Results

1907/08: On the Shelf

Berwick Rangers held their AGM in the Three Tuns Inn, Berwick, on Friday 31st May. The press, for some unknown reason, were excluded from the meeting, but it was reported that the last year was a bad one from a financial point of view. Poor support, due again to too many meaningless friendlies, and partly the change of ground from Union Park to Shielfield, was responsible for a deficit of £40.

To make matters worse, Rangers, through no fault of their own, were now "on the shelf" owing to the discontinuation of the Eastern League. The club applied for permission to play their first team in the Border Amateur League, but this was refused. It was thought that if the first team of the Rangers was admitted any interest in the competition would be gone, due to one team being shoulders above the rest. As a result, five cup competitions were entered to fill the vacant dates.

August

The season kicked off with a friendly encounter with Spittal Rovers at Shielfield on August 24th. The match was spoiled by the long grass that was in some places up to the player's knees, making it difficult to send the ball more than a yard or two at a time. However, the game ended in a 5-3 victory for the Rangers played in front of a better than expected crowd.

The East of Scotland Qualifying Cup was the first cup competition of the season, with Selkirk the visitors. Neither team showed brilliant form due to the early start to the season and with it the lack of match fitness. Rangers pressed in the early stages and opened the scoring in quick time through Redfearn; however, they failed to add to their account before the interval by which time Selkirk had drawn level. Berwick resumed the attack on the restart with Roughead, Redfearn and Drysdale adding to the score before Selkirk reduced the deficit slightly just before the close.

September

The Scottish FA version of the Qualifying Cup followed next with Peebles Rovers the destination in the first round of the competition. The game was played in a cup-tie fashion and hung in the balance until the final whistle. Peebles took an early lead when Porteous latched onto a long goal kick and centred for Sanderson to shoot. His shot cannoned off the crossbar and Taylor hit home the rebound. Berwick pressed for a time before Miller deservedly equalised with a low shot. However, against the run of play in the second half, Peebles regained the lead when Taylor broke away and took advantage of an empty net after beating Patterson, who had run out of his goal in an attempt to block his path. The keeper made amends for his mistake later with some splendid saves, but Rangers could not find the net at the other end and went out of the cup at the first hurdle by two goals to one.

October

Rangers were lucky to receive a bye in the second round of the ESFA Qualifying Cup and advance through to the semi-final stage where Broxburn Athletic, who had beaten Peebles Rovers in the previous round, were their opponents. The match raised considerable interest and a crowd of 1600 assembled at Shielfield, helping to clear off the large deficit that was burdening the club. Both teams were on level terms in the opening stages, but Broxburn eventually took control and Grahame pounced on a faulty clearance by Willie Hope, before beating Patterson in a one-on-one, to put the visitors a goal up. Spurred on by this reverse, Redfearn skimmed the bar with a long shot as Rangers fought back but, following a well-placed free kick, Grahame beat Patterson for a second time. Berwick reorganised their ranks at the interval and for a time they were in command. Scobie pulled a goal back from a Redfearn shot that rebounded off the keeper, but after that attack Berwick fell flat and Broxburn regained control. Noble raced away, and his timely centre was hit home by Curran before the visitors indulged in a bout of teasing, passing football. The tormented Roughead then grassed Noble in the penalty box, from which Curran notched Broxburn's fourth from the spot.

In the second friendly of the season between the two sides, Spittal Rovers fought hard but were again no match for the Rangers. Two goals by Alex Hope and one from Scobie were enough to beat the side currently holding top spot in the Border League.

Rangers met Peebles Rovers for the second time when they travelled to Whitestone Park, this time on King Cup business. Peebles started the game with only ten men, McLean having missed his train. Berwick did most of the early pressing and Drysdale broke through after some good dribbling work to notched, what turned out to be the only goal of the game in the 10th minute. Play evened out on the late arrival of McLean, but Peebles still failed to score despite being awarded a penalty, which Wood blasted over after Alex Hope had handled inside the box, and a late spurt of pressure. However, after the match Peebles lodged a protest because Berwick had not registered Liddle and Archibald of Alnwick St James's with the East of Scotland Football Association 14 clear days before playing them. Peebles won their protest, and a replay was ordered.

On October 31st, Newcastle United, last season's English League Champions sent a strong representative side to Shielfield for an exhibition match. The match raised great excitement amongst the footballing circles of Berwick and the Borders with a crowd of 2600 turning out to watch. The home defence was subjected to some extremely dangerous raids from the start but stood firm. Then, against the run of play, Redfearn headed a Rangers' attack and Drysdale scored with a long shot. Their joy was short lived, however, as Hardinge quickly equalised and United began to dominate. Early in the second half Appleyard gave Newcastle the lead with a shot that grazed the upright as it flew into the net. As was expected, play was now confined to the home half as United gave a fine display of precision football. Appleyard fired in another two goals in quick succession to make it game over, but Patterson was putting up a fine display in goal despite the scoreline. However, the keeper stood little chance when Hardinge scored a fifth from the edge of the 18-yard box with a cracking shot as Newcastle pressed until the end.

November

Rangers played a friendly against Kelso in preparation for their re-match with Peebles Rovers and returned with comfortable 4-2 victory.

The King Cup first round replay between Peebles Rovers and Berwick Rangers was to have taken place on November 9th, but Rangers failed to turn up. Rumours had been circulating in the town that they were not going to make an appearance under protest at their treatment and several of their Berwickshire players had "missed" their train on the day. Peebles claimed expenses and the match. However, after a meeting between the two clubs and the ESFA, it was agreed that the match would be re-played on November 23rd and that Peebles would be paid 12 shillings in expenses. The match in the first half was keenly contested and, up until the interval, when the teams were level at a goal apiece, the issue still hung in the balance. A slip by the Berwick defence let Bennett in to put Rovers ahead. Miller then had a goal disallowed before Redfearn levelled for Berwick. Peebles opened the second half in full flight. Bennett, making for the goal, was tripped inside the penalty box, but Liddle saved the kick. Immediately afterwards the referee, for some reason, awarded another penalty kick against the Rangers and, this time, Easton made no mistake after which tempers began to flare. The referee began to lose control as the game turned nasty, with neither side worse than the other in this respect. A second penalty was awarded against Berwick, this time for a handling offence, from which Sanderson scored Peebles' third of the match. Alex Hope pulled a late goal back as Berwick tried hard to draw level, but the game ended 3-2 to Peebles in a very unsportsmanlike manner, with Rangers leaving the field under a hail of stones, some of which found their mark, as the home support vented their anger.

December

Rangers were at full strength, fielding an unchanged side, when they made short work of the North Northumberland League Select by seven goals to nil at Shielfield. The Northumbrian men, who turned out with several players belonging to teams outside the League, were disjointed and played throughout the game like strangers. Miller was instrumental in leading the Berwick attack and Heely had to look sharp to push out a deceiving ball from Willie Hope, but the ball broke kindly for Drysdale to open the scoring. Rangers went two up when a free kick from Patterson went clean through the keeper's legs. Miller added a third from a John Hope pass and, by the interval, Rangers were 4-0 in front thanks to another Drysdale effort. The second half opened in favour of the visitors, but Patterson and Hope at the back soaked up the pressure. After a spell of scrappy play, Drysdale completed his hat trick, Redfearn netted number six and, in the last minute, Miller capped a fine performance in the attack with a goal of his own making.

January

In a New Year's Day friendly encounter at Shielfield, Scottish Football League Division 2 side Raith Rovers bombarded the home goal from the start and Gourlay soon put them ahead. Rangers retaliated but, after a short while, they were pushed back, and Brown finished a fine individual effort with an excellent shot that Liddle misjudged. Two goals down at half-time, Rangers started the second half strongly, and their pressure paid dividends when Wilkie was forced to concede a penalty from which Willie Hope scored. However, Axford soon restored Raith's two-goal advantage and Liddle pulled off some fine saves to thwart Rovers' persistent pressure until the end.

A frost bound Shielfield was the venue for the first round of the Scottish FA Consolation Cup match against West Calder Swifts. Rangers looked winners all the way but threw the game away due to their inability to remember the new rule of "not offside in player's own half." David Redfearn gave them the lead with a 25-yard shot in the 12th minute. Inglis levelled the score after his brilliant solo run saw Liddle save his effort, but not the rebound. Rangers regained the lead shortly before half-time when Bruce put a high ball to good use. After the interval, Bruce missed a sitter before David Redfearn increased Berwick's lead from a neat Scobie pass. A Rangers victory now looked a foregone conclusion, but the visitors upped their game and a fine run by Pryde let Kinnie reduce the score. Berwick fought back, pressurising the defence with some fine attacking football, but Redfearn failed to score after three successive shots on goal. Inglis then caught the home defence out cold and equalised with a sublime shot into the back of the net.

The replay was due to be played at West Calder the following week but, owing to the state of the ground, which resembled a ploughed field, the referee declared the pitch unplayable for a cup-tie and a friendly was played instead. West Calder had the better of the play in the first half, but Berwick opened the scoring with a soft goal and were 2-1 ahead at the interval. It was role reversal in the second half, however, as Rangers had the better of exchanges, but West Calder scored to level matters just before the close.

The replay finally took place on January 18th. This time Rangers were just not at the races and slumped to a 5-1 defeat. The SFA had ordered West Calder to pay Berwick expenses for their wasted journey and it created ill feeling between the two sides. The brothers Hope and Patterson refused to travel to West Calder again, and several team changes were made from the previous week's line-up. The Swifts played superior football against the Rangers' patched-together team and had the game won by half-time with a three-goal lead. Early in the second half, matters were more even, and Berwick reduced the score by one. However, Grant scored a fourth for the home side, at which point Rangers fell away, and a fifth goal was added.

Rangers had Kelso as their opponents at a cold and windy Shielfield in their defence of the Border Cup. Kelso were at full strength, the cup holders, on the other hand, had an almost unrecognisable team due to injuries sustained at West Calder. Rangers started the match with only eight men, but still took an early lead when Scobie intercepted a goal kick and scored with a fine shot from the touchline. On fifteen minutes the game was stopped due to a heavy fall of sleet. On the resumption, some twenty minutes later, Berwick had a full complement of players and continued to have the lion's share of the exchanges. Halley extended Rangers' lead with an excellent shot before Scobie gave Berwick a comfortable half-time lead with his second of the afternoon. Kelso had the elements in their favour after the interval and confined Berwick to their own half for long periods. Eventually, their pressure paid off when Ferrier found the net. However, the home defence held firm and progressed to the next round with a hard-won victory – or so they thought. After the match, Kelso lodged a protest. They claimed that Berwick had violated rule 3 of the Border Association because Liddle, Lilburn and Halley had played in other competitions. No evidence was forthcoming against Liddle and Lilburn, and the case was thrown out. As for Halley, it was proved that he had played six matches for Alnwick St James's in the North Northumberland League, in which both league and cup matches were played, thus violating rule number 3 of the Border Cup. The protest was upheld, and the match ordered to be replayed.

February

In the Border Cup second round replay, Kelso must have wished that they had never complained as they were hit for six by a rampant Rangers side hell bent on revenge. Although the score read a very one-sided affair, the game was well contested throughout, with only Kelso's blunt attack to blame for their lack of goals. Dixon was unlucky to see his early shot saved by McKenzie, but he was not long in finding the net after smart work down the wing by Scobie and Blythe gave him the ideal opportunity. From the kick-off, Rangers attacked again and, from Scobie's cross, Redfearn headed a second past McKenzie. Moor went close for Kelso after tricking Drysdale and Willie Hope, but Roberts was on hand to clear with Patterson beaten. In the second half, Rangers forced an early corner from which Richardson beat McKenzie for a third time. After a short attack by the visitors, a superb shot by Roughead was saved at the expense of a corner; Scobie dropped the ball into the goalmouth and Dixon added number four. Scobie was again goal maker when he and Redfearn combined to give Dixon his hat trick with a shot that almost burst the rigging. Kelso were now demoralised, offering little resistance, and John Hope dribbled home number six. Kelso again protested at the close of the game. This time the allegation was against Scobie and Redfearn, who had competed in the Robson Cup, an entirely local competition played between the senior and junior players within the borough. The competition was deemed to be out with the jurisdiction of the Border Association, and the protest was thrown out.

A larger than expected crowd turned out to watch Rangers play Vale of Leithen in the opening round of the East of Scotland Consolation Cup on February 15th. It was one-way traffic in the first half as Berwick ripped their opponents apart. A delightful centre by Burn allowed Scobie, after a hustle with Welsh, to net the opening goal. Drysdale then had a goal disallowed before he guided a fine overhead kick by Burn into the net for number two. Rangers continued to have the best of matters with Drysdale, Burn and Roughead going close before a fine centre by Burn gave Drysdale the opening to score goal number three with a deceiving shot. Just before the interval, Scobie made it four without reply with a wind-assisted kick. The visitors started the second half well, but their shooting was poor despite having the wind at their backs and Berwick, who were never in any danger of conceding, played time out.

The semi-final of the Border Cup at Hawthorn Park, Duns, was abandoned after 22 minutes, due to heavy rain, with Rangers leading 1-0. The re-match was to have taken place on the following Saturday but was postponed at the last minute due to the pitch being "un-playable." Rumours were circulating that Duns used the atrocious weather as an excuse to call off the match as they only had seven first-teamers available. The match eventually took place three weeks later, when Duns could field their strongest team!

March

The semi-final of the Border Cup finally took place on March 14th. Rangers, missing two of their regular players, gave a below par performance against a Duns side who were on top form and suffered the consequences with a 4-1 reverse. Berwick opened the scoring when Redfearn's soft shot was diverted past the keeper by a tuft of grass. This setback did not deter Duns and Feeney, with the Rangers' defence in hot pursuit, raced away on his own to score with a fierce shot just inside the post. Duns were now in rampant form and were unlucky not to take the lead before the interval. However, on the resumption, Duns attacked immediately, and Roberts only just robbed Blaikie at the expense of a corner, from which McDavid scored. Feeney scored a third from a Tindal cross before McDavid put the final nail in Berwick's coffin from the penalty spot, after Roberts had handled.

Berwick rounded off a disappointing season early due to their third semi-final exit of the season, after travelling to Selkirk to play the Soutars in the penultimate round of the ESFA Consolation Cup on March 28th. With the wind at their backs in the first half, Selkirk made most progress and Lockie gave them an early lead. Four minutes from the interval Hill put the home side two up, and the writing was on the wall. However, Rangers attacked strongly on the restart and after seven minutes' play Redfearn pulled a goal back before levelling matters two minutes later. Honours remained even until five minutes from the end when Roberts conceded a penalty from which Selkirk claimed their winning goal, ending Berwick's season on yet another sour note.

Results
Date C V Opposition Res i
Aug 24 F H Spittal Rovers W 5-3
31 EQC 1 H Selkirk W 4-2
Sep 7 SQC 1 A Peebles Rovers L 1-2
Oct 12 EQC SF H Broxburn Athletic L 1-4
19 F H Spittal Rovers W 3-0
26 KC 1 A Peebles Rovers W 1-0
31 F H Newcastle United L 1-5
Nov 2 F A Kelso W 4-2
23 KC 1R A Peebles Rovers L 2-3
Dec 14 F H North Northumberland League Select XI W 7-0
Jan 1 F H Raith Rovers L 1-3
4 SCC 1 H West Calder Swifts D 3-3
11 F A West Calder Swifts D 2-2
18 SCC 1R A West Calder Swifts L 1-5
25 BC 2 H Kelso W 3-1
Feb 8 BC 2R H Kelso W 6-0
15 ECC 1 H Vale of Leithen W 4-0
Mar 14 BC SF A Duns L 1-4
28 ECC SF A Selkirk L 2-3
Appearances & Goals
F SQC SCC EQC ECC KC BC
Player A G A G A G A G A G A G A G
Andrew Archibald 1
George Blythe 5 1 2
George Brodie 1
Stephen Bruce 2 1 1 1 1 1 2
Harry Burgon 1 1 1
Thomas Burn 1 1
Thomas Cowe 1
Thomas Crombie 1 1
John Dixon 1 1 2 3 3
Jack Drysdale 5 4 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 3
J Haig 1 1 1
Tom Halley 1 1
Alex Hope 6 2 1 1 2 2 2 1 1
John Hope 6 1 1 2 2 2 2 1
Tom Hope 1
William Hope 6 1 1 1 2 1 2 1
John Howe 1
Robert Liddle 3 2 2 1
Thomas Lilburn 1
John McBain 1
Adam Miller 3 2 1 1 1 1 2 1
George Patterson 6 1 1 1 2 2 2 2
David Redfearn 5 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 3 2
Robert Redfearn 1
Peter Richardson 1 1 1
Joseph Roberts 1 3
George Robertson 1 2
Tom Roughead 6 1 2 2 1 1 2 1
John Scobie 6 1 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 3 2
Stephen Smith 1
William Tait 1
Number of players used: 31