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Found 10 results

  1. Final Standings With the regular season done and dusted, Cove Rangers and Berwick Rangers finished top and bottom of their respective divisions; Cove Rangers won the Highland League for the second year running, this time around clinching a 8 point gap over second placed Brora - in 17/18, the Aberdeen-based side finished 11 points ahead of Formartine, showing that these particular Rangers seem to be a bigger fish than the size of their pond lets on. Incredibly, 100 goals were scored across 34 matches, with the Cove goalie conceding just 12(!). This strong form continued into the first round of the promotion play-offs, with a scrappy 1-2 win at East Kilbride's K-Park being followed up with a comprehensive 3-0 rout of the Lowland champions at Balmoral Stadium - a 5-1 aggregate is nothing to scoff at. On the other side of the trapdoor, Berwick Rangers' bottom completely fell out - 19 lonesome points being three worse than Cowdenbeath's tally in 17/18 and 13(!) less than East Stirlingshire's record during the season in which they were relegated. Since the introduction of the then-Third Division back in 1994/1995, only three sides scored fewer points than this season's Dream Team; Albion Rovers in 94/95 and East Stirlingshire in 02/03 and 04/05. Things could have been different, for this season's Albion Rovers are the second worst 9th placed team - behind the 03/04 Elgin City side (25 points) - but Berwick failed to capitalize on Rovers' insanely week start to the season under John 'Let's sign Alloa's development squad and call it a day' Brogan. Cove Rangers Back in 2017/2018, the Cove Rangers thread down in the Highland League section of Pie & Bovril was titled 'Cove on the Move' - a play on words that may well have proven to be prophetic were it not for scrappy Cowdenbeath barring the Highland League champions entry to League 2 in the play-offs. Another season of battering the other Highland sides later and the 7-times champions are eager to succesfully operate the Trapdoor this time around - this time with a scintillating form to their name seeing as the last time Cove dropped points was way back on the 23rd of March, when Brora held the blue-clad Aberdeen squad to a 1-1 draw. For comparison, the last time Berwick picked up any points was the 19th of March..... Since the Brora bump in the road, Cove played and won 5 league games - Fort William, Wick Academy, Keith, Forres Mechanics, and Clachnacuddin were all beaten - scoring 15 times and conceding just once. The last time a team put more than a single goal past Cove was on the 6th of March (Rothes scored twice but shipped 6 goals themselves) and the last time a team actually beat them was on December 1st 2018 when Fraserburgh secured a 1-0 win at home. Cove's team features a smattering of SFL experience, including the likes of Martin Scott (ex-Livi, Hibs, Ross County, Arbroath, Stenny, Raith, and Salgaocar - wait, who?), Jamie Masson (Aberdeen, Elgin, Brechin), Jordon Brown (Aberdeen, Forfar, and about 180 matches for Peterhead), and Mitchel Megginson (Aberdeen, Arbroath, Brechin, Alloa, Dumbarton, and Brechin). Blair Yule of Arbroath fame is another prominent member of the squad, as is Ryan Strachan - another former Peterhead stalwart. Berwick Rangers Click the spoiler for a season recap Berwick Rangers haven't won a game - or indeed picked up points - since the 19th of March when league leaders Peterhead were beaten 2 to 0. Since, 6 matches under Johnny Harvey resulted in 0 goals forward and 20 against, while the single match under John Browlie and Ian Little was a merciful 2-0 loss at the hands of Elgin. A team that has been built, refurbished, and demolished by Robbie Horn and Johnny Harvey this season, Berwick's hopes are pinned on key players Dougie Brydon and Jordan Orru, both returning from a couple of weeks of injury, and Ousman 'Ouzy' See, who has been out of the game for about 8 months following a broken leg incurred at Montrose (back when they were still in League 2). Promotion/Relegation Play-Off; Leg 1 of the Trapdoor Having mentioned Montrose we can safely say that there is a life after the Trapdoor - with the Angus side having impressively secured a second season in League 1. Of course, the Gable Endies never actually fell down to the Highland/Lowland League. Conversely, League 2 strugglers of old East Stirlingshire are into their theird season in the Lowland League, with crowds averaging 180 odd fans having witnessed a sixth place finish this season. The other SFL team to have experienced the perils of the Trapdoor - Cowdenbeath - have steered clear of immediate danger by ending 6th in League 2 this season. Whichever example Berwick Rangers will follow - survival and great/limited success or relegation and a new reality - the Dream Team have one final shot to save their skin and membership of the SFL due to the relatively closed-off nature of the pyramid, which is more than most teams in their position in other European countries can say. Even then, should relegation occur, Berwick will receive parachute payments (possibly in the form of Ladbrokes sponsorship like East Stirlingshire received) and continued access to the Challenge and League Cups for 2019/2020. Still, with East Kilbride continuing their stint in the Lowland League, the Wee 'Gers will be in serious trouble if they want to bounce back at the first time of asking. As for Cove, promotion to League 2 will have never been easier to achieve than this season given the league performance of Club 42, and the Aberdeen-side will be hungrier than ever following their controversial (their words, not mine) defeat at the hands of Cowdenbeath last season. They seem to have outgrown the Highland League and have shown willingness to be promoted - and should they reach their goal they will undoubtedly make a fist of their first season in the SFL, which should worry the current members. May 11th will be the first leg of this play-off between two very different teams, both with their own ambitions; Cove will look to turn their home advantage into a convincing win to make the return a dead rubber, whilst Berwick will be pleased to keep the tie alive ahead of their home match on the 18th of May. If you are in the area, consider making the trip to Balmoral Stadium and see for yourself how exciting football at this level and stage of the season can be. Cove play in all-blue adidas teamwear at home; considering the fact that Berwick's away shirt is light blue with navy shorts and hooped socks, expect the Black and Gold to turn out in, well, black and gold. I don't have a graphic for Cove's kit so please accept my substituting it with the 2010/2011 Peterborough United home shirt.
