Results

1902/03: Runners-up

Berwick Rangers started the season with the usual problem – no field on which to play. They were unable to secure the use of Union Park they had from Robert Marshall and the opening games of the season were to be played away from home. It was decided at the club's AGM that they would enter the Border League again and the Northumberland FA Minor Cup competition, leaving the provision of a playing field in the hands of the committee.

October

Eyemouth United were the new season's first opponents on October 4th when Rangers claimed their first victory of the season with a 1-0 win .

A large crowd turned out at Shielfield to witness the local rivals do battle; however, the game was free from the foul play that generally characterised the meeting of these teams. The Tweedsiders drew first blood when Drysdale beat Patterson from close in. Spurred on by this, Rangers upped their attack. Brodie tested the keeper with a stinging shot that he could not hold, and McFarlane blasted the loose ball home. The Tweedsiders had the better of the second half exchanges and were unlucky when a superb goal by Bell was ruled out for handball. However, a similar offence gave Albion the lead when Robertson handled in the penalty area and Alex Hope made no mistake from the spot.

Rangers met Duns in their opening Border League match. Berwick were in splendid form, putting four goals past the Duns keeper but only getting two. Duns pulled a goal back but found it impossible to find an equaliser as Berwick held on to their lead and collected their first points of the season with a 2-1 win.

A large crowd, which spilled onto the pitch as there were no ropes to hold them back, turned out to watch Berwick play the KOSB Depot team in a friendly on the Pier Field. With several old Rangers players turning out for the Black and Gold, it was just like old times. The game had not been in progress long when Rangers scored through Murphy, quickly followed by a second from Smith, and a third by John McFarlane just before half-time. After the interval, Rangers dominated play and added twice more to make their tally five without reply.

November

Negotiations for the use of the Union Park were concluded in time for Rangers' Northumberland Minor Cup first round tie against Amble Blue Star on November 22nd. The visitors kicked off and were first on the attack, but from then on Rangers held the game in midfield with Amble seldom getting past the halfway line. Smith opened the scoring from a Tom Brodie corner and straight from the kick-off Redfearn placed a centre from the same player into the bottom corner of the net. The referee only allowed a minute for the interval, giving the teams little time to cool down. The visitors started the second half all guns blazing until McFarlane scored Berwick's third knocked the heart out of them. Afterwards, McFarlane added two more to his tally before Redfearn completed the rout with a well-struck sixth.

The unbeaten and runaway league leaders Alnwick Percy Rovers were next to visit the Union Park. As the game started late, it was agreed by both captains to play 35 minutes each way. McFarlane started the ball for Berwick amid drizzling rain, which hampered play. Alnwick scored first when Brown beat Patterson; however, a minute later, McFarlane equalised for Berwick and the first half finished on equal terms. A few minutes after the restart, Alnwick were awarded a penalty kick from which Brown scored their second goal, but Rangers press the visitor's goal, winning several corners without return, before Tom Brodie equalised with a well-struck free kick.

December

A large crowd was entertained with a friendly encounter played in a cup-tie fashion against Tweedside Albion at Union Park. The game kicked off half an hour late as five of the Albion players did not get out of Scremerston Pit until one o'clock and then had to walk to Spittal before arriving at the Union Park. At the interval, there was still no scoring as both teams tested each other out. However, Berwick broke the ice early in the second half when Smith, with a smart dribbling run, landed a neat shot into the net. The Tweedsiders were not long in replying when the referee awarded them a penalty, for some reason, and Hope drew the Albion level from the spot. McFarlane scored a second for Berwick before the Tweedsiders again drew level, this time without the help of the referee. A two-all draw was a fair result of a hard-fought match in which Rangers had a slight edge.

The meeting at Union Park between Berwick Rangers and North Northumberland League side Bamburgh Castle in the second round of the Minor Cup did not cause much alarm in the Rangers' camp, but the match was an illustration of the old proverb of not counting your chickens. Rangers scored early in the match and then sat back with the presumption that they could score at will. However, one or two bursts from the visitors taught them that they were indulging in a fool's paradise. Bamburgh equalised with a cracking shot and the game crossed over with the score level. After the interval, Berwick upped the pace and quite some time passed before they finally added to their score, but the lead was short lived as Bamburgh soon replied. In desperation, Rangers camped around the Bamburgh goal, and McFarlane managed to force the ball home. With such a narrow lead, the home spectators were on edge, but the goal that followed put the doubter's minds at rest. Dodds then added a beauty from the halfway line before a late strike made it game over in what looked like an ease 5-2 win.

The annual festive friendly between Rangers and Tweedside Albion was a great disappointment to the large crowd that found their way to Shielfield on Christmas afternoon. A strong gale was blowing, putting good football out of the question. The teams agreed to play two thirties and Rangers, winning the toss, took wind advantage. Tom Brodie opened the scoring with a powerful close-range header midway through the half. However, with only a one-goal deficit and the elements behind them the Tweedsiders opened the second half in a business-like manner. Eddie Hope levelled the score with a superb wind-assisted shot before Willie Hope put the Albion in front from the penalty spot and Weatherhead making it 3-1 late in the game.

Rangers lost two points and two goals in a 2-1 Border League defeat at Eyemouth. The Fishermen fielded a heavy side and meant business from the start against a Rangers side that seemed not to have got over the festivities, with three reserves having to travel at short notice.

January

A stronger looking Rangers side took another point off league leaders Alnwick Percy Rovers with a hard-fought 2-2 New Year's Day draw at Percy Park.

Addiewell United from West Lothian met a Rangers team minus several of their best men in a holiday friendly. United opened in the teeth of a stiff breeze and it came as no surprise when Berwick found the net early on following a corner. Smith added a second soon after and Dixon a third. Sinton added a fourth as the visitors were unable to breakout of their half and by half-time Rangers had registered a fifth. With wind advantage after the break Addiewell were expected to feature more in the game, but it took them a full half-hour to open their account. Smith replied with a beautiful goal, after running single-handedly through the Addiewell defence, before the visitors scored twice more in a high-scoring 6-3 encounter.
The much talked about Northumberland Minor Cup third round match between Rangers and Alnwick St James's scheduled for January 10th was postponed at the last minute due to a severe snowstorm in the area. The match was played a week later in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd at the Union Park. The ground was still icy, but the referee judged it safe enough for play. It was a sensational start as Alnwick scored from the kick-off following a surging run. Three minutes later the visitors increased their lead and, on the half-hour mark, registered their third. Rangers finally got their act together and Robertson, with a huge kick, beat Liddle before the teams crossed over. Berwick had an uphill task in the second half, but still they tried. After twenty minutes' play, they scored a well-deserved goal through Smith. Several easy chances were then missed, but a minute from time Rangers were awarded a penalty when Archibald fouled Tom Brodie, who was on the point of shooting. Brodie took the kick himself and levelled the score at 3-3 in proper cup-tie fashion.

The replay against Alnwick took place at Howling Lane a week later. Rangers travelled with the same team and were accompanied by a large group of supporters from both sides of the water. Berwick, playing against the incline, opened brightly, but were a goal down eight minutes from the start when Allan shot home and, a few minutes later, the same player blasted a second into the net. Rangers rallied and Redfearn reduced the difference when he beat Liddle with a stinging shot. Early in the second half, and against the run of play, Alnwick were awarded a free kick. From the kick, Patterson, thinking the ball was going to go in untouched, allowed it to go over his head, but it struck the bar and rebounded into the net off his back, giving the home team a substantial lead. Leddy sent in a perfect centre from which Brodie beat the Alnwick keeper for the second time, and it looked as if another draw was to be the result. However, Liddle was proving hard to beat, and time simply ran out on the Rangers who lost by the odd goal in five.

Back to league business, Rangers tried a few team changes with George Brodie in goal, Bob Turnbull at inside-left and Tommy Smith at left-half in an easy 4-0 home victory over Duns. Turnbull opened the scoring with a long shot within the first five minutes. Play changed ends and Brodie stopped what seemed like a certain goal with fine save. A few minutes later, however, Murphy found the net to put Berwick two ahead. After the interval McFarlane, added a third with a powerful header and a few seconds later he notched a fourth.

February

In another high-scoring match, Rangers gave Coldstream, current holders of the wooden spoon, their sixth straight league defeat with a 5-0 win at Home Park.

Berwick were now third in the league table on equal points with Eyemouth, who were next to visit the Union Park. Considerable interest was shown in the match as the Fishermen were on a three-match unbeaten run. Rangers were without Brodie and Patterson, who were playing in an Inter-League match at Alnwick, and the locals did not give Berwick much chance at all. However, Rangers took an early lead when a McFarlane cross was hit home by Sinton. Sustained pressure from the home side resulted in Turnbull netting a second a few minutes later and straight from the kick-off the same player increased the lead further with a powerful shot after making a darting run into the goalmouth. Eyemouth began to fight back, and Black scored from a well-placed corner before Ord made it 3-2 with an own goal following a miskicked clearance. After the interval Rangers took full control, forcing the entire Eyemouth team back into defence, and from a McFarlane pass Turnbull completed his hat trick with a fierce shot. Murphy missed a spot-kick before Brown added number five. At this point, McVie, the visiting left-back, was sent off for unsportsmanlike behaviour as the Eyemouth players became unruly, and three more players left the field in protest. Brodie, the home keeper, completed the rout when he scored to make it 6-2 with a long drive seconds before the end.

In a break from league action, Rangers defeated Dunbar Thistle 2-1 in a friendly encounter at Dunbar.

March

There had been many rough tussles between Berwick Rangers and Tweedside Albion over the years, but the Border League fixture between the two sides at Shielfield on March 7th put them all in the shade. From the kick-off, the home team took matters into their own hands, their main object being to cripple as many Berwick players as possible and then get goals. The reporter at the game said that the match lasted two hours and ten minutes. One hour of this was devoted to football and the remainder of that time to fisticuffs. He added that the players seemed to have a better knowledge of the noble art than of the game of football. The result of that stormy match was a draw of one goal each. Albion opened the scoring through Scobie with Rangers equalising through a Tom Brodie goal direct from a corner kick.

Rangers were let off the hook in a friendly match at Bamburgh purely by the home side's lack of finishing power in a game that ended a goal each.

Coldstream's Border League fortunes had improved slightly, but they were still no match for the Rangers who were in total command in the first half and finished 5-0 up at the interval. In the second period, two goals in six minutes gave Coldstream hope, but Rangers made sure that they did not break through again.

In a return friendly with Dunbar Thistle, Rangers completed a double over the visitors with a 4-2 victory in an entertaining game.

April

Three goals in the opening fifteen minutes put Rangers in easy street in a league match against Kelso and by the interval they were ahead by five. The visitors seldom looked dangerous in the second half and Rangers added two more to their tally to complete a 7-0 rout.

With two games remaining in the Border League, Berwick had to win both to claim top spot and the championship from Alnwick Percy Rovers. Tweedside Albion stood in their way, and a big Easter Saturday crowd lined the Union Park enclosure to watch. From the kick-off, Scobie got possession and raced toward the Berwick goal, sending in a perfect cross from which Albion scored, putting Rangers' hopes of the championship in doubt. After the interval, the Tweedsiders netted thrice in quick succession and things were looking bleak for the Rangers. However, with half an hour remaining Smith pulled a goal back; Crombie added twice more in as many minutes and the game looked to be heading for a grandstand finish but time ran out on Berwick's hopes as Albion held on to win 4-3 and end any championship ambition.

Down but not out, Rangers defeated County Durham side Shildon Athletic, holders of the Durham Amateur Cup, 4-3 in an Easter Monday friendly at the Union Park. In their final league encounter, Rangers secured a hollow 5-0 victory at Kelso to finish runners-up in the league, two points behind champions Alnwick Percy Rovers.

The season was rounded off with a return friendly against Bamburgh Castle in which a spirited performance by the Bamburgh team, especially in the second half, gave the visitors a deserved 4-1 victory over an experimental Rangers side.

Results
Date C V Opposition Res i
Oct 4 F A Eyemouth United W 1-0
11 F A Tweedside Albion L 1-2
18 BL A Duns W 2-1
25 F A KOSB W 5-0
Nov 22 NMC 1 H Amble Blue Star W 6-0
29 BL H Alnwick Percy Rovers D 2-2
Dec 6 F H Tweedside Albion D 2-2
13 NMC 2 H Bamburgh Castle W 5-2
25 F A Tweedside Albion L 1-3
27 BL A Eyemouth United L 1-2
Jan 1 BL A Alnwick Percy Rovers D 2-2
3 F H Addiewell United W 6-3
17 NMC 3 H Alnwick St James's D 3-3
24 NMC 3R A Alnwick St James's L 2-3
31 BL H Duns W 4-0
Feb 7 BL A Coldstream W 5-0
21 BL H Eyemouth United W 6-2
28 F A Dunbar Thistle W 2-1
Mar 7 BL A Tweedside Albion D 1-1
14 F A Bamburgh Castle D 1-1
21 BL H Coldstream W 5-2
28 F H Dunbar Thistle W 4-2
Apr 4 BL H Kelso W 7-0
11 BL H Tweedside Albion L 3-4
13 F H Shildon Athletic W 4-3
18 BL A Kelso W 5-0
23 F H Bamburgh Castle L 1-4

Border League

Home Away
Pld W D L F A W D L F A Pts
1 Alnwick Percy Rovers 11 3 2 0 18 6 3 3 0 14 11 19
2 Berwick Rangers 12 4 1 1 27 8 3 2 1 16 6 17
3 Tweedside Albion 12 4 2 0 22 5 3 0 3 14 11 16
4 Duns 11 3 1 1 18 7 1 2 3 7 14 11
5 Eyemouth United 11 4 1 1 13 7 0 0 5 6 30 9
6 Kelso 10 2 0 3 11 13 1 0 4 5 13 6
7 Coldstream 11 1 0 5 8 19 0 0 5 3 32 2
blank
Alnwick Percy Rovers awarded two points as Kelso failed to turn up for the match at Alnwick.

Matches Duns v Coldstream and Kelso v Eyemouth United not played.
Appearances & Goals
F BL NMC
Player A G A G A G
George Brodie 4   5 1   2
Tom Brodie 5 1 5 3 4 2
William Brown 3 8 1 4
Harry Burgon 1 1
Thomas Cochrane 1
Thomas Crombie 1 1 2
George Dixon 1 1 1
Robert Dodds 1 1 1
Thomas Leddy 4 3 3
Alexander Manderson 1
John McFarlane 5 3 6 5 4 4
William McFarlane 1
Richard Murphy 5 1 8 1 4
James Ord 4 7 3
George “Inky” Patterson 3
George Patterson 5 5 4
David Redfearn 4 8 4 3
John Renwick 1 8 3
Robert Robertson 4 5 4 1
Richard Short 1
Walter Sinton 2 1 3 1
Tommy Smith 7 5 8 1 4 2
Robert Turnbull 2 4
Number of players used: 23