Results

1922/23: Managerial First

The committee could not be said to be lacking in enterprise as they strove to better the club's fortunes when, on July 27th, they secured the services of ex-Scottish international full-back, Peter Nellies, as player-manager. Nellies, born in Kingseat, near Dunfermline, learned the game with Lanarkshire junior side Douglas Water Thistle. He captained the Scottish Junior team before receiving full international honours, when with Heart of Midlothian. After 13 seasons with Hearts he signed for King's Park, for whom he played for in the second division of the Scottish Football League in season 1921-22. There were 14 applicants for the post with applications being received from as far as Southampton and Aberdeen. After being whittled down to just four Nellies emerged as the committees preferred choice.

Manager Nellies, who was also employed locally as a chauffeur, soon had the locals out training with a new wave of enthusiasm. Every Tuesday and Thursday the balls were out at the Union Park with the attendance seldom under fifty. The committee were determined this season that the club would not live above its income and with the exception of Fordy, from North Sunderland, and Pryde, from Ayton, the team to start the season was to be purely local. However, the committee soon went back on their word when forwards Campbell and Thomson, from North Shields, offered their services providing the club paid their expenses, which was to prove a shrewd move.

August

Berwick Rangers opened their season at the Union Park, on the evening of Tuesday August 15th, with a substantial victory over the 4th KOSB Territorials, who came fresh from a 4-2 victory at Coldstream the previous evening. The Borderers, with a strong breeze in their favour, had the better of the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead when Brennan forced Young to save, but the ball ran loose and Campbell, their outside-right, scored with a cross-shot. However, on changing ends, Rangers took control. Pearson got the equaliser with a well-taken shot before Campbell, catching the ball on the drop, gave Berwick the lead. Two minutes later Campbell put Rangers further ahead and with ten minutes remaining completed his hat-trick when Mitchell failed to clear properly, and the watchful Campbell planted number four into the net.

Rangers gave a promising account of themselves with a 5-0 victory in a friendly against Selkirk at Union Park. Peter Nellies turned out for Berwick for the first time and had a steadying effect on the whole team, with the inclusion of Campbell and Thomson in the forward line strengthening the shooting department. Facing the sun and wind, Rangers soon took the lead when Wakenshaw scored from the penalty spot after Campbell had been fouled in the area when on the point of shooting. As the game progressed, Berwick began to run the show, especially down the right, from where Thomson received a pass and first timed his shot past the visiting keeper and into the net. Early second half pressure by Selkirk was soon repulsed with both Renton and Thomson going close before Pearson found the back of the net with a swift drive. Campbell missed badly on a couple of occasions before finally finding his range to notch number four and later, from a long down field kick by Purves, he scored the fifth.

September

Rangers, who were determined this season to reach the Scottish Cup proper for the first time, travelled confidently to Eastlands, Galashiels, to take on the Fairydean in the opening round of the Scottish FA Qualifying Cup, and a large contingent of Berwick fans paid the train fare of 5s 6d to make the journey in support of the club's resolve. After a goal-less first-half, in which both sides had their chances, Gala took an early lead in the second when Shiels beat Edney with a strong shot from a Waddell cross. From then on Rangers put heavy pressure on the home backs, but the Gala defence was safe with Somerville, who was having an outstanding game, making several last-gasp clearances, one of which he hit so hard and wild that it broke the pavilion window! However, with time fast running out Rangers finally got the equaliser that their play certainly deserved when J. Campbell forced the ball over the line from close in following a corner. Waddell broke away and shaved the upright with a fierce shot in the final minute, as the homesters made a last-gasp attempt, but the game ended a draw at a goal apiece and a replay necessary.

Rangers met the touring 2nd KOSB regiment team, who had reached the semi-final round of last season's Army Cup, in a Union Park friendly. Berwick were not at full strength with Graham and Renton taking the places of Fordy and H. Campbell from the team that met Gala Fairydean. Despite this Rangers won easily by three goals to one. J. Campbell put them ahead and followed up with a second when a misunderstanding between the visiting keeper and backs gave him the opportunity. The soldiers put more fight into their game after the interval and Edney had to make some fine saves to keep them out. However, a rather soft shot by Morgan finally beat him as the military opened their account before J. Campbell secured victory with his and Berwick's third shortly before full-time.

