1887/88: No Match for the West End

Berwick Rangers continued with their dominance of local football with some impressive results in the opening half of the season. Against the county sides, Rangers were narrowing the gap with Alnwick Working Men's Club and were unlucky to lose 1-0 at Ashington against their reserve team.


The season opened on October 22nd with the Rangers beating the newly formed Galagate Lads at Norham 5-1.

Tweedside Wanderers were constantly on the defensive, when they played hosts to Berwick Rangers at the Meadow Field, as from beginning to end the Berwickers showed their superiority. Tom Dixon opened the scoring, followed by a disputed goal by Harry Nicholson which was allowed to stand after a lot of wrangling. Rangers claimed another goal in the second half, but this time they withdrew their claim, and the game ended 2-0 in Rangers' favour.


There were no disputes in the return match against the Wanderers at the Pier Field, in which Rangers finished comfortable 6-2 winners.

Rangers made it three wins out of three when they beat Alnwick in front of a large crowd, under ideal conditions, at the Pier Field. Berwick held the upper hand throughout the match and should have won by a much larger margin than the 2-1 scoreline suggested.


On December 10th, Rangers travelled south to play Belford in a friendly at the Cricket Ground and returned with a 2-0 victory.

In preparation for their Northumberland Senior Cup campaign, Rangers played a festive friendly against the Tweedside Wanderers. The Wanderers again proved no match for their rivals with Berwick winning 3-1.


In the draw for the Senior Cup, Berwick Rangers were drawn against local side Border Hibernians. The Hibernians were no match even for the under-strength Rangers team and were thrashed 12-0. However, the match was ordered to be replayed the following Saturday, due to the Rangers fielding an unregistered player.

The draw for the second round of the Northumberland Senior Cup had already taken place, with the winners of the replay to face the Newcastle West End However, the Hibernians scratched and the Saturday void was taken up with Rangers hosting Tweedside Wanderers and winning 8-1.

Despite the cold and showery weather, over 1000 spectators turn out on the Pier Field to watch the second-round match, but Rangers were simply no match for the West End and were beaten 5-0. The West End played slick passing football and deservedly took the lead after only 15 minutes. Two more goals before half-time put them in total control. The second half saw the Tynesiders continue to assert their superiority, scoring another two goals in the process. Berwick preferred to shoot from long range and were simply no match for the West End.


The weather played its part when Berwick Rangers travelled to the Recreation Ground to play the Ashington reserve team. The home side won the toss and chose to play with the wind in their favour. The opening minutes saw some rough and wild play, and it came as no surprise when Ashington took the lead with only ten minutes played. Rangers thought they could turn things around after the interval, but a determined home defence prevented them from registering on the scoresheet.


Alnwick was the Easter holiday Monday destination. The game was played in front of a large holiday crowd, who were entertained with a well-contested encounter that ended in a slender 1-0 victory for the Working Men's Club.


The season ended with a late friendly played between two scratch sides of Berwick Rangers and Tweedside Wanderers, who had the assistance of three Seaside Rovers' players. The Wanderers won 2-1 after a very rough and ungentlemanly game.

Date C V Opposition Res i
Oct 22 F A Galagate Lads W 5-1
29 F A Tweedside Wanderers W 2-0
Nov 19 F H Tweedside Wanderers W 6-2
26 F H Alnwick WMC W 2-1
Dec 10 F A Belford W 2-0
24 F A Tweedside Wanderers W 3-1
Jan 7 NSC 1 H Border Hibernians W 12-0
14 F H Tweedside Wanderers W 8-1
21 NSC 2 H Newcastle West End L 0-5
Mar 3 F A Ashington Reserves L 0-1
Apr 2 F A Alnwick WMC L 0-1
May 15 F H Tweedside Wanderers L 1-2
Appearances & Goals
Player A G A G Player A G A G
Colin Campbell 6   2   John Lillie 5   2
Thomas Carson 1 Alex Murphy 4 2
James Cleghorn 4 2 Harry Nicholson 3 1 1
James Cowe 4 1 John Nicholson 2
Peter Cowe 5 2 Robert Rhind 4 2
Andrew Dixon 6 2 James Rollo 1 1
Jack Dixon 1 James Sherlaw 1
Tom Dixon 6 1 2 William Smith 5 2
Phillip Dodds 2 Andrew Thompson 3 1
Jack Gray 2 John White 1
Number of players used: 20