Results

1906/07: Shielfield Return

Hover image to enlarge

At the club's AGM, supporters heard that, despite a successful playing season, the accounts showed what looked to be a small loss of £3 7s 11d on a turnover of £409 7s 3d. However, the committee was determined to tighten the club's finances in all departments, with the imminent rise on the £12 a year ground rent for the use of the Union Park giving most concern.

Gate money had fallen from an average of £11, at the turn of the year, to £4 at the season's finish and, with the club paying the players an allowance of half a crown per match played, the money was soon swallowed up. One possible reason given for this decline was the extortionate charges made on apprentices by the men on the gate. Adults were charged 4d and juveniles 2d, but when an apprentice went to pay 2d, they were told to either pay the full four pence or "do the other thing." This discouraged the youth of the town and calls for a special gate for apprentices were raised.

The club lost most heavily on friendly matches, the only exception being the Christmas Day encounter with Hibernian, and the committee decided to flight shy of bringing such good teams to Berwick, on very large guarantees, just to lose money due to the apathy of the local support. Therefore, it was thought to be in the best interests of both club and local football to have plenty of competitive cup matches. With this in mind, the club decided to re-join the East of Scotland and the Scottish Football associations for a second season and give the Eastern League another shot.

At a further meeting of the committee, the matter concerning the rise in rental for the Union Park was discussed. It was pointed out that this year with the current financial constraints it was impossible for the resources of the club to meet it. With the ground being so centrally located, although restricted by size, the committee were loath to change it, but with the circumstances necessitating it.

Informal discussions had taken place with the Magdalene Fields Golf Club about renting a portion of the Magdalene Fields for a football ground. However, the difficulty in finding a suitable location, without encroaching upon the rights of the present "grazing tenants," made it a total non-starter. A committee member then approached Mr. William Shiel Dods, who kindly consented to place the now vacant ground at Shielfield at the disposal of the club, at a very nominal rent, for the second time in the club's history. Work began immediately to bring the ground up to scratch, although the opening fixtures of the season were to take place on Union Park.

August

The season opened on August 18th with a friendly against Gala Hailes Villa, the Border Association League Champions, at Union Park. The visitors started well and took a shock lead through Howe but, once Rangers had warmed up, they played Gala off the park. John Hope equalised before Weatherhead gave Rangers the lead on the stroke of half-time. In the second half, Bruce, Roughead twice, Scobie, Weatherhead again, and Jones, all added to the score before the final whistle blew on an 8-1 rout.

September

Rangers got a hot reception at Bathgate in the first round of the Scottish FA Qualifying Cup, especially from the weather. Playing towards a blistering sun, Rangers took the game to Bathgate in the first half, totally forgetting the hot conditions. At the interval, they had nothing to show for all their effort and, to make matters worse, they were exhausted with the heat and two goals down. Bathgate took advantage of Berwick's condition in the second half and battered another three past the beleaguered defence before Scobie netted a late consolation.

Out of one cup and into another, Rangers took on Vale of Leithen in the first round of the East of Scotland FA Qualifying Cup. The visitors, playing with a strong westerly wind at their backs, opened a two-goal lead by the interval but later paid the penalty for not being able to play a defensive game. R. McNaught had put Vale ahead with an early strike before Yellowlees scored their second with a wind-assisted effort. The second half had hardly started when Drysdale reduced the lead with a shot that went in off the upright. Rangers pressed incessantly, and Tom Roughead soon equalised. Willie Hope gave Rangers the lead from the penalty spot after Kerr had tripped Scobie in the box and Burn made sure of victory with a fourth. From the kick-off, Jones made straight for goal and forced a corner from which Drysdale put matters beyond doubt with a fifth.