Great interest was taken in the SFA Qualifying Cup first round replay against Gala Fairydean with over 2000 spectators in attendance at the kick-off. Both teams, who showed changes from the previous week with play-manager Peter Nellies taking Renton's place in the Rangers' midfield, battled hard from the start, but Berwick gradually took control and put the visiting defence under immense pressure. However, the Gala men gave a determined display in defence and with half-time fast approaching it looked as if there would be no scoring. Then Gilchrist made a fine run down the left from which he set up Campbell to put the Rangers one up with only a minute of the half remaining. After a quite opening to the second half, Campbell put Berwick further ahead when his speculative shot hit a Gala defender, which wrong-footed the keeper, and the ball landed in the net. Two goals down Gala began to make a fight of things, but Rangers were giving little away, and with the game nearing its end Campbell, latching onto the end of a long clearance by Wakenshaw, put the matter beyond doubt with Berwick's third without reply.

Having received a bye in the opening round, Rangers gave good display in the second round of the East of Scotland FA Qualifying Cup against Edinburgh side Civil Service Strollers. The Strollers, who gave up home advantage in the tie and travelled to Berwick with a weakened side, were on the end of a 9-2 thrashing. Playing with the wind Berwick were soon on the attack with the first goal coming after only five minutes' play when Campbell scored with a terrific drive. Nellies scraped the crossbar and Pearson hit the upright before Berwick scored their second when Wakenshaw netted from the penalty spot. Campbell and Gilchrist both rattled the crossbar before good work by Johnston and Pearson ended in the latter crossing for Campbell to notch goal number three. Nellies scored a fourth with a long shot from near the corner flag just before half-time It was thought that the Strollers would make a decent show with the elements in their favour in the second period, but from the kick-off Rangers were soon back in their stride with Campbell putting Berwick another ahead. The Service could make little of the home defence and it came as no surprise when Campbell received again to put Rangers six goals in front. Berwick were now all over the Strollers, but a lax moment in defence allowed Bonnar to open the visitors' account when he beat Edney with a low shot through a ruck of players. However, in the next minute Pearson worked a good opening to score the best goal of the match and from a throw-in Wakenshaw sent Thomson away to notch number eight. With time running out Pearson completed Rangers' tally with a neat goal after working his way through to close range. Berwick then took things easy for the remaining few minutes which allowed Bonar a late shot on goal. Edney stopped the shot but was beaten on the rebound.

The difficulty in securing attractive league fixtures had handicapped the Rangers in previous seasons, but with the opening of the Border League from district divisions to a more regional system a considerable improvement was hoped for. Edinburgh side, Civil Service Strollers, had joined the league which also included Gala Fairydean, Coldstream, Vale of Leithen and Selkirk. Selkirk were visitors to the Union Park on league business on September 23rd and left on the back of a 6-0 defeat in which they were seldom dangerous and confined to their own half for nearly the entire game. From a good cross by Gilchrist, Campbell beat two opponents to score to open Berwick's account and soon afterwards Pearson found the back of the net with a powerful header. Selkirk fought their way into home territory but were caught on the break and Campbell touched the ball home after beating the defence. Rangers forced Selkirk onto the back foot and Campbell completed his hat-trick following a fine Gilchrist cross to give Berwick a 4-0 interval lead. On the resumption, Johnston skimmed the crossbar as Rangers attacked from the start. However, a period of midfield football then followed before Thomson finished off a superb solo run by tapping the ball home for goal number five. A few minutes later Johnston found the net with a strong 20-yard drive to complete the scoring although Campbell had a goal disallowed and Johnston was unlucky to see his goal-bound shot rebound off an upright in the final minute with the keeper beaten.

October

Having received a second-round bye, Rangers undertook the long journey north to play Arbroath Athletic in the third round of the SFA Qualifying Cup. Arbroath had had a stiff fight to reach the third round after beating Montrose, the current SFA Qualifying Cup North holders, by a goal to nil at the third attempt, and were considered to just a bit too strong for the Rangers, especially on their own ground, but Berwick were determined to give it a go. The team travelled by saloon attached to the 7.30 train from Berwick, along with 60 supporters, which arrived at Arbroath at 12.20. The teams kicked off on the Hospitalfield Park at 2 o'clock under ideal footballing conditions. The ground was of a sandy nature which made it heavy going for the Berwickers. The first half was rather scrappy with Arbroath having slightly the better of the exchanges and taking the lead shortly before half-time. A miskick in the middle of the park, the result of the sandy ground, gave Bauldie an opportunity to run in on goal and he made no mistake in beating Edney from five yards out. Berwick, who were slow to settle down, improved considerably in the second half and did most of the pressing with Johnston, in particular, unlucky not to equalise when his close shot grazed the top of the near upright. However, luck was out on the Rangers despite their best efforts in a game where a draw would have been a fair representation of the play. After the match, the Berwick team was entertained by the Arbroath officials to the Scottish Football League Second Division match between Arbroath and Cowdenbeath.