  2. A fixture that will no doubt garner more interest than under normal circumstances due to the precarious positions of both clubs in the current standings, this Saturday will see Albion Rovers play host to Berwick Rangers at the Reigart Demolitions Stadium (formerly Cliftonhill). Albion come into this game having lost 8 straight games, conceding 20 and scoring 1 (five matches ago against Edinburgh City). Their last (and indeed only) league win dates back to September, with their most recent match (last Saturday v. Annan) being a 4-0 spanking. The wee Rovers sit tenth in the standings with 7 points and a goal difference of minus 44 Rangers have lost 7 games on the spin, conceding 21 and scoring 3. Their most recent match was a reasonably close fought 1-2 at home against Annan yesterday, but it did little to dispell the memories of a shambolic 7-1 at Hampden earlier this month. The Dream Team have garnered 14 points so far, thanks in no small part to two wins over Albion Rovers, with a goal difference of minus 42. A win for Berwick will give them a ten point lead over Rovers with 8 games left to play for the latter, whilst the Coatbridge side will close the gap to safety to just four points with a win. With Cove or East Kilbride very able and willing to operate the Trapdoor at the end of the season, this is a match neither team can afford to lose.
  3. Current Standings With the end of the 2018/2019 season looming and some League 2 teams having already booked their holiday tickets, Berwick Rangers and Albion Rovers will meet on Saturday the 27th of April for what may prove to be the deciding match in the relegation battle this year. As can be seen, the Wee Rovers hold a five point advantage over the Wee 'Gers, with a significantly better goal difference to boot. Albion Rovers Having experienced what for all intents and purposes is a footballing resurrection since John Brogan was kicked to the curb earlier in the season, Albion Rovers are fresh off the back of a creditable 3-2 win over Edinburgh City and a hard-fought last minute draw versus table toppers Peterhead. These results coupled with a string of three wins in March have seen the club once thought dead and buried return to the land of the living, much to the delight (and surprise) of their fans and well-wishers from the larger football community. A draw versus Berwick Rangers will seal Rovers' safety and the completion of what the club's Twitter has coined #thegreatestescape. Gaffer Kevin Harper will look to secure a bronze statue of himself standing outside Coatbridge by clinching this final point needed to preserve Albion Rovers' League membership. Berwick Rangers On the other side of the Border, Berwick Rangers are finishing the season in the same way Albion Rovers started theirs; slumping to heavy defeats while conceding for fun and failing to convert any chances on the opposition's side of the field. The Black and Gold haven't scored a single goal since their coupon-busting 2-0 win over Peterhead on the 19th of March, recording five straight defeats with 17 goals scored by the opposition. The win over Peterhead was Berwick's only victory over the past 21(!) games, which included just four draws; the mathematicians among us will tell you that this means the Dream Team have taken 7 points from a possible 63. Nothing short of a win will be enough to keep Berwick's hopes of 9th place alive - which will be the target with previously injured Ousman 'Ouzy' See and Jordan Orru returning to the fold. They join a squad of which more than a dozen members were recruited by current manager Johnny Harvey. Final Day of the Season & Play-Offs Berwick and Rovers will meet Elgin and Annan respectively on the final day of the season; a draw or Rovers victory will render those matches dead rubbers as Berwick will be unable to overturn a 5/8 point deficit in just a single match. Even in the event of a win for the home side on the 27th, Berwick will need to beat Elgin and cross their fingers promotion-play-off bound Annan don't take their foot off the gas pedal versus Albion Rovers (who would only need a point to secure League status due to their far superior goal difference). Berwick Rangers will feel themselves to be an occupant of the last chance saloon, staring down the barrel of a face-off with East Kilbride or Cove Rangers should they lose, whereas Albion Rovers need just one final draw to book that flight to Ibiza. With all ingredients in place for an absolute classic bottom-of-the-table scrap, a bumper crowd is expected for what may well end up being the undoing of one of the involved clubs. Expect Albion Rovers to wear their red away tops on the day, in lieu of their yellow home and black third strips clashing with Berwick's home colours;