Rangers were drawn at home against Peebles Rovers in the second round of the ESFA Qualifying Cup. It was the first game of the season to be played at Shielfield, and the change of grounds gave a change in performance. In a poor exhibition of football, Berwick were a beaten lot from the start. The tactics of the visitors gave the home attack no chance, and it came as a surprise to the home support when the interval arrived with the score still at 0-0. Rovers eventually took a deserved lead after a mistake by Roughead left Wood with a clear run on goal. A few minutes later, another defensive error, this time by John Hope, gave Yellowlees the chance to slip the ball past the advancing Patterson. However, Berwick battled back and had a brief spell of pressure until Ormiston, with a long shot from the halfway line, beat Patterson. The keeper misjudged the flight of the ball due to the sun, and it dipped under the crossbar. Kelly scored a late goal from a free kick for Berwick, but Peebles were worthy winners and advanced to the next round with a comfortable 3-1 win.

Despite the poor performance against Peebles, a crowd of 1600 spectators turned out at Shielfield to watch the opening Eastern League fixture against Hearts. Several team changes were made to that of the previous week, with the local support disappointed to see such a "scratch" team representing the Rangers and fully expected another beating. However, Berwick put up a fighting first half performance to go in at the interval on level terms. Waugh put Hearts in front and, a few minutes later, they missed a penalty when the ball struck the post and change goalkeeper, Sergeant John Wreford, saved the rebound. Tommy Burn levelled the score when he blasted the ball home following a corner just before half-time. On the hour-mark, Veitch found the net with a powerful shot to give Hearts the lead. Berwick battled back and were unlucky when Burn volleyed into the net only for the strike to be disallowed. From then until the end the visitors had the better of exchanges, with only a fine exhibition by Wreford keeping them back until the final minute, when Douglas notched Hearts' third.

New club West Lothian Albion were Rangers' next Eastern League opponents. Although a small village team, the men from Winchburgh played accurate passing football with a clockwork effect but seemed as if they did not know where the goal lay. The first half was an evenly contested affair with only a Drysdale goal separating the two sides at the interval. On the restart, Scobie raced away with Hanlon hard on his heels. The Berwicker proved to be the fitter of the two, and on steadying himself near the corner flag, he unleashed a corkscrew shot that twisted its way towards the goal; the keeper managed to get a hand to it, but the ball rolled over him and into the net. Later, Waugh reduced the lead with a slow shot that dropped under the bar, with Wreford totally dazzled by the sun, and Rangers then had a fight on their hands to keep the visitors out. Albion had the better of the last quarter, but their failure to find the net gave Rangers a lucky win.

October

Rangers, resting Burn and Weatherhead, travelled to Vale of Leithen in the first round of the King Cup. Supporters were full of confidence with Rangers having already beaten Vale 5-2 in the ESFA Qualifying Cup, but this time they were on the recieving end after a poor performance. Only the excellent goalkeeping of Sergeant Wreford kept the Vale at bay as they pressed hard from the start. On the quarter-hour mark, the home side finally broke through, and a second goal quickly followed. Rangers fought back with Scobie heading home a Drysdale shot that had rebounded off the crossbar just before half-time. The second half was more evenly contested, but Russell broke away on two occasions, each time registering a goal for the home side, and Rangers suffered their third early cup exit of the season.

A gate of only 130 turned up at Shielfield when Rangers played the Royal Garrison Artillery. It was ample evidence that Berwick supporters did not want to witness "friendlies." Rangers were without the services of Wreford, Kelly and Weatherhead with replacements picked up at the gate. Bright gave Leith the lead after catching Rangers on the counterattack. However, two quick goals from Drysdale and Jones put Rangers ahead before Redfearn raced away only to be grassed in the penalty area. John Hope made no mistake from the spot, placing his shot neatly into the corner of the net, to give Berwick a 3-1 half-time lead. Leith pressed hard on the resumption, but Dave Patterson increased Berwick's lead further and it was fully expected that Rangers would win. Not so, for in the last ten minutes of the match a hat trick by Booth and powerfully headed goal by Robinson saw Rangers' victory disappear before their eyes as the Soldiers battled back to win 5-4.