Rangers brought their tally of goals scored against Selkirk this season to 21 in three games after a 10-0 victory when the two teams met in the semi-final round of the ESFA Qualifying Cup. Berwick took the game in hand from the start and a beautifully taken first minute goal by Campbell followed a fine run by Gilchrist. Mills, in the visiting goal, then made some fine saves from the feet of Campbell but could not prevent Purves from netting a second. Selkirk claimed off-side when Thomson broke away, but the referee wave him on and he scored a third from an acute angle. With Selkirk now continually on the defensive Campbell left Pearson with an easy opening for number four and Purves, who dribbled the ball into close range, gave Mills little chance with number five. Another point by Campbell was ruled off-side before Gilchrist hit six with a long shot just before the interval. Rangers had to face the sun in the second half, and it was thought that Selkirk would improve. However, from the kick-off Berwick resumed their attack. Campbell scored again from close range before Purves did likewise following a Nellies corner. Rangers now had Selkirk hemmed in their own half and Campbell turned provider to set up Gilchrist for number nine before he found the net himself with a hard drive for the tenth and final goal of the rout.

In the second round of the King Cup, Rangers met Warrender. The Edinburgh side were unable to field their advertised team due to players unable to travel and at the last minute they had to rearrange their line-up. The first half was closely fought, but the Rangers' forwards were too much for the Warrender defence. From a long goal-kick Purves broke away and centred nicely for Campbell to open Berwick's account. With half-time fast approaching Warrender began to press, but they were well held by the home defence and, after nice combination work by the Berwick forwards, Pearson put the Rangers 2-0 ahead. Despite their two-goal deficit Warrender started the second half with enthusiasm and from a well-placed corner by Pringle, Garvie scored. However, Rangers raided deep into the Red and White's territory from the centre-kick and Campbell scored from close range. Warrender tried to fight back, but Haswell was giving them the run-a-round at the back and after clever work by Gilchrist, Campbell scored a fourth. Campbell was unlucky when his goal-bound shot was fisted over the crossbar by Sellars, but from the resulting corner he secured a fifth with a powerful low shot. A foul against Nellies then gave Warrender an opening from which Garvie scored a second goal for the visitors. From the centre-kick Purves got on the move and from his parting shot Sellars had difficulty in clearing and Thomson was on hand to prod home number six. From this point onwards, play was mainly in the Warrender half and Wakenshaw twice tested Sellars with powerful shots the second of which registered Rangers' seventh of the afternoon in the dying minutes.

November

Owing to snow bound conditions at Galashiels the Border League match against the Fairydean on October 28th was called off. A week later Rangers travelled to Home Park, Coldstream, in fine but cold weather, to meet on their nearest rivals for league points. In a stiff tussle that was anticipated by both sets of supporters, Coldstream had three-quarters of the play and never really allowed Berwick to settle to their game. However, a misunderstanding by the Coldstream defence let Pearson in to open the scoring and it took Coldstream, despite their efforts, until midway through the second half to draw level. Haswell dallied too long with the ball and Falconer, robbing him of it, scored an easy goal from close range against his old teammates. Poor finishing by the forward line was Coldstream's downfall in a game that they should have won whereas Rangers were lucky to escape with a share of the spoils after a disappointing performance.

What promised to be a first-class friendly, as far as football was concerned, against Leith Athletic was spoiled by a combination of the weather and the referee. Play, which was hampered by the slippery conditions, opened even. However, after 30 minutes' play Rangers pressed hard and Pearson beat McNaughton with a terrific shot. Berwick now had the better of play. Campbell and Thomson both went close, but Dunn caught the home defence napping and scored an easy goal to level the score with five first-half minutes remaining. From the centre-kick Rangers were quickly on the attack and in a matter of minutes they had regained the lead. Gilchrist raced the field before crossing to Campbell, who had nothing else to do but deflect the ball into the goal from two yards out. Half-time found Rangers worthy of their odd goal lead, but Leith opened the second half in lively fashion. Brown played a brilliant game at centre-half for Leith and broke up every promising move by the Rangers' forwards. On the hour mark Robertson scored the equaliser for the visitors with a rather easy shot past the now shaky Edney and from that point on the Leith men were most certainly in the driving seat. However, after some rather dubious refereeing decisions, which led to some heated situations both on and off the pitch, Berwick were awarded a last-minute penalty. Wakenshaw took the kick, which McNaughton never saw pass him, to give Rangers a 3-2 victory that on play, especially in the second half, they did not deserve.

