Results

1894/95: Guarantee Required

At the club's general meeting prior to the start of the 1894-95 season the financial burden was high on the agenda. The club had faired reasonably well on the field the previous season but very poorly at the gate, and there was still a deficit when the season ended. Mr M Howe, the club treasurer, disclosed an income of £55, leaving a deficit of £7. The chief losses were in the upkeep of the recreation room at the Masonic Hall during the season and the failure of guarantees. There had been a good deal of talk about the inconvenience of Shielfield, owing to its distance from the town, affecting crowd numbers, but it was considered the best option currently available. More ground improvements were made, including levelling and widening of the playing area to suit the requirements of the English FA Amateur Cup competition. As a goodwill gesture, Mr. William Shiel Dods, owner of the ground, refunded three-quarters of last season's rent. A very generous act and doubly appreciated at a time when the club's coffers were low.

When the election of officials came round, there was a resignation from the secretary, Thomas Nicholson. He was leaving for South Africa, in company with three others, to seek their fortunes in the gold mining industry. The secretary's place was filled at the meeting by Tom Lindsay, who was a founding member and player of the club. It proved to be a popular choice, as was the election of goalkeeper Tom Hope as captain, replacing Bob Rhind.

Fixtures were becoming harder to secure for a club geographically situated like Berwick, without a good guarantee, due to the league system operating on Tyneside, and the new committee worked hard to entice fresh opposition.

September

A match took place at Shielfield on September 15th against Berwick Athletic to test the new playing surface. Rangers tried a patchwork team while Athletic were at full strength. John McFarlane opened the scoring on ten minutes, but shortly after  Miiddlemiss equalised. Wallace put Rangers back in front when he applied the finishing touch to McFarlane's shot. Just before half-time, the same two players combined again but this time Wallace was the provider as McFarlane gave Rangers a two-goal advantage. McFarlane completed his debut hat trick on 55 minutes before Grieve made it five with a superb shot into the top corner of the net a few minutes later. Rangers continued to hold the upper hand although Athletic did beat Hope for a second time when Cochrane scored with a neat, angled shot.

October

Belford arrived at Shielfield for the official opening match of the season on October 6th with only nine men and had to find two substitutes locally. Rangers, on the other hand, fielded a strong eleven and were two goals up by half-time through Bryson and Grieve after dominating the early proceedings. In the second half, a more determined Belford side fought back, but midway through one of their players had to leave to catch an early train and soon after goals from Campbell and Wallace sealed a 4-0 win.

A week later, Rangers played hosts to Science & Art. Berwick undoubtedly did most of the pressing, but the 1-1 scoreline fairly reflected the merits of the respective teams. Playing neat, short passing football, the Students held the lead at half-time and, on the restart, repelled the Berwick attack until the dying minutes when Colin Campbell bundled home.

Jarrow Presbyterians included two ex-Berwick Rangers players, John Manuel and Robert Mathieson in their line-up, and this added a little bit of interest from the standpoint of the Rangers' supporters. However, Berwick's shooting was quick and decisive against the bluntness of the Jarrow attack and the 4-2 scoreline gave a fair reflection of the game. Rangers opened strongly and won no less than four corners in as many minutes before Murphy turned in a long shot from Grieve after 10 minutes for the opening goal. Soon after, Murphy scored a second, putting the finishing touch to a good through ball from Cochrane. Jarrow unexpectedly pulled a goal back before Murphy completed his hat trick with a fine shot. Shortly after the interval, Jarrow began to apply pressure, but Rangers rarely asserted themselves at the back. Bryson beat goalkeeper Mason from close in as play swung from end to end before Jarrow scored a late consolation goal with a fast shot that gave Hope little chance.

November

Rangers trounced Duns 4-0 at Shielfield in a dull encounter played under heavy ground conditions. Duns were poorly represented and had to take two substitutes from the field with Tom Jamieson (Rangers) and Robert Weatherburn (Berwick Athletic), filling in the gaps. Berwick played the long ball game due to the conditions and took the lead when Manuel scored after 12 minutes. Bryson scored a second a few minutes later when the Duns defence failed to clear a quick forward move initiated by a long Colin Campbell clearance. John McFarlane scored a close-range third on 50 minutes and Manuel broke through on his own to score a late fourth, as the game ended under semi-darkness.