The army cup team of the Highland Light Infantry visited Shielfield on October 20th. They were due to meet the Royal Garrison Artillery in the second round of the Army Cup and saw the match against Berwick as ideal in their preparation for the forthcoming fixture. Drysdale struck the crossbar in the first minute with the keeper well and truly beaten. However, the visitors drew first blood when MacDonald raced away before crossing for McMenemy to open the scoring. From the kick-off, the Infantrymen took control of the ball; Macdonald again raced clear; Spence fumbling his parting shot and Rangers were two down. John Hope forced the ball over the line from a goalmouth melee as Berwick fought back, and a few minutes later McCreath's cross was met by a powerful Jones shot that went in off the keeper's legs to level the score. The Highlanders started the second half a man short due to injury and Rangers took full advantage when Weatherhead used the extra space to give Berwick the lead. The home defence then put up a solid display as the visitors launched a sustained attack before Jones made the game safe midway through the half.

With gate receipts plummeting due to the lack of meaningful matches, a special meeting was held between the players and the committee. The question of payments to first team players was discussed, and decided, that due to the financial position of the club, the payments would be suspended for the foreseeable future.

November

As expected, a sparse crowd turned out at Shielfield to watch a match between the first and reserve teams of the Rangers. For a time, the Reserves had the better of the exchanges and only a well-worked goal by Scobie separated the two sides at the interval. However, early in the second half, goals by Weatherhead, Redfearn and Drysdale put the first eleven in a commanding position before the Reserves struck back with goals from Oliver, Jamieson and Wakenshaw narrowing the score to a single goal. John Hope then made it 5-3 before Oliver scored a late fourth for the Reserves.

A friendly fixture against Blyth Spartans, who had won practically all before them last season, was played at Shielfield on November 24th in a bid to raise local interest. The game, however, was spoiled by a strong gale, of which the visiting side took full advantage in the opening half. The home defence stood firm until the nearly the interval when Thompson found the net with an excellent shot. Rangers started the second half full of aggression, and only a few minutes had elapsed when Weatherhead scored from a Scobie pass. Five minutes later, Weatherhead was again on target to put Rangers 2-1 ahead. They continued to have the better part of the game until the last ten minutes when Spartans, not wishing their reputation to be spoiled, upped their game and levelled the score through Stenhouse.

December

Football, as far as Berwick Rangers were concerned, hit a very barren spell with quality fixtures hard to arrange without a large guarantee – something that the club could ill afford. A festive match with old rivals Alnwick St James's took place at Shielfield on December 22nd. Previous encounters between these sides were met with large attendances, but this time only a few turned out to watch. The home team had the better of matters during the game, but the Saints were lucky in scoring two "fluky" goals in a match that ended in 2-2 draw.

On Christmas Day, Rangers met local side, The Evergreens, at Shielfield in a fixture that was billed, in a forlorn effort to raise support, as a friendly match for the Championship of the Borough. The game, although evenly contested, resulted in a 3-1 win for the Rangers.

January

A welcome return to competitive football on New Year's Day saw Broxburn Shamrock visit Shielfield for a league match that doubled up as both home and away. Rangers were due to visit Broxburn in March, but Shamrock had a full fixture list, and it was agreed that the winner would receive four points. With double points at stake, Rangers were determined to succeed. Despite the ice-bound conditions of the ground, the game was fast and entertaining throughout. Both defences had their moments with the visitors breaking through twice to score, one a penalty that Patterson was unlucky not to save. At the other end, however, the home forwards were more fortunate and scored four before the interval arrived. The second half was played much the same, but Rangers had the better shooting boots and notched another two to Shamrock's one.

Now top of the Eastern League, Rangers travelled to Tynecastle to take on Hearts. However, Rangers were completely outclassed and but for the outstanding performance of Patterson in goal the 10-0 scoreline would have been much bigger. The ground was heavy and soon resembled a ploughed field at which point the fitness of the Hearts players, five of whom were first teamers, soon told. For long periods of the game, the ball never left the Berwick half and the one-sided nature of the game robbed it of interest.