Rangers were leaving nothing to chance, being fully conscious of their task, when they met Peebles Rovers in the final of the ESFA Qualifying Cup at the Logie Green, Edinburgh. For this reason, Edney and Wakenshaw, who had been off form recently, were dropped. In their places were Walter Kerr, ex-Falkirk goalkeeper, and Tom Ross, a former Heart of Midlothian centre-half. Bathgate Park in the city had been the preferred choice of ground by the ESFA, but it had been pre-booked. It was then left to the two participating clubs to toss for the right to home advantage, but Peebles refused on a matter of cup principle that the final should be played on neutral ground; the ESFA therefore choose Logie Green as the best alternative. A crowd of over a thousand, including 300 from Berwick, lined the barriers at kick-off time to watch Rangers open proceedings in determined fashion. However, they failed to find the net despite their dominance and Peebles gradually began to monopolise the play. Kerr was called in to action, making superb saves, on several occasions until he was finally beaten on the half-hour mark by a neat Houston shot. With only a few minutes of the half remaining Houston again beat Kerr, with a swift, low shot that the keeper saw too late, to put Peebles in a commanding position. The second half produced a great fight as Berwick came more into the game. Peebles thought that their two-goal lead was sufficient, but they were in for a rude awakening. From a good left-wing run and cross by Purves the ball found the unmarked Campbell at the far post, and he beat Hodge with relative ease to put Rangers back in contention with 53 minutes gone. Berwick then went out solidly for the equaliser and shots were rained on the Peebles' goal before they were then given a golden opportunity to draw level when Veitch handled accidentally inside the box. Campbell took the penalty kick but shot straight into the hands of Hodge and the chance was lost. Campbell later had a chance to atone for his miss when clean through with only the keeper to beat, but he kept possession too long and Maxwell robbed him of the ball before he could shoot. Peebles gradually fought their way back into proceedings and a fine run by Aird resulted in Houston netting his third with the goal-of-the-match to seal victory and the Qualifying Cup. Rangers, although beaten, were far from disgraced with only the lack of finishing power letting them down.

Edinburgh Civil Service, who had choice of ground in the semi-final of the King Cup, decided to travel to the Union Park due to having no permanent ground of their own. However, financial considerations forced the Rangers to field a weakened side and while they qualified for the final with a 2-1 win, they scarcely deserved to do so. There had been a good deal of travelling done so far this season, especially the Arbroath trip, dipping deeply into the club's purse. This, combined with the fact that home gates were averaging £20 less than last term, was causing a financial problem. The present state of unemployment had a lot to do with the smaller gates, but spectators were also getting tired of seeing the Rangers win by six to ten goals. With finances now on the downward curve questions were now being asked about the club's commitment to professionalism at the last AGM without any real indication as to where the funds were to come from. Campbell and Thomson, who had been the heart of the forward line this season, were not picked for the semi-final clash owing entirely to expenses incurred by their appearance, but neither Matthews nor Wilson, the two up and coming Scremerston players chosen in their places, turned out, preferring to assist Scremerston in their Northumberland Amateur Cup tie at Wooler. Rangers therefore had to fall back upon Renton, a junior player, and the veteran Peter Richardson. The attack was without its usual punch and though Rangers had a gale wind behind them in the first half, they turned ends with only a one-goal lead, Pearson having beaten the visiting keeper in the 20th minute. Their opponents were no stronger in front of goal, however, and had the misfortune of having to play most of the second half with only ten men after C. Robertson was injured in a collision with Purves. Berwick increased their lead with a gifted goal from a penalty kick which ought not to have been awarded as Peter Richardson had clearly stumbled in the box. However, the referee pointed to the spot and Wakenshaw beat Davidson to give the Rangers a two-goal lead. The Service pressed vigorously after this injustice and Miller tested Kerr with a thunderous shot that the keeper did well to save. A few minutes later, Wakenshaw, in clearing the ball during another raid, volleyed the ball against one of the Service players and Grant, running between the backs, scored. The remaining minutes were frantically fought. A splendid run by Gilchrist gave Pearson the chance to put the issue beyond doubt, but he fell with only the keeper to beat as Rangers attacked until the whistle to enter the final by the odd goal in three.