It was a long four-and-a-half-hour journey to Howden-le-Wear in County Durham for the second round of the English FA Amateur Cup. There was little between the teams until three-quarters of the match had gone and, by this time, Berwick had given their best. Howden Rangers were a heavy team but professionally trained and played fast attacking football from the start. However, Berwick took the lead after 25 minutes when Renwick picked up a loose ball in the area and hammered it home. A few minutes before the interval, Rhind struck the cross bar with a fierce free kick; the ball dropped straight down, and Bryson reacted first to force the ball into the net, only to be ruled offside. It was not until halfway through the second period that Howden began to show up in earnest. With Berwick beginning to tire, Howden set the pace and levelled on 70 minutes. Hope was called into action on several occasions as Howden searched for the winning goal in an aggressive style. The breakthrough eventually came when a mistake by King gifted them a goal and with time running out Howden added a third to secure victory. On the day's play the better team won, although had Berwick been at full strength, they played without Murphy, it would have been hard to say how the result would have gone. It was not, however, a wasted journey for a healthy crowd attended, and the sixpenny gate gave Berwick a £9 share.

The change of ends made all the difference when Berwick visited Alnwick North End. Two goals down but with the elements in their favour, Rangers attacked relentlessly to win 6-2. Playing with a stiff breeze and downhill, Alnwick opened the scoring on 25 minutes and were two goals up by half-time. However, four minutes after the restart, Manuel found the back of the net. More goals came quick and fast, with five being scored in a 20-minute spell. It was now only a matter of how many Rangers could score, but then they relaxed, and the game evened out. However, a late burst of action saw Berwick add a sixth to their tally in the dying minutes.

December

A repeat performance of the Alnwick match looked on the cards when Rangers played a poor Kelso side at Shielfield. Berwick had all the play, and it looked as if there was to be another goal fest with Rangers two goals up after 35 minutes and cruising. Rangers added to their tally shortly after the interval, but the scoring stopped at three due to some wasteful shooting.

In the opening round of the Northumberland Senior Cup, Rangers met Belford at the Belford Cricket Ground and won 4-0 in a one-sided affair. However, Belford kept their goal intact until the early minutes of the second half when Murphy scored, despite going down to ten men after only 15 minutes due to an injury to their full-back Hutchison. A minute later John McFarlane added a second, and then Wallace placed a third to Berwick's credit with a cool header from a well-taken corner. Murphy had a goal disallowed before McFarlane completed the scoring in the final minutes.

Rangers faced a Berwick Borough Select XI at Shielfield on Christmas Day. It was a roughly contested affair, which lacked the festive spirit with many old scores being settled. The Borough side, consisting of players from Dock View Harriers and Berwick Athletic, took advantage of a strong downhill wind in the first half but were unable to score. Hope made several fine saves, and the defence covered a lot of ground as they kept the Borough team out. After the crossover, Rangers looked for their turn, and the ball was no sooner off than the Borough goal was stormed. Robison popped through the first goal of the match, and Rhind was not long in following suit with a long, low shot. Five minutes later, Rangers scored again when the Borough team put the ball into their own net following a goalmouth scramble. Wallace put through a fourth, and when Ogilvie pushed out a goal-bound shot, Campbell accepted the rebound to swell the total to five with no return.

January

New Year's Day saw the visit of Edinburgh side North Western, who turned up four players short. McQueen, Hush and Weatherburn of Berwick Athletic filled up three of the vacancies as Rangers hit them for six. Wallace got a chance up front and made no mistake in notching number one. Robison headed number two from a perfect centre from Murphy and, five minutes later, Renwick headed home a defensive clearance. Campbell scored the fourth with a neat shot and very nearly repeated it a few seconds later before Wallace put the final touch to number five. After the interval, Berwick allowed the visitors to add another player to complete their team, and as a result, the second half was more even. Western, however, failed to break through the solid home defence and, after a fine save by the visiting keeper, Murphy added a sixth to complete the rout.