Rangers had to acknowledge defeat in a return friendly at Alnwick St James's. A strong team was chosen to travel, but Patterson, Brodie, Jones and Bruce failed to appear at the railway station and four reserves had to be found – quickly. The Saints, two goals up at half-time, cruised into a 4-0 lead before Rangers finally awoke and reduced the scoreline with Scobie scoring a late double.

After several previous attempts, Berwick Rangers were finally allowed to enter their first eleven in the Border Cup, a competition organised by the Scottish Border Counties FA. Given a bye in the first round, they played Coldstream in the second at Home Park. The home side put up a stiff resistance at the start, but midway through the opening half Berwick took the lead when Roughead sent a high ball over to Redfearn who hit it on the drop to score. Rangers notched a second just before the interval and in the second half Coldstream collapsed completely as Berwick added four more before slackening off.

February

The Royal Garrison Artillery gave up home advantage in the first round of the East of Scotland FA Consolation Cup in return of a large guarantee as Rangers hoped to capitalise on their recent Border Cup success and tempt more spectators through the gate. The Soldiers were a heavy lot, and it was their weight, not football, that carried them through by a goal to nil. Rangers forced play throughout both halves, but poor finishing let them down, and they even missed a penalty. The only goal of the game came in the 70th minute when Buckley, the visiting outside-right, burst through, and, in trying to clear, Willie Hope put through his own net.

March

Rangers met Duns at Shielfield in the semi-final of the Border Cup. It gave an added attraction to the March Hiring Day and a crowd of over a thousand turn out to watch Berwick reach the final with a 5-1 victory. Duns set out to play a hard game and held the upper hand in the early stages with Shaw opening the scoring in a one-against-one with Patterson. From that point onwards, Rangers took charge but could not turn their pressure into goals and many of their supporters were afraid it was going to be the same old story: "hard lines, but no goals." However, Jones put Rangers on level terms a few minutes after the interval to dispel any fears and then missed a sitter from three yards out when his shot was somehow deflected over the bar. He made amends for his miss a few minutes later, however, when he gave Berwick the lead with a swift shot. They were soon 3-1 up when, from a Jones breakaway and cross, Roughead was on hand to add the finishing touch. From a Scobie corner, Jones placed beautifully for John Hope to run home number four and Redfearn, who was injured earlier in the game, returned to the field to complete the rout before retiring from the field with the victory secured.

The Border Cup semi-final victory against Duns at last gave the Berwick supporters something to shout about – a cup final. Then the unexpected happened: Rangers succumbed to the newly formed Spittal club – Spittal Rovers. Had the score been of a narrow margin, most supporters would have put it down as a fluke but, at 4-0, it was nothing of the sort. Rangers arrived at the Sea Cutting minus three of their regular team – Robertson, Jones and Scobie, but found three Spittalers to fill their places. Spittal got off to a flying start when stand-in keeper Jackie Drysdale failed to collect a corner ball and Gladstone, one of the "borrowed players," scored an own goal. Rangers tried hard to break through the stubborn Spittal defence, but they were caught on the break by Main who ran on to score. The Spittalers increase the score further when Main hit home a fine Patterson centre to give them a 3-0 interval lead. Everyone expected Rangers to pile on the goals after the break, and several positional changes were made to the team in readiness. Rangers came out fighting all right, but late on Patterson scored a fourth for Spittal to put the issue beyond any doubt.

A rail excursion was arranged with the North British Railway Company to take over 400 supporters to Duns for the Border Cup Final, between Berwick Rangers and Vale of Leithen, with supporters charged a cheap return fare of 1s 3d. The train left Berwick at 2.10, arriving at Duns at 2.49. The early arrival gave the supporters ample time "to see the sights" and have their "spiritual" tastes replenished. As a result, many of them were "sights" themselves by the time the game kicked off at four o'clock. Vale had the better of the first half but could not break through the solid Berwick defence. The table was turned completely in the second half as Rangers hemmed Vale in their own half for long periods without finding the finishing touch. The pace at the end was fast and furious as both teams tried hard to break the deadlock and, at the final whistle, a goalless draw was a fair result as the defending forces of both teams out shone the attack.

A return friendly with Spittal Rovers took place in front of a large crowd at Shielfield, with Berwick hell bent on revenge for their earlier reverse. They attacked at once with Drysdale opening the scoring in the third minute and Redfearn added a second a few minutes later. Rovers then launched their first attack, but they were easily driven back. Oliver forced his way past the Spittal defence to score Rangers' third of the match as half-time approached after which the second half was a more even affair. Rovers gradually forced their way into the home half, but could not find the net, and Alex Hope slammed the door shut on any Spittal comeback when he scored the final goal of the match.

April

Rangers met Rutherford College at Shielfield on Easter Monday. Both teams were represented by scratch elevens, with Rangers playing three reserves – Ferguson, Dixon and Oliver, while Tommy Burn made a welcomed return to the forward line. Alex Hope opened the scoring in the first minute with Roughead extending the lead a few minutes later, as Rangers dominated the early play. Powell then scored a beauty for the Students to reduce the leeway with Coxon levelling the score soon after. End-to-end play then followed with Rangers having slightly the better of exchanges, one of which fell to John Hope, who made no mistake with a close-range shot to give Berwick a 3-2 half-time lead. The visitors pressed from the restart, and Devonport pounced on a defensive error to score a soft goal. Rangers then missed a penalty before Edmiston gave the Students the lead for the first time with a well-struck shot. However, a goal by Willie Hope in the final stages followed by two from John Hope gave Rangers victory.

A scratch team representing Berwick Rangers played a Thursday night friendly match on The Stanks against an eleven representing the pick of the Berwick Junior League. The match, which was a formal opening to the annual end of season junior competitions, raised a fair interest amongst the local enthusiasts and a large crowd turned out to watch. The opening stages of the game were even but before the end of the half Rangers had notched up two goals through Tommy Burn. The Select side pressed hard during the second half but they were kept at bay by some resolute defending. Midway through the half, Burn broke away to complete his hat trick before Hogg scored a consolation goal for the juniors.

Rangers were due to play at West Lothian Albion in an Eastern League fixture on April 13th, but with Hearts more or less in an uncatchable position at the top of the table, the match was deemed meaningless and, as with the rest of the League, abandoned. A scratch team travelled instead to Swinton to play an exhibition match. The game was anything else but that and ended a scrappy draw.

Rangers and Vale of Leithen met again at Hawthorn Park, Duns, for the Border Cup Final replay on April 20th. Both teams had undergone changes since the last encounter. Rangers were without Patterson, who was ill, his place in goal being taken by Wreford; Burn and Oliver took the places of Jones and Bruce, while Vale had drafted in McDiarmid and Train to bolster their attack. Heavy rain had fallen before the kick-off and the soggy pitch combined with a stiff breeze proved unfavourable to flowing football. However, Rangers were in top form and played one of their best games of the season. The early exchanges were even, but on the half-hour, Tommy Burn opened Berwick's account after working his way past two defenders before scoring with an oblique shot. A few minutes later, Redfearn saw his shot somehow saved by Somerville, but luckily, the ball broke loose for Tom Roughead, who scored with a low shot into the net. With the score at 2-0 in Berwick's favour at the interval, the hopes of the local supporters in the 1000 strong crowd were high. Rangers pressed incessantly after the break and, on 50 minutes, Burn received a pinpoint pass from Scobie to put victory beyond reasonable doubt. Rangers then reverted to a defensive game, soaking up the Vale attack so much that Wreford, apart from making a last-minute penalty save, was seldom called into action, to win the Border Cup at their first attempt.

May

In the final game of the season, Rangers met a representative team from the Berwick Thursday League on the Union Park. Rangers were at full strength and had matters their own way throughout the game but, instead of piling on the goals, they were content to play a passing game. Nevertheless, goals by Burn and Redfearn inside the first two minutes killed the game off and Rangers did pretty much as they liked until a free kick let the Thursday team in and Barth scored. The second half was a repetition of the first as Rangers waltzed around their opponents with goals from Drysdale and Alex Hope (2) increasing their lead. Tait scored twice for the Thursday team late on, but it did not prevent the Rangers from rounding off the season with a victory.

Results
Date C V Opposition Res i
Aug 18 F H Gala Hailes Villa W 8-1
Sep 1 SQC 1 A Bathgate L 1-5
8 EQC 1 H Vale of Leithen W 5-2
15 EQC 2 H Peebles Rovers L 1-3
22 EL H Heart of Midlothian A L 1-3
29 EL H West Lothian Albion W 2-1
Oct 6 KC 1 A Vale of Leithen L 1-4
13 F H Royal Garrison Artillery L 4-5
20 F H Highland Light Infantry W 4-2
Nov 3 F H Berwick Rangers 2nd Xl W 5-4
24 F H Blyth Spartans D 2-2
Dec 22 F H Alnwick St James's D 2-2
25 F H The Evergreens W 3-1
Jan 1 EL H Broxburn Shamrock W 6-3
5 EL A Heart of Midlothian A L 0-10
12 F A Alnwick St James's L 2-4
26 BC 2 A Coldstream W 6-0
Feb 16 ECC 1 H Royal Garrison Artillery L 0-1
Mar 2 BC SF H Duns W 5-1
9 F A Spittal Rovers L 0-4
23 BC F N Vale of Leithen D 0-0
30 F H Spittal Rovers W 4-0
Apr 1 F H Rutherford College W 6-4
11 F A Berwick Junior League Select XI W 3-1
13 F A Swinton D 1-1
20 BC FR N Vale of Leithen W 3-0
May 15 F A Berwick Thursday League Select XI W 5-3

Eastern League

Home Away
Pld W D L F A W D L F A Pts
1 Heart of Midlothian A 6 1 0 1 11 2 2 2 0 5 2 8
2 West Lothian Albion 7 2 0 1 10 3 2 0 2 9 8 8
3 Berwick Rangers 5 2 0 1 9 7 1 0 1 6 13 6
4 Broxburn Shamrock 6 1 1 2 9 13 0 0 2 3 12 3
5 Broxburn Athletic 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 1
blank
Remaining fixtures not completed
Appearances & Goals
F EL SQC EQC ECC KC BC
Player A G A G A G A G A G A G A G
George Blythe   1     1     1
George Brodie 1
William Brown 1
Stephen Bruce 8 1 4 1 2 1 1 3
Harry Burgon 1
Thomas Burn 3 4 4 1 1 1 1 1 2
Thomas Cowe 1
Thomas Crombie 1
Alexander Dixon 1
John Dixon 1 1
Jack Drysdale 10 4 4 1 1 2 2 1 1 4
David Elder 1
William Ferguson 2
Robert Gibson 1
John Gladstone 1
Mark Gladstone 1
Alex Hope 5 4 2 1 4
Eddie Hope 1
John Hope 10 7 1 2 1 4 1
William Hope 6 1 1 1 1 1 1 4
John Howe 3 2 2 1
William Jones 5 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 3 2
Patrick Kelly 1 2 1 2 1 1
Thomas Leddy 1
Thomas Lilburn 1
Thomas Mathieson 1
Lorimer McCreath 1
Adam Miller 1
Frederick Oliver 2 1 1
David Patterson 1 1
George Patterson 9 4 1 2 1 1 3
David Redfearn 7 3 2 2 1 1 4 2
George Robertson 1
Robert Robertson 2 1 1 3
Tom Roughead 8 3 2 1 2 1 1 4 2
Thomas Sanderson 1
John Scobie 9 4 4 3 1 1 2 1 1 1 4
John Spence 1
Andrew Weatherhead 4 6 4 1 1
John Wreford 2 1 1
Number of players used: 40