December

To gain more support the committee decided to reduce the gate charges from 1s and 6d to 9d and 6d. This reduction in admission was probably responsible for a big addition to the crowd for the Border League match against Coldstream on December 9th. In a fast and entertaining game Rangers finished 2-1 winners, although on play a draw would have been a fairer result. Berwick opened their account in the 15th minute when Gilchrist, from near the corner flag, dropped a cross into the goalmouth; Campbell and Purves each tried to head into goal, but Mitchell fisted out to Pearson who promptly netted. Coldstream pressed strongly thereafter and the Berwick goal lived a charmed life on more than one occasion; the best of which was Falconer's overhead kick that seemed destined for the back of the empty net until Nellies popped up seemingly from nowhere to head clear. However, Falconer's persistence eventually paid when he equalised shortly before the interval when he dashed past Haswell to hit a low shot over the hands of the advancing Kerr. Both teams were obviously feeling the effects of the fast first half pace as the second was played much slower. Coldstream edged the second half proceedings and would have won if their defence had shown restraint with their forward passes and played to the speed that was noticeable between the Coldstream forwards and the Berwick defence. However, the Coldstream defence failed to clear their lines from a corner kick as Gilchrist placed well and Campbell headed home to claim both league points.

The lack of pace by the ageing Berwick team prompted calls for the committee to relinquish team selection and let player-manager Peter Nellies take charge of team matters. The older players could not go on forever and unless the player-manager could use his experience in bringing on the local youths the money spent on recruiting him was wasted.

It was found impossible to fix up matches with any of the Border League teams for the remaining Saturday dates which left the club without a fixture until Christmas Day when the Heart of Midlothian A team visited the Union Park for a festive, but a very one-sided, friendly. The game, spoiled by a hurricane force wind, was the outcome for those who attended. Rangers, who started without the services of Fordy, looked in the opening minutes as if they were going to hold their own against the wind and far superior opposition. However, Hearts soon got going and Murphy scored from the edge of the 18-yard box with a shot that gave Kerr no earthly chance. Fordy then made his appearance, but at outside-right, and Rangers forced their first corner which proved fruitless. Kerr made a splendid save from a Reid shot before Lister doubled the visitors' lead with an unbelievable shot. Shortly after White hit the inside of the post with a good shot and the ball rebounded over the line for number three. Nellies was forced to leave the field at this point due to an eye injury and being down to ten men Rangers were under severe pressure. Three corners followed in quick succession for Hearts and Murphy headed in from the third. At the start of the second half veteran Peter Richardson made an appearance at outside-right with Fordy going left-half in Nellies' position. Berwick's fortunes improved slightly, but Hearts soon regained the upper hand though playing against the wind and Campbell raced through to put a fifth past Kerr. With a five-goal lead Hearts were in no danger and could afford to sit back as Rangers refused to give up hope of scoring. Thomson forced Hodge into making a splendid save before Purves hit the upright with the keeper well beaten, but their luck was out.

A continuous downpour of rain which prevailed throughout the Friday night and Saturday morning of December 30th rendered Union Park unplayable for the scheduled Border League match against the Civil Service Strollers and the game was abandoned. To add to the disappointment of the local supporters Gala Fairydean also called off their New Year's Day league visit despite favourable weather conditions on the day.

January

Coldstream were visitors to a slippery Union Park, after the recent heavy rains, in the first round of the Border Cup on January 6th. Mindful of their lack of pace in the previous meeting against the Blues, Rangers this time included Johnston and Thomson in their attack and were worthy of their 2-1 win. Coldstream had hard lines in the fact that they had to face a bright sun in the first half which by the time the second half had arrived had sunk. Berwick attacked from the start and their pressure resulted in an early goal when, from a cross by Gilchrist, Johnston banged the ball past Mitchell. Twenty more minutes of almost continuous pressure brought Rangers their second goal. Pearson sent a fine pass across the goal and Thomson tipped the ball past Mitchell. Coldstream came more into the game towards half-time, with Tocher making several fine runs, but Kerr was secure in the home goal and was not much troubled. In the second half, however, which was resumed without a breather, Coldstream were worthy of a goal on the run of play and the crowd was not surprised when R. Mitchell crossed neatly for Tocher to touched it into the net. The visitors bucked up their game after this success, but Rangers soon pushed them back and in the remaining minutes the Coldstream goal escaped narrowly on at least three occasions before the whistle blew.