  4. Gold and black play host to white and black on Saturday as Edinburgh City play Berwick Rangers at Shielfield - this matchup being notable for the biggest benefactors of the League 2 Trapdoor coming to visit the side most likely to be the drop's next victim. Berwick are fresh-faced in tenth, having not previously occupied the last place in the standings this season (in no small part due to a convincing victory over Stirling Albion on the first day of the season). Albion Rovers' win over Cowdenbeath on Tuesday has, unfortunately for the wee 'Gers, catapulted them into 9th, 1 point and 7 goals ahead of Johnny Harvey's men. Having taken 4 points from the last five matches, the gaffer and his lads are looking to exact revenge for the 1-0 loss at Ainsley Park earlier this month, which is just one in a series of 1 goal losses suffered by Berwick - the last time the team lost by more than one goal was on the 23rd of February v. Elgin. Dougie Brydon is close to full fitness again and Ouzy See remains out, whilst goalie Allison is still a question mark. Brennan will probably remain on goal, while Ryan Goodfellow will remain on the bench, unsure of why he was loaned in the first place. Notably, at 11;30 AM, there will be an open fan forum at Shielfield where one and all can put their questions to the chairmen; expect 73 variations of the question 'Tae fook we do now?'. Edinburgh City, meanwhile, are sitting comfortably in second; Clyde's administrative hiccup ensures that the Bully Wee are now one point behind City, while Berwick's shock win over Peterhead leaves the Blue Toon just five points ahead in first. As a result, McDonaugh's men have it all to play for still with 6 matches remaining although they are assured of the play-offs at the very least. City have taken 7 from their last five, including the win over Berwick and last weekend's one all versus the league leaders. Talking about Peterhead, they will be facing Cowdenbeath, so a win at Shielfield is the only result City can be satisfied with; this will put their season's total versus Berwick at three wins and one draw. Betting odds are probably in favour of City, regular ticket prices apply, hopefully there will be a decent bit of live-tweeting going on, and visitors are advised to bring earplugs due to how squeaky the local bums are at the moment. Considering both City's away and third shirts clash with Berwick's black and gold, expect the visitors to wear their white home strip.
  5. So here it is, the game we've all been waiting on. We've looked a bit better since McKinnon has came in, no disrespect to Alloa but if we're to stay in this division we need to be winning this. Is anyone confident in their team? How do the Alloa fans think they're adapting to the championship?
  6. Who will get the best "Not Fair" Bleating Rights, as some of us get fewer Home fixtures than others? How will it all end - who goes down, who contends a play-off and do they stay up, and who is Best Of The Rest?
  7. Biggest game of the season on Saturday, both teams desperately need to win but both will also be shit scared of losing. So it will probably end up being another bore draw. Win and Inverness are gone and it becomes a five way fight to avoid the play off spot after the split, a defeat for us doesn't real bare thinking about. A team that hasn't won away from home in the league since they scudded us 3-0 last time they were at Fir Park in October, against a team that hasn't won at home since November. Should be interesting..
  8. Looking forward to this away day again, was a pleasant experience for myself in August. It's nice to think that we're both from lovely, cultural areas of historical importance. Unlike Cowdenbeath of course who aren't, they come from a shitehole. Looking at recent form you'd argue Berwick are perhaps the slight favourites, although both teams are doing reasonably well this year. Unlike Cowdenbeath who have 0 points in 2017. Team news now and whilst I don't want to give any clues away to Gary who'll undoubtedly be reading this, I would imagine both teams will be starting the game with their first choice right backs. Unlike Cowdenbeath who sacked theirs. Can only imagine a nice friendly meeting between two teams on the up at the moment. Unlike Cowdenbeath who are slumping into nothingness. Anyway, it'll be nice to have some sensible discussion with Edinburgh fans on here before and after the game. Unlike Cowdenbeath who just call me names. Edinburgh 0-4 Berwick.
  9. Beyond the halfway mark, Cowdenbeath look completely and utterly DOOMED to the ignominious fate of relegation through the trap door. Only Berwick may provide competition for bottom spot, but with smart continental acquisitions made earlier today and a title winning manager (Coughl-IN), their safety looks all but secured. What does everyone else think?
  10. Will be the same at the end of the season. There's already a points gap growing, does anyone fancy their club to mount a challenge to reduce this or should we just be resigned to our fate? Motherwell have looked awful but you'd fancy them to go on a run at some point. Thistle and Dundee having probably been showing the best flashes of form, but all the current top six have looked quite strong in their own way(apart from celtc obvs) so far and I'm not sure I can see any of them falling back enough.
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