rise rubbish, as they all wanted big rises anyway. That should save a few pennies.

5th March 2022 – Stenhousemuir (H) – Ladbrokes League 1

Stenhousemuir arrive today 6 points behind Montrose in 8th and level on points with bottom-placed Alloa. They are going to have to put a run together to get out of either straight relegation or via play-off versus either 2nd, 3rd or 4th from league 2 (Currently Queen’s Park, Elgin City & Stirling respectively, though Cowdenbeath are wobbling at the top, 3 straight defeats, including a 4-3 v bottom placed Brechin, who only have 7 points from 28 games…)

Just looked at the Championship table and interestingly Dunfermline are currently 9th, and they have old-boy Chris Barras (Who we had on loan at Civil Service!), who I’d love to get back to Berwick (Though he’s on Β£775/wk) – might be some rick pickings from possibly them and most probably St. Johnstone.

Our best team, picking itself currently apart from the striker – Gerry Martin gets another go up top – he’s the best player in the squad by CA so deserves a chance up top. Palmer & Bow are on Yellow-card watch, with a ban after their next one. Stenny start with a 5-2-3 Wingbacks – weak in the centre of the park. Game on.

FT Berwick 2 (Palmer 6, Martin 51) Stenhousemuir 0 Att 573 (49 Away)

A lovely flowing move to start by Berwick, Dow’s header tipped over by Muir in the Stenny net. And we take the lead in the 6th minute, a Mackie Free Kick headed clear straight to Cammmy Palmer, who took a touch and struck a shot beautifully across the Stenny Keeper from just outside the area. 1-0 Berwick, a great start. We are breaking really well today. Just after 30 minutes a Martin header hits the post (rather softly though) and the ball gets bundled away. 1-0 at Half Time.

Stenny start the half well, but it’s 2-0 in the 51st minute, a direct free kick low to the Muir’s left by Gerry Martin, the Keeper should have done a bit better I think. 65 gone – McManus on for Turner as a DM, Davidson takes the playmaker role. 72 gone, Faulds for Mackie. Last 5, Leitch for Davidson, Palmer to DLP(S). And it ends 2-0, a lovely professional performance.

Just Airdrie keeping pace with us, Morton 8 points back in 3rd with 7 games left. Next up are Dumbarton, who got a good win in Coatbridge versus Albion Rovers. Stenny now bottom after Alloa get a point at Montrose. The Airdrie game (Match Day 34 of 36) might be the one to decide the League title.

Our U18’s beat Tweedmouth U18’s 4-0, goals from Cameron McGinn, Sean McIntosh and a brace from Cameron MacPherson.

SEAN SLAVEN – PULLED CALF MUSCLE – 3-5 WEEKS

Bugger – Sean was working back from Groin Strain, this most probably puts him out of the rest of the month.

Looks like we’re up for a takeover – let’s hope we don’t lose the Half-a-Mil we currently have in the bank whilst this happens – I will not be a happy bunny!

Cammy Palmer, Ross MacIver & Gerry Martin in the League 1 Team of the Week.

Our Reserves beat Arniston Res 2-0 – goals from Cameron McGinn & Daryl Healy.

12th March 2022 – Dumbarton (A) – Ladbrokes League 1

We make the trip to the Rock this afternoon – Dumbarton are the model of inconsistency currently (LWLDW last 5) but we know they can be dangerous, so we won’t take this lightly (Like all opposing teams TBH)

Unchanged from the Stenny match. Dumbarton go with a 4-4-1-1, Ross Forbes is the danger man to look out for.

FT Dumbarton 1 (Kane 51) Berwick 1 (Davidson 2) Att 904 (101 Away)

I can’t believe it – the Sun’s out!!! And the boys obviously love it, as we go 1-0 up in the 2nd minute. A Mackie throw-in to Turner, Turner loops a pass to Davidson, who takes the ball inside the ‘D’ before shooting past Tiffoney from 20 yards. It should have been 2-0 soon after, Martin, unmarked heading straight into the Dumbarton Keeper’s arms. A strong start again. Very quiet though until nearer the end of the half, with a long highlight ending in a shot over the bart by Palmer. 1-0 Berwick at Half Time.

A few tweaks to try and get the wingers involved a bit more in the second half. Dumbarton start a bit stronger and it’s 1-1 in the 51st minute – a Ross Forbes free kick well saved, by Sinclair, but the cross back in by Farquhar was headed in by Kane, 3 yards out and completely unmarked. Poor defending. And Sinclair pulls out of a hole twice in quick succession straight after the goal, the boys need to sort their shit out pronto. 66 gone, MacPherson on for Palmer as a BBM. 82 gone, McLaughlin on for MacIver. Dumbarton score in the 83rd minute, but Cooper is just offside – he didn’t need to be. Last 6 minutes, Mitchell on for Martin as a poacher. 1-1 at Full Time. A disappointing 2nd half.

Still 4 points clear – Edinburgh City were the only team to win, meaning Alloa are back at the bottom of the table. And it’s a trip to Alloa next up for our last league game of March 2022. 16 games unbeaten in the league now.

We’ve seemed to stop producing chances and key passes – thinking we may need to go back to a Number 10. And we have a spare weekend coming up, so maybe a friendly? Civil Service it is πŸ™‚

Our U18’s beat Edinburgh Utd U18’s 6-1, goals from New Boy Roger Scott (9.3 as well), John Graham, Tom Grant, James Doolan and a brace from James Christie.