Berwick Rangers, who by their performance in reaching the third round of the SFA Qualifying Cup qualified for the Scottish FA Cup proper, were drawn at home to East Fife in the first round of the competition. Rangers offered to travel to Methil for a £150 guarantee, but East Fife offered to guarantee half-gate as an alternative proposal which the Rangers' committee rejected outright. However, severe criticism was levelled at the club for eventually selling their ground right for £100 when many thought they would have done quite well financially at Union Park. Scarcely 3000 spectators were present at Bayview Park, when the teams turned out on January 13th, where the total sum of £153 was taken at the gate.

East Fife played a different class of football to the Rangers, who could not match their skill and speed. The loss of two early goals seemed to dishearten them and the defence never got a hold of the Methil attack. Berwick were under pressure from the start. McDonald slipped in the act of shooting with the goal at his mercy and Weir drove straight into Kerr's arms when it was easier to score. However, a few minutes later Barrett opened the scoring following a headed cross by McDonald. Rangers had scarcely recovered before Weir caught a Barrett centre and beat Kerr with a stunning left-foot shot. The Berwick goal then lived a charmed life as Edgar's 40-yard shot beat Kerr before bouncing back into play off the upright and Weir hit the crossbar with the keeper well beaten. The Rangers' defence was completely deceived when Weir scored a third for the Fifers and after Neish had saved well from Johnston in a rare Berwick raid Weir completed his hat-trick a few minutes before the interval. A few minutes after the restart Weir slipped the ball out to Edgar, who with a shot on the run, curved the ball into the top corner of the net. Rangers fought determinedly but could make nothing of the Fife defence. From a corner placed by Murray, Barrett added a sixth and later a pinpoint cross by Edgar found Weir in a good position to add number seven. As East Fife sat back with the job done, Johnston scored a consolation goal for Berwick with 15 minutes remaining, but Rangers' first sortie into the Scottish Cup proper was clearly at an end with the Fifers toying with them until the end.

As a result of the Edinburgh Civil Service scratching in the semi-final round of the Border Cup, Rangers were left without a Saturday match for the second week in succession. A friendly match against the Eyemouth Swifts was arranged at short notice and only a handful of spectators turned out to watch at the Union Park. The Rangers, who field a completely local side, made the mistake of taking the opposition too lightly and after 15 minutes' play Eyemouth gave them a shaking by opening the score against the run of play when J. Fairbairn slipped between the backs and banged the ball high into the net. However, with in a minute, Nellies had levelled the score with a hard shot from the edge of the 18-yard box. Johnston gave Berwick the lead in on 25 minutes after running clean through to score. From that point on the game became one-sided and from a free kick just before the interval Richardson placed well for Johnston to turn the ball into the net. The second half started without a break and Eyemouth came more into the game as Berwick now faced the wind. The visitors forced a corner kick from which Wakenshaw cleared, but only as far as Lough, who scored with an unstoppable shot. Even play followed, but right at the end Johnston completed his hat-trick from inside a scrimmage to end a scrappy game in which Rangers by no means deserved to win by two clear goals.

February

Rangers had to wait until February 17th for their next match after having been let down by Gala Fairydean in arrangements to fulfil their Border League fixtures. Interest in football was at low ebb on the Borders and the need for a meaningful league in the south east of Scotland was becoming more urgent by the day. There appeared to be a surfeit of cup competitions, especially in the opening weeks of the season, and after the ties are over, when most of the clubs have exhausted their finances in travelling, there was always a lull where interest was allowed to wane. Calls were made for the ESFA to convert one of their cup competitions into a league, which efficiently worked, would be of great benefit to the Border clubs.

The low attendance at the ESFA Consolation Cup first round tie at Home Park between Coldstream and Berwick Rangers was ample evidence of the waning interest. Even though neither team was at full strength the game was fast throughout and the issue was always in doubt. With defences on top, scoring chances were always going to be at a premium. After a goalless first half it was Berwick who took the lead midway through the second period when Pearson scored with a thunderous shot. It was doubtful whether Mitchell saw it or not as he made no attempt to save. Rangers held on to their slender lead until the end and deserved their victory, but on the run of play there was little between the teams. Rangers went for goal every time whereas Coldstream were content to defend and pick their chances.