Berwick Rangers paid their first visit to Shankhouse Black Watch, in the second round of the Northumberland Senior Cup. Shankhouse were the current holders after beating Newcastle United A in last season's final and a tough match was envisaged. It was a long, cold journey to Shankhouse for the Rangers. The ground was hard with several inches of packed snow lying in places with a large £6 gate, at cup prices, lining the perimeter. Shankhouse took an early lead with Gibson scoring in the second minute. Rangers were trying their best but could not get past the burly Shankhouse backs, and Gibson beat Hope for a second time four minutes later with a cracking shot. A few minutes before half-time, Hume put the finishing touches to a good attempt by Gibson for number three. Berwick played with improved form after the interval but could not turn their early pressure into goals and a late surge by Shankhouse saw Hedley notch a fourth, ending Rangers' cup exploits for another season.

The inclusion of reserve team player Alex Crombie against North Eastern proved a masterstroke. After an evenly contested first half, Crombie opened the scoring on the hour with a fine shot. However, it was not until seven minutes from time that Rangers broke through again when Crombie added his second with a close-range shot. From the kick-off, Crombie raced through to complete his debut hat trick, and with the last kick of the match a fifteen-yard shot from Renwick was fumbled by the keeper to complete the scoring.

February

A mixed Rangers team was strong enough to claim victory when they visited Kelso. There was little in the way of scoring in the first half with Berwick's Wallace scoring the solitary goal in the 20th minute, but after the cross-over a superior Rangers side added a further four goals with Kelso scoring a late consolation through Scott.

Rangers secured home and away friendly matches with former Senior Cup opponents Shankhouse Black Watch. The away match, on February 16th, was played on a ground that could be described as the perfect quagmire. Berwick were not at full strength, with several substitutes having to be found at the last minute and, in complete contrast to their previous visit, Rangers were beaten 9-1.

Berwick Athletic were on the end of a sound beating at Shielfield as Rangers released their Shankhouse frustration to win 8-2. Rangers pressed incessantly during the first half and were four goals ahead at the interval. Murphy opened the scoring again early in the second half, but a slip by Jamieson gave the Athletic an opening from which they took advantage and scored. Bryson added to the score before Murphy scored again after some fine wing work. Easton pulled another back for the visitors before Wallace notched Rangers' eighth and final goal of the match.

March

In the return friendly with Shankhouse Black Watch on March 2nd, a draw would have given a better description of the match rather than the scoreline suggested, as the visitors' two goals were easily won. On 20 minutes, a defensive mistake by Gordon presented the first; Milburn hitting a low shot that gave Hope no chance. A second slip by Gordon in the 75th minute allowed Shankhouse to score again, this time with a low, rolling shot by Briggs, which Hope could not prevent from crossing the line.

Local interest was intense when the up and coming Tweedmouth team Dock View Harriers were given the chance to impress the locals with a match against a full-strength Rangers team. The Harriers opened in an attacking fashion, but the Rangers' backs had little difficulty in clearing the danger. This had a tiring effect on the Tweedsiders, and it came as no surprise when Bryson opened the scoring with a thunderous cross shot well out of Ogilvie's reach. The lead was short lived, however, as the Dockers equalised almost immediately when a long ball was misjudged by keeper Dixon as he attempted to kick clear and Straughan was on hand to prod home. A perfect Robison cross was headed home by Wallace as Rangers regained the lead. A few seconds later, good build up work by Renwick, Colin Campbell and Robison let Bryson away and he crossed for Murphy to fire home number three. After the interval, play continued fast and furious. On 70 minutes, Colin Campbell scored with an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net. Ten minutes later Murphy crossed from the wing; Ogilvie fisted away, but Renwick intercepted and rushed a fifth goal past him. Rangers were now in total command with the Harriers hoisting the ball out in any which way to save their goal. Despite making several fine saves, Ogilvie was beaten for a sixth time when Renwick placed a low drive into the net.

Alnwick Percy Rovers were hit for six by a mixed Rangers team at Shielfield. Rovers showed very few football skills, and after a spell of early pressure Berwick took the lead on the half-hour when Coulthard was on hand to guide a Renwick shot home. It was one-way traffic in the second half as Rangers bombarded the visitor's goal. Jamieson scored the second goal and the third with a long shot; he was also instrumental in allowing Renwick to notch a fourth. Coulthard added a fifth, and the sixth was the result of a goalmouth melee.

After two high scoring matches a mere skeleton Rangers side, due to a mix of first and reserve team players playing at Haggerston the same day, took on and beat North Eastern 3-0 at Shielfield.

April

Rangers' captain, Tom Hope, had sustained crushed fingers to both hands in an accident at work, ruling him out of the goalkeeping role for the remainder of the season. James Cape took his place between the posts when Berwick visited Belford. The home side opened with a strong wind behind them, scoring twice, but it was a complete turn-a-round after the break when Rangers dominated proceedings to win 7-2.

With the visit of Newcastle United A to Shielfield on April 13th, it was Rangers' last big game of the season on which they could hope to make any revenue and a healthy crowd turn out in glorious weather to witness the match. The heat of the sun did not make it a day for quick moving football, but both teams had their chances. King hit the crossbar for Berwick with a fierce shot following a corner and both sides had a goal disallowed for offside. Rangers finally broke the deadlock a few minutes before half-time when Jamieson dropped a long ball into the goalmouth and Robison blasted home. In the 50th minute, and against the run of play, Wallace scored a second for Berwick. The Tynesiders had a goal disallowed for offside before Renwick scored Rangers' third midway through the half. Despite their possession, United were struggling to break through as the Rangers' rearguard repeatedly broke up their attacks with some solid defending and frustration was setting in. To make matters worse, regular goalkeeper Tom Hope, who was playing up front due to a hand injury, scored a late fourth as Berwick recorded a substantial win.

The final game of the season was played against the Dock View Harriers at Shielfield on the evening of Tuesday April 23rd. A large crowd had gathered, eager for a return to the rough and tumble days of old, and they were not to be disappointed. The Harriers were at full strength while the Rangers were three players short of their usual team. The Dockers pressed from the kick-off, and Patterson was called into action twice to clear dangerous looking free kicks. Rangers fought back and forced Ogilvie to put the ball through his own goal following Murphy corner. From the kick-off, the Harriers pressed and equalised through Straughan. Then the rough work began. The crowd began egging both sides on and they succeeded in getting two players sent off the field. Although the first half finished even the second was played mostly in the favour of the Rangers, which did not suit the unruly crowd, and at the close of the game, the local referee was hounded all the way to the Berwick side of the bridge by a wild mob intent on revenge.

Results
Date C V Opposition Res i
Sep 15 F H Berwick Athletic W 5-2
Oct 6 F H Belford W 4-0
13 F H Science & Art D 1-1
27 F H Jarrow Presbyterians W 4-2
Nov 3 F H Duns W 4-0
10 EAC 2 A Howden Rangers L 1-3
17 F A Alnwick North End W 6-2
Dec 1 F H Kelso W 3-0
15 NSC 1 A Belford W 4-0
25 F H Berwick Borough Select XI W 5-0
Jan 1 F H North Western W 6-0
12 NSC 2 A Shankhouse Black Watch L 0-4
26 F H North Eastern W 4-0
Feb 2 F A Kelso W 5-1
16 F A Shankhouse Black Watch L 1-9
23 F H Berwick Athletic W 8-2
Mar 2 F H Shankhouse Black Watch L 0-2
9 F H Dock View Harriers W 6-1
16 F H Alnwick Percy Rovers W 6-0
23 F H North Eastern W 3-0
Apr 2 F A Belford W 7-2
13 F H Newcastle United A W 4-0
23 F H Dock View Harriers W 4-2
Appearances & Goals
F EAC NSC
Player A G A G A G
George Bryson 12 6   1   2
Colin Campbell 14 5 1 2
James Campbell 2
James Cape 1
Thomas Cochrane 2
John Coulthard 1 2
Alex Crombie 2 3
Charles Dixon 1
John Gordon 7
Jimmy Grieve 11 2 1 2
Tom Hope 15 1 1 2
Thomas Jamieson 16 3 2
James King 5 1
Rupert King 2
John Manuel 5 3 1 2
John McFarlane 9 5 1 1 2
William McFarlane 18 1 2
Duncan McQueen 4
Richard Murphy 17 8 2 1
Robert Patterson 3
John Renwick 12 6 1 1 1
Robert Rhind 17 1 1 2
Robert Robertson 2
James Robison 9 3
Andrew Wallace 19 12 1 2 1
Henry Warner 2 1
Robert Weatherburn 1
Own goal 2
Number of players used: 28