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Sat in pub. Finished my paper. Might as well start this. We will (probably) lose 3 top performers from a crap season. Notman has retired, (presumably before his knees cave in). Rumours of him going to Edinburgh as coach will be interesting as he tries to polish Pat Scullion. Mcrorie surely won't be back and although the gaffer will try and get Hamilton back again from Livi, surely that is unlikely. The positive news is of the emergence of a young but very promising defence. Brennan looks much more confident in goal, and a back 5 of Cook, Fleming, Wilson, Todd, and Orru is something to hang on to. Todd and Orru in particular have leaped forward this season. Maybe the addition of a tad more experience, and the defence is kinda sorted. Midfield and attack are big problems. O'Kane, Willis, Phillips and Lavery need some quality around them. Even with Notty it is seriously iffy and creates shag all. Up front, if Hamilton goes and Ouzy See doesn't make a miraculous recovery, we need a whole new strike force. Despite another feeble season, there is some promise in our youngsters they just need a bit of experience and on-the-ball quality around them. The only ones I would be happy to say goodbye to are Stewart, Murrell, Thomson and Fairbairn.
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.
As the month of March steadily chugs along and the business end of the season approaches, the Ladbrokes League 2 enters its 30th round of play with a matchup between Stirling Albion and Berwick Rangers due to kick off at 3 PM this Saturday. This will be the fourth and final meeting between both sides, with the previous triumvirate of matches resulting in two Bino victories and one Berwick win. That latter match was the opener of the 2018/2019 season, now a distant memory with the Borderers featuring names like Todd, Murrell, and Lavery, and Robbie Horn and Dave Mackay still in charge of their respective sides. Stirling Albion have won three points from their previous five matches, with Cowdenbeath being put to the sword at the start of March; Peterhead, Clyde (twice), and, controversially, Albion Rovers beat the Binos during that spell. Dylan Mackin is the club's top goalscorer at the moment, and will look to bag his 9th this Saturday; Darren Smith returns from suspension, while Danny Jardine is out after the knock he received versus Clyde last weekend. Despite the slow start under Mackay putting the club at a disadvantage early on in the season and the recent dry spell endured by the Forthbank-faithful, Mackay's successor Kevin Rutkiewicz helmed an uptick in form that now sees Stirling sit in 6th place, 13 points off a promotion play-off spot and 23 points away from the Trapdoor. No such comfort can be found at Shielfield, where the local Rangers sit in 9th, 5 points ahead of Albion Rovers who have a game against Cowden in hand. Johnny Harvey took over the reigns from Horn late in 2018, but has yet to inspire his team to go on a point-scoring spree. In fact, the match against Stirling represents a chance to get the first back-to-back points since November, when Rovers and Elgin City were beaten in quick succession. The Borderers will look to replicate this trick, having caused a big surprise by securing a 2-0 win over Peterhead this Tuesday. Defender Aidan McIlduff injured himself during the warmup on the day, and is a question mark for Saturday. Ouzy See is certain to remain sidelined, whilst Dougie Brydon, Kyle Allison, and Jordan Orru have also recently been injured. Berwick will, however, be able to field Declan O'Kane who has now served his two match suspension. Stirling Albion will need a win to keep their play-off hopes, however slim, alive, whereas Berwick will want to secure a result in light of Rovers' game versus Elgin City and the postponed fixture v. Cowdenbeath. The Wee 'Gers also have pride to play for, as they need seven more points to avoid becoming the worst 9th placed team in League 2 history (a record held by the 2004 Elgin City side who won 25 from 36). Having worn their home kit in the previous match at Forthbank, expect Berwick to once again run out in black and gold.