There was no lack of interest in the final of the King Cup, held at Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, between Berwick Rangers and Leith Athletic when over 1000 turned out to watch on February 21st. It was only Rangers' second appearance in the King Cup final, their last being in season 1908-09 when they beat Peebles Rovers 3-0. Leith Athletic were last season's beaten finalists and had yet to concede a goal in this year's competition, having beaten Selkirk 8-0 and Gala Fairydean 5-0 to reach the final round. Leith played their strongest eleven whereas Rangers were forced to rearrange their lines after player-manager Peter Nellies had failed to turn up at kick-off time despite travelling to Edinburgh with the team. Haswell took his place with Purves coming in at right-back. Despite this set back, on the run of play Berwick were unlucky to lose the match 2-1. They were the much better-balanced side and showed cleverer touches than their opponents. In the second half, especially, they were far superior, but ill-luck hampered their efforts as good shots rebounded off either the crossbar or posts or went narrowly wide. Leith kicked off with a brisk attack, but it was their keeper who was kept busiest in the opening stages and it was only his steadiness that kept his side from going behind. As time progressed, play became more even although Rangers still looked likeliest to open the score and they did with 15 minutes of the half remaining. Campbell, the Leith right-back, made a glaring error of judgement and let Pearson through to beat McNaughton with a crisp low shot. However, disaster struck for Berwick just before the interval. Dunn got away down the left for Leith and tried a long shot at goal. The ball struck the crossbar, but before Kerr could get his hands to it Laing nipped in and levelled the score. The second half opened quietly, but Berwick gradually assumed control and Pearson was unlucky on at least two occasions not to score. However, in the closing stages, and against the run of play, Burn got through to score the winner. At a meeting of the Rangers' committee following the final, Peter Nellies was suspended sine-die for his failure to turn up at the match.

March

A game fought out keenly in the mud was the outcome of the Border League meeting at the Union Park against the Civil Service Strollers. The Strollers set the pace from the start in front of a large crowd considering the showery nature of the day. The muddy state of the ground, especially in the goalmouths, dictated play with both teams slipping on the point of shooting and the goalless scoreline at the interval fairly summed up play. The second half, however, opened sensationally. Berwick had been pressing and their backs were well down the field when the Strollers broke away with Bonnar having little else to do but run through and beat Kerr. Rangers bombarded the visitors' goal after this, but Stewart made some wonderful saves to deny them and was frequently applauded by the crowd. Again, the Strollers broke away and Haswell, lacking the speed to catch Purvis, allowed the winger to slip through and beat Kerr with an un-saveable shot. Rangers resumed their attack from the kick-off and Pearson muddled a rare chance. Wakenshaw eventually caught the ball coming out of the scrimmage and beat Stewart with a powerful low shot. From that point until the close of play the Strollers were almost entirely on the defensive, only an occasional breakaway changing the scene, but their defence held firm. At the final whistle, even though Rangers needed the points, the crowd did not grudge the Strollers their 2-1 win after the hard game they served up.

There was a hitch in connection with this season's Border Cup final between Berwick Rangers and Vale of Leithen. The Border Football Association decided that this year's final would be held for the first time at Whitestone Park, Peebles, on a date to be fixed between the two participating clubs. However, Berwick refused to travel to Peebles, unless guaranteed the sum of £25 to cover expenses, arguing that Vale of Leithen had an unfair financial advantage being only six miles from the final venue whereas Berwick were sixty-one. The BFA notified the club that preferential treatment would be accorded to them when the final surplus was allocated. The only alternative venue was Coldstream where the ball would simply be on the other foot. It was simply the demands made on a club's resources by the professional element that was causing the problem as far as the BFA were concerned. Two seasons ago Vale of Leithen had to face Coldstream at the Union Park, Tweedmouth, so a precedent had been set. A vote was taken amongst the member clubs who decided unanimously that Coldstream, the last team to be beaten by the Rangers in the competition, should face Vale of Leithen in the final at Peebles if Berwick still refused to play. The simple fact was that Rangers could not afford to travel without the guarantee so had no alternative but to scratch.

Rangers, however, still played Vale of Leithen in the semi-final of the ESFA Consolation Cup at the Victoria Park, Innerleithen where, after a hopeless display, they were beaten 6-1. On the run of play there was only one team in it and on form Vale should have easily won the Border Cup final had Rangers decided to travel. Vale took an early lead following a goalmouth melee and a few minutes later Kerr was beaten again with a fast, close range shot. A good run by Borthwick relieved the pressure a little, but Thomson shot wide. Haswell was then injured and had to leave the field for the remainder of the game. Down to ten men Rangers went to pieces at the back and the home side added further to their tally before the break. On resuming Berwick were still out of the hunt and only the good goalkeeping of Kerr prevented the Vale from running up a cricket score. Rangers were four goals down before Thomson scored their only goal, but Vale easily added another two to their score before the finish.