Our Ressies then beat Creetown Res 4-0, goals from James Doolan, Lewis Barr and 2 from Daryl Healy.

Friendly – Berwick 3 (Dow 5, Mitchell 9, Sutherland 24) Civil Service 0 Att 161 (4 Away)

We went back to a 4-2-3-1 for the first half – it looked powerful going forward but light at the back. Thinking my wingbacks would need to be more defensive. We went 4-1-3-1-1 for the second half and it didn’t work very well – defensively solid but weak out wide ( I was playing 2 Mezzalas either side of a CM with Andy Turner as a Half Back – maybe a BWM in the centre of midfield might work well here??

On the same day our U18’s beat Upper Annandale U18’s 5-2, goals from new boy Paul McKernon, Bobby Lowe, James Christie and a brace from James Doolan.

Our Reserves then beat Clyde Res 3-1, goals from James Christie, Paul McCarthy & an o.g.

Coming up to 100 games for Berwick – 57% win percentage currently, 55% across my career as a whole (163 games played).

26th March 2022 – Alloa (A) – Ladbrokes League 1

We make the trip to bottom-placed Alloa expecting a tough game – they always are against bottom – knowing we really need to keep winning to put the pressure on Airdrie as we go into the last month, and 5 games, of the 2021/22 Ladbrokes League 1 season. Their last 5 games were LLLDL, but we know that doesn’t mean much in these circumstances.

We go back to a more positive 4-2-3-1, MacPherson is made to be that BWM(D) to secure the midfield, Palmer to shuttle, Davidson to play as the No. 10 as an AP(S). Leaving Gerry Martin up top, hopefully he’ll get more action with Davidson in the slot. 3 lads in possible Yellow trouble coming up. Alloa go with the opposite formation to us (DM instead of a Number 10) with their 8 newgens!! Their oldest player is 20, Oldest in the squad 22!!! What the hell has happened at that club?

FT Alloa 1 (Elliot 84) Berwick 3 (Martin 1, Dow 44, 90+2) Att 506 (117 Away)

We’re the all-whites today in the early-spring Alloa Rain. And another amazingly quick start, Berwick 1-0 up inside a minute. A number of blocked shots before a Davidson shot is parried by Eadie in the Alloa net, Martin on hand to tap in for his 6th of the season. Berwick very much on top, MacIver having a shot well saved in the 18th minute after a Gerry Martin cross. Alloa started to play a bit better from 20 minutes on, with a few chances, all from range, but Berwick went 2-0 up in the 44th minute – A Mackie corner flicked on at the near post by Martin, Dow flicking that header in from just in front of the Alloa Keeper. 2-0 at Half Time.

Reverting to the 4-1-2-3 for the second half, Turner on for MacPherson (On a booking) as the DLP. Davidson back into Centre Mid as a CM(A). Trying Martin as a DLF(S) – though he’s not really adapted I’m thinking of possibly using him as a False 9, letting Dow and Maciver get some space in and behind. A really long kick-off highlight, some lovely play from Berwick ending with a corner. The Alloa defence are throwing themselves in front of everything today, block after block. 74 gone, Sutherland on for MacIver, swapping Dow over, playing both as IF(A) with Martin as the F9. From nowhere Alloa get a goal back, 83rd minute, Makorova with a cross, Elliot with a header that’s flapped away by Sinclair, scoring on the rebound. Back to Balanced, a little bit more defensive for the last 10. Feel like there’s a sting in the tail possible. But we saw it out in a professional manner, going 3-1 up in injury time. McIntosh did well, dispossessing Carswell on the half way line, laying in Sutherland, who had both Martin & Dow free in the box – the ball went to Dow, who tapped home from 7 yards. 3-1 at Full Time, a handsome win (I think I glanced an important score come up that might be massive for us!)

7 points up with 5 games left!!! Airdrie’s push dented by Morton in what looks like a cracker of a game. Draws again allowing us to push on (Edinburgh City now with 14 draws in 31 games!). We’re possibly a couple of games away from winning the league!!!

So that’s it game-wise for March – 7pts from 9, in reality we need 2 wins and a draw from the last 5 games as Airdrie are 19 goals behind us – We could potentially win the league at Airdrie on 16th April.

18 League games unbeaten now, 11 of those wins. Edinburgh are tough to beat (only 6 games lost this season with their horrible 4-5-1 making them very tough to break down) and 3 of the last 5 are Away games. But if Airdrie aren’t perfect (Or Morton, they are 8 points back, Dumbarton 9) we’ve got to be firm favourites now.

A few little bits to clear up before the end of the month.

Our U18’s beat Haddington Ath Res 4-0 – goals from Morgyn Neill & a hat-trick from Seany-Boy Slaven.

I’m a coming for ya Harry (say this in a grizzled gold-rush 49’er kind of accent). Interest declared πŸ™‚

Look at those mentals compared to Barry (Our current best defender) – Filth! Lets rescue him from rotting in Inverness (I believe he’s been at Fort William in real life this past season :))

Bazza Maguire & Cammy Dow in the League 1 Team of the Week.

Same thing happened in my FM20 Journeyman – Team looks like its getting promotion, Chairman retires/cashes in.

Our Ressies lost 1-0 to Hibs Res – looked like a tight game.

And that’s the month done. Lastly below are the key highlights from the 3 games this month. See you next time for a (hopefully) back-to-back promotion party. See you soon πŸ™‚

March 2022 Key Highlights

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: