Results

1903/04: Silver Polish

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At the club's AGM, it was announced that Berwick Rangers would again enter for the Border League and Northumberland FA Minor Cup competitions. A motion was proposed to enter a team in the English Cup and reserve team in the North Northumberland League, but after lengthy discussion as to expenses etc., the motions were withdrawn. There was a total income of £80 13s 3d for the previous season, but expenditure was the same plus 12s 3d. The club, having spent £9 1s to enclose the pitch, decided to use the Union Park for the new season, even though the rent of £5 had been increased.

The Border League this season included three elevens from the borough – Berwick Rangers, Tweedside Albion and Tweedside Villa. Kelso and Coldstream had resigned from the league to try their luck elsewhere, with Tweedside Villa and Chirnside filling the vacancies. Champions Alnwick Percy Rovers again entered along with Duns to make up a seven-team league.

September

Rangers opened the season on 1st September with a comfortable 5-1 victory against the KOSB Depot team on The Stanks.

Rangers started their Border League campaign with a home match against Eyemouth United. The game was only a minute old when Rangers scored through Redfearn. However, Eyemouth levelled the score ten minutes later when Brodie ran out to clear and Millar shot past him into an empty net. From a well-taken corner, Brown, at the back post, put Berwick back in front, but Eyemouth levelled again before Rangers tightened their defence and pinned the Fishermen back in their own half. Ord gave the Berwickers an interval lead with a follow-up shot after Swanson had failed to hold a Smith effort, and the same player converted a penalty early in the second half after W. Collin had fouled Brown in the area. Redfearn scored his second and Berwick's fifth before the visitors were reduced to ten men when R. Collin was forced to retire with an ankle injury, after which Eyemouth packed their goal and defied all efforts until Ord rushed through late on to complete the scoring.

Tweedside Villa, who had taken up residency on the Meadow Field, were Rangers' next Border League opponents at the Union Park. Within two minutes of the kick-off, Redfearn scored with a cracking shot into the top left-hand corner of the net. Villa could make no headway against the rampant Rangers as Weatherburn drove through and Ord scored a second. Rangers were then awarded a penalty. Smith took it, but his effort was well wide, the ball entering the neighbouring field, where its progress was stopped by a "stook" of barley. Villa then got a look-in and a Clark shot that rebounded off the home defence found Landels, who had little difficulty in beating Brodie. However, just before the interval, Leddy forced his way through to restore Rangers' two-goal lead. Villa started the second half in determined fashion and Brodie was called into action on several occasions. He was eventually beaten when Patrick outstripped Patterson; his shot hit the crossbar and rebounded to Goodlet who found the net with a swift grounder. Villa tried hard to equalise, but they met a stubborn Berwick defence and Ord put the result beyond doubt with a fourth counter after a goalmouth tussle.

October

Rangers defeated Kelso 2-1 in a friendly at the Union Park on 3rd October.

After a two-week break Rangers, travelled to Alnwick for a match against current league champions Percy Rovers. A home goal in the 30th minute by Shelford was the only difference between the two sides in an evenly contested first half. Alnwick, however, were more aggressive in the second with Curnick notching a couple of goals. It took Berwick until the closing minutes to register, when Brown shot home, as their forward line had an off day.

The regimental football team of the 17th Lancers, "The Death or Glory Boys," were invited down from Edinburgh, where they were stationed at Jock's Lodge, to try their hands, or rather their feet, against the Rangers. With the borough's regimental history, it was not surprising to see a large crowd gather to watch what proved to be an entertaining match. The game had only just started when Redfearn sent in a long shot that found the net for the home side after the keeper fumbled the ball. Spurred on by this reverse, the Lancers began to look dangerous, and Allan was forced to handle in quick succession from Emmitt. The Soldiers gained the equaliser that their play deserved when Emmitt found the net after a "scrum" in front of the goal. After some good midfield work from both sides, a spirited run by Redfearn ended with Crombie adding a second from his centre to give the Berwickers a slender 2-1 advantage at the interval. The second half was a thriller; first, a Redfearn cross that landed at the feet of Smith gave Rangers a third goal before W Thompson, a trooper in the 17th Lancers and who was a Berwick man, put the Lancers on level terms with two fine goals. Both teams then tried hard for the winner but, when time was called, the 3-3 scoreline was a fair result.

November

The eagerly awaited Border League match between Berwick Rangers and Tweedside Albion took place at the Union Park on November 7th, with Albion sporting their new colours of Red shirts crossed by a white band. Berwick had recruited Sergeant-Major Ferns, a physical training instructor at the KOSB depot, with the task of knocking the Rangers into shape and there was a noticeable difference when they met the Albion. Within five minutes of the kick-off, Rangers were a goal up. The Albion keeper failed to hold onto the ball when rushed by Smith and the ball rolled home. Then a perfectly floated free kick by Robertson found the unmarked Redfearn for goal number two as Rangers took total command. Later, the Albion keeper fouled Redfearn and a penalty kick was awarded. Ord took the kick but blasted well over. As half-time approached the Rangers left wing, fed by Smith, got away; Brown shot low, but without power, and Patterson kicked it out; only as far as Redfearn who returned it with a low left-footer to score the third and best goal so far. With a three-goal lead at the interval, Rangers believed that they were in easy street, but they had not reckoned with the Albion. On the restart, Albion took a grip of the game and Scobie scored. A fourth goal for the Berwickers came as a total surprise and well against the run of play. From a Robertson free kick, Smith kicked the ball over his head to Sinton, who poked the ball home. There was still nearly half an hour to go when the Tweedsiders resorted to rough tactics. Hope was responsible for one or two tricks, which the crowd characterised as "not football," but it was fair to say that the roughness was not altogether one sided. A penalty was awarded against the Rangers for a crude tackle by Robertson. Hope took the kick and scored. Rangers began to flag and the Tweedsiders drew closer to levelling the score when Brodie fumbled trying to hold a weak shot and the ball landed in the back of the net. Rangers were kept on the defensive for the final ten minutes but held on long enough to win by the odd goal in seven and claim both points.

The slender win over Tweedside Albion was an object lesson for the Rangers, for in a fortnight's time they were to play off their Northumberland Minor Cup first round tie with Embleton Whinstone Rovers, and would have to be fully focused against the robust quarrymen. Meanwhile, they arranged a friendly with Edinburgh University. The Students proved too good for the Rangers and won the game 3-1, even with the match being abandoned with a quarter-hour to go due to a deluge of rain.

Embleton Whinstone Rovers, as the team's name implied, were a team made up of workers from the quarries in and around the Northumberland village. They had entered the North Northumberland League and had met with a considerable amount of success. Rangers' supporters were not exactly confident of victory but, when the teams took the field, it was more than obvious that the quarrymen were to be outclassed. In the draw, Rovers got the choice to play on their own ground at Embleton, but for some reason they came to Berwick instead. The game was not long in progress when Brodie got a "stinger" from the centre of the field, which he fisted out well, this was the only direct shot that he had to save during the whole match. Rangers broke downfield, and Smith got his head to a fine cross to score Berwick's first in under five minutes. Sinton later had a goal disallowed for offside, but this did not improve matters for Embleton as Rangers had all the play, and goals from Smith, Sinton and Weatherburn gave them a 5-0 interval lead. Further goals in the second half by Smith, to complete his hat trick, Redfearn, with a long-range shot, and Brown, from close in, completed the 8-0 rout.

December

In the second round of the Minor Cup, Berwick Rangers played North Sunderland at Seahouses minus three of their regular players – Robertson, Brown and Sinton, on a treacherous pitch covered with frost and snow. There was no scoring at the interval, but Weatherburn put Berwick ahead early in the second half with a beautiful effort before the home side levelled late in the game.

Rangers took second spot in the Border League table with a 6-3 victory at Chirnside. In the first half Rangers played downhill and, with a good wind at their backs, they scored five times without reply. After the interval, however, the home side gave a better account of themselves, pulling three goals back before Berwick scored a late sixth.

The Minor Cup replay with North Sunderland was a very tame affair, especially in the early stages. Two penalties in favour of the home team came to nothing; Brodie's being saved, Ord shooting wide, and when half-time was reached there was still no score. After a change of ends, Rangers showed a marked improvement and gradually wore down the visitors' defence with Crombie, Brodie and Smith scoring before the game was cut short due to bad light.

Rangers entered the festive holiday period with a friendly match against Tweedside Albion on Christmas Day, the first of a series of friendly matches. Heavy rain fell at kick-off time, and the start was delayed for half an hour. Rangers were minus Brodie and Robertson. Glenton, the Tweedside Villa goalkeeper, took the place of Brodie, while Ord fell back into Robertson's place, letting Clark into the half-back line. Just two half-hours were played due to the late start and the state of the pitch. Albion were first to score when Blythe sent in a shot that Glenton saved, but with the goalmouth in such a mess he only partly cleared; Blythe regained possession and scored. Blythe beat Glenton for a second time before Rangers pulled a goal back through Redfearn. Weatherhead notched a late third for the Tweedsiders and the shortened game ended 3-1 in their favour.

Rutherford College were the Boxing Day visitors to the Union Park quagmire, the goalmouths being covered with straw and chaff to give the keepers some grip. The Tynesiders were weakly represented, having only five first team players in their ranks, and were seldom dangerous. In the first half Rangers scored six goals, with Redfearn and Smith equally dividing the honours. The visitors showed improved form after the interval, but Berwick were in no mood to stop scoring with Smith getting two more, Davis one, and finally Pratt, as they hit double figures. However, the Students did eventually find the net, twice, in fact, through Walton and Grant.

January

Rangers met Tweedside Villa on New Year's Day. A fast game with plenty of goals entertained the crowd as Berwick thrashed Villa 6-2. Rangers had almost all the play with Smith, who was outstanding in the forward line, scoring four out of the six, with Crombie and Redfearn also appearing on the score sheet. Berwick were three up before Renwick and Clark scored either side of the interval to keep the Tweedsiders in the game, but they were no match for a late Rangers onslaught, which saw them score another three.

Flushed with their successes, Rangers travelled to Selkirk for the last of their festive friendlies full of enthusiasm. However, they were brought back to earth with a 4-3 defeat.

Festive friendlies over, cup business was the order of the day on January 9th with a controversial Minor Cup third round tie at Alnwick St James's. From the kick-off, it was obvious that the referee, Mr. Hill of Rothbury, was all at sea and guided more by the shouts of the crowd than his own judgement. O'Brien scored for the Saints after ten minutes with Brown equalising on the half-hour mark, just before the first point of controversy arrived. The Alnwick keeper failed to clear a goal-bound shot properly, stepping a full yard over his line in the attempt, Rangers claimed a goal, but the referee would not allow it. When the entire Berwick team and linesman questioned his decision, he explained: "The ball does not count a goal until it reaches the back of the goal and touches the net." However, goals from Redfearn and Sinton gave Berwick what they thought was going to be a deserved two-goal half-time advantage, but with a minute of the half remaining came a second controversial point. The referee blew his whistle for O'Brien of Alnwick being offside. The players naturally stopped play, except for O'Brien, who thought he would have a shot at goal. He did so, scored, and the referee blew his whistle and pointed to the centre of the field to indicate that a goal had been scored. After the interval, Alnwick pressed from the start against a now dejected Rangers side, and it came as no surprise when a thunderous Archibald shot levelled the score. Halley later gave the Saints a 4-3 victory with a shot that gave Brodie little or no chance to save. Berwick sent a letter to the cup committee protesting that Mr. Hill was not competent to oversee such an important match. In reply, the committee answered that if the facts were correct it was indeed harsh on the Rangers, but they could not alter the result of the match as the referee had passed his theory test, and they had no proof of his weakness on the field until now.

The Black Watch 42nd Highlanders brought their Army Cup team to the Union Park for a friendly on January 16th. They were not at full-strength, with two of their regular team on leave. Despite this, they took a deserved 20th-minute lead, and it took a penalty, scored by Redfearn after Brown had been fouled in the area, to level the score at half-time. After the interval, the Soldiers exerted tremendous pressure, but the Rangers' defence, and in particular keeper Brodie, kept them out. In the later stages of the game, the Highlanders changed formation, but went to pieces, and Rangers added five more to their tally before the final whistle. Redfearn scored twice, one another penalty, with Smith, Crombie and Ord responsible for the others.

Tweedside Villa were hit for six when Rangers walked along the road to the Meadow Field for a Border League encounter. Berwick were in rampant form, especially during the second half but, judging by the play in the first half, it did not seem likely that there would be more than two, or at the most, a three goals difference. As it was, the teams crossed over with Rangers having secured a narrow 1-0 lead through Brown. The Villa attack seemed to tire after the interval and Brown scored another before Smith added a third. Play then became rough, and two penalties were given against the Tweedsiders, Redfearn scoring from one and missing the other. Brown then completed his hat trick before Smith scored his second to complete the 6-0 rout.

After two high scoring wins, Duns brought Rangers back down to earth with a 2-1 defeat in an important Border League match. With both teams level on points at the top of the table, it was an important match to win. After an evenly contested first half, Rangers held a 1-0 interval lead, Smith scoring from a Redfearn pass. Duns had had their fair share of chances with Miller, their outside-left, missing narrowly on more than one occasion and Smith was unlucky not to extend Rangers' lead when his powerful header struck the crossbar. However, Rangers were outclassed in the second half as the visitors forced the pace with goals from Cowe and Kearney giving Duns both points and a clear lead at the top of the table.

February

Having been beaten by Duns, Rangers desperately needed the points in a match with Tweedside Albion at Shielfield to keep in the running for top place. A spell of atrocious weather had all but wiped out local football for a month and the ground was still covered with a patchwork of snow and mud when a frozen but still an enthusiastic crowd of 900 turned out to watch. An early goal from Brown gave Rangers the perfect opening and, from then on, they had things pretty much their own way. It was not until the latter stages of the half that the home side got past the centre line, but by then the damage had been done. Rangers were reduced to ten men just before the interval when Sinton was carried off and it was generally thought that the Tweedsiders, with an extra man and downhill advantage, would soon equalise on changing ends. However, a solid display by the Berwick defence, especially in the closing stages, earned the Berwickers a slender and much needed 1-0 victory.

March

A friendly encounter with Eyemouth at the Union Park gave Rangers some much-needed shooting practice when they beat the Fishermen 4-1 without much trouble. Robert Redfearn, David Redfearn, Brown and Smith were the scorers.

A jaded looking Chirnside were on the receiving end of a 6-1 thrashing in a Border League fixture. Rangers kicked off at a brisk pace and, after some fine work by Smith, Crombie sent in a shot that was only half cleared, and Hugh Robertson followed up to put matters beyond doubt. Chirnside equalised when Gillies sent in a fine shot that Brodie failed to hold. However, Rangers soon regained the lead after some tricky work by the brothers Redfearn ended with another deflected Crombie shot being hit home, this time by Smith. At this point, the visiting defenders began to tire, and Rangers took full advantage with Smith adding to the score just before the interval. The second half opened as the first ended with David Redfearn scoring from a Crombie cross after which Berwick rained in shot after shot on the visiting goal but, time and time again, they were cleared. The crowd was getting impatient for another goal before Rangers responded with a cracker. After good work down the right, the ball was played into the goalmouth where Robert Redfearn scored with a close-range shot that struck the inside of the bar and rebounded into the net. A few minutes later the same player scored his second of the match as Chirnside faded fast and they were lucky to leave the field with the score at only six.

Two first half goals by David Redfearn gave Rangers a comfortable victory in an unruly encounter at Eyemouth on 19th March. Redfearn blasted in the first before scoring his second from the penalty spot after Smith had been "grassed" in the box.

With only two matches remaining, Rangers had only to beat rivals Percy Rovers and either win or draw with Duns to secure the Border League Championship. Rovers elected to play toward the west goal after winning the toss and wasted no time in attacking the Berwick goal. However, they were caught on the counterattack and Crombie put Rangers a goal up from a difficult angle. Berwick went further ahead when a neat back heel by David Redfearn found Smith in a good position from which he played a perfect through ball for Brown to score with a low shot. Just before half-time, Rovers suffered a blow when Shelford, their centre-half, was forced to leave the field owing to his bandaged knee giving way. After the interval, Berwick went all out to secure victory and, within a minute, their efforts were rewarded. A Crombie shot was only cleared as far as Brown and he beat Wood with a 20-yarder that passed between the bar and the keeper's fingertips. Rovers battled back hard, but an unfortunate collision between Berwick's Smith and R. Young of the Rovers ended with the Alnwick man sustaining a broken leg. The game was stopped but, when the referee ordered the match to be continued, Rovers, now down to nine men, refused to play on. Percy Rovers appealed to both the Northumberland Football Association and Border League Committee in a bid to have the match replayed, but this time their cries fell on deaf ears.

April

A strong wind blew across Hawthorn Park, Duns, making a fast game impossible. Nevertheless, both teams battled hard. Duns had the perfect chance to take the lead from the penalty spot after Weatherburn had handled in the area. However, Brodie saved Rangers' day with a tremendous catch and clearance before Brown had an excellent shot well saved by the home keeper at the expense of a corner. Berwick pressed relentlessly throughout the second half in search of the winner but at the end of the day a draw was enough to give Rangers the point needed to secure top spot and the Border League Championship.

League business over with, friendlies were the order of the day for the remaining weeks of the season. Rangers travelled to Kelso where they were beaten 2-1 in a lacklustre affair.

Rangers were without the services of Robertson and David Redfearn. Their places were filled by Dodds and Jackie Drysdale, the ex Tweedside Albion centre-forward who had committed his services to the Black and Gold for the coming season. The Select side inflicted a 2-0 reverse on the Berwickers, and, but for the form of Brodie the score might well have been higher. The proceeds of the gate were in aid of Berwick Infirmary, with £2 being raised from a crowd of 200.

Rangers brought a successful season to a close on April 30th when they entertained Tweedside Villa at the Union Park. Villa had the better of the first half exchanges but had only a goal by Wakefield to show for their efforts at the interval. The second half was a repartition of the first except that Rangers did the pressing. Smith and David Redfearn scored a brace each to give Berwick a commanding 4-1 lead. Villa changed their keeper with Bell taking the place of Glenton between the sticks in an attempt the stem the flow. However, it failed to do so as two goals in as many minutes from Brown and Ord whistled past him as Rangers hit the Tweedsiders for six and finished the season on a high.

The Border League Championship Cup was presented along with medals to the players of Berwick Rangers at the club's AGM held in the Young Men's Temperance Association Hall, College Place, on Monday 30th May. It had been a successful season for the club both on and off the pitch with the balance sheet showing that income had exceeded expenditure by £1 5s 8d.

Results
Date C V Opposition Res i
Sep 1 F A KOSB Depot W 5-1
19 BL H Eyemouth United W 6-2
26 BL H Tweedside Villa W 4-2
Oct 3 F H Kelso W 2-1
17 BL A Alnwick Percy Rovers L 1-3
31 F H 17th Lancers D 3-3
Nov 7 BL H Tweedside Albion W 4-3
14 F H Edinburgh University L 1-3
21 NMC 1 H Embleton Whinstone Rovers W 8-0
Dec 5 NMC 2 A North Sunderland D 1-1
12 BL A Chirnside United W 6-3
19 NMC 2R H North Sunderland W 3-0
25 F H Tweedside Albion L 1-3
26 F H Rutherford College W 10-2
Jan 1 F H Tweedside Villa W 6-2
2 F A Selkirk L 3-4
9 NMC 3 A Alnwick St James's L 3-4
16 F H The Black Watch (42nd Highlanders) W 6-1
23 BL A Tweedside Villa W 6-0
30 BL H Duns L 1-2
Feb 27 BL A Tweedside Albion W 1-0
Mar 5 F H Eyemouth United W 4-1
12 BL H Chirnside United W 6-1
19 BL A Eyemouth United W 2-0
26 BL H Alnwick Percy Rovers W 3-0
Apr 9 BL A Duns D 0-0
16 F A Kelso L 1-2
28 F H Tweedmouth Select L 0-2
30 F H Tweedside Villa W 6-1

Border League

Home Away
Pld W D L F A W D L F A Pts
1 Berwick Rangers 12 5 0 1 24 10 4 1 1 16 6 19
2 Duns 12 4 1 1 28 4 4 0 2 18 20 17
3 Alnwick Percy Rovers 12 6 0 0 20 5 3 0 3 10 12 18
4 Tweedside Albion 11 5 0 1 18 6 2 0 3 13 9 14
5 Eyemouth United 11 2 0 3 13 17 1 1 4 8 20 7
6 Tweedside Villa 12 1 0 5 7 20 1 0 5 13 24 4
7 Chirnside 12 1 1 4 14 23 0 0 6 7 33 3
blank 
Eyemouth United v Tweedside Albion not played  
Appearances & Goals
F BL NMC
Player A G A G A G
David Allan 1    
George Brodie 7 12 4
Tom Brodie 1 2 1
William Brown 7 2 10 8 2 2
Harry Burgon 9 12 4
William Clark 2 2
Thomas Crombie 8 3 12 1 4 1
William Davis 1 1
George Dixon 1
Robert Dodds 2 1
Jack Drysdale 1
George Glenton 1
Alex Hope 1
Thomas Leddy 2 1
Richard F Murphy 1
James Ord 9 2 12 5 4
George Patterson 9 12 4
William Pratt 2 1
David Redfearn 8 12 11 9 4 3
Robert Redfearn 3 1 5 2 2
Hugh Robertson 4 1
Robert Robertson 6 10 3
George Shiel 1
Walter Sinton 3 3 1 2 2
Tommy Smith 10 15 12 6 4 4
William Weatherburn 8 11 4 2
Number of players used: 26