April

Rangers' concluding fixture of the season was the semi-final of the East of Scotland FA Cup against Leith Athletic, the current holders of the trophy, played, through the courtesy of Hibernian Football Club, at Easter Road, where nearly 2000 spectators turned out to watch. The opening ten minutes saw both teams evenly matched, but gradually Leith began to have a bigger say in the game. However, Leith failed to maintain their pressure and a long forward kick across the goal by Borthwick found Pearson ready with his head and put Berwick ahead. Leith had hardly expected this reverse and bucked up their game, but not before Pearson had given them another fright, after which Burn equalised. A spell of Berwick pressure followed but was cut short when Burn scored again close on half-time. Leith forced a series of corners on the restart, but the danger was cleared when Johnston broke away and hit the Leith upright. Leith again took up the attack and with time running out Nicolson added a third to put the final out of Berwick's reach.

Berwick Rangers threw a spanner into the workings of the Border League Championship when, out of the running, they scratched in their return fixture with the Civil Service Strollers, on April 28th, and voluntary conceded the points. Counting these points, the Strollers finished one point ahead of Coldstream and claimed the Paul Shield as outright winners in their first season as members of the Border Football Association. However, at a meeting of the BFA committee, a lengthy discussion took place as to the award of the championship. The Civil Service were two games short of their total with Berwick Rangers and Selkirk both failing to fulfil their return games, but Coldstream were also two games short, both to Selkirk, and the committee adhered to a rule fixing the club with the best aggregate of points as champions and Coldstream were accordingly awarded the Paul Shield.

With the season now at an end the sole topic of conversation in the Border footballing circles was about the decision of Gala Fairydean to enter the domain of juniorism and the possible effects on the Border Football Association. Selkirk also looked likely junior converts; rumours were circulating that Berwick Rangers were considering returning to amateur status and moving back across the border and Peebles Rovers had already signified that they had no time for Border competitions. In all, Vale of Leithen would sooner or later follow in the footsteps of Gala and Selkirk, leaving an isolated Coldstream, who could hardly hope to keep the senior flag flying. A meeting of the BFA was urgently called to discuss the situation where it was acknowledged that the SFA took little or no interest in Border football, their concern being the bigger clubs; the ESFA had also done little to help the BFA despite their interests being intermingled and dependant to a large extent in the welfare of the Border clubs. Scarcely a season had passed since the formation of the Border League when the scheduled list of fixtures had been completed. In the season just finished 18 matches were unfulfilled and with mounting financial pressure on the senior game something had to be done – and quickly.

Results
Date C V Opposition Res i
Aug 15 F H 4th KOSB Territorials W 4-1
19 F H Selkirk W 5-0
Sep 2 SQC 1 A Gala Fairydean D 1-1
7 F H 2nd KOSB W 3-1
9 SQC 1R H Gala Fairydean W 3-0
16 EQC 2 H Civil Service Strollers W 9-2
23 BL H Selkirk W 6-0
Oct 7 SQC 3 A Arbroath Athletic L 0-1
14 EQC SF H Selkirk W 10-0
21 KC 2 H Warrender W 7-2
Nov 4 BL A Coldstream D 1-1
11 F H Leith Athletic W 3-2
18 EQC F N Peebles Rovers L 1-3
25 KC SF H Edinburgh Civil Service W 2-1
Dec 9 BL H Coldstream W 2-1
25 F H Heart of Midlothian A L 0-5
Jan 6 BC 1 H Coldstream W 2-1
13 SFAC 1 A East Fife L 1-7
27 F H Eyemouth Swifts W 4-2
Feb 17 ECC 1 A Coldstream W 1-0
21 KC F N Leith Athletic L 1-2
Mar 3 BL H Civil Service Strollers L 1-2
10 ECC SF A Vale of Leithen L 1-6
Apr 14 EC SF N Leith Athletic L 1-3

Border League

Home Away
Pld W D L F A W D L F A Pts
1 Coldstream 8 3 1 0 12 5 1 2 1 4 4 11
2 Civil Service Strollers 8 2 0 1 5 3 2 2 1 7 9 10
3 Gala Fairydean 8 2 2 0 10 4 1 1 2 6 8 9
4 Berwick Rangers 4 2 0 1 9 3 0 1 0 1 1 5
5 Vale of Leithen 7 1 3 0 9 4 0 0 3 3 9 5
6 Selkirk 5 0 0 2 1 3 0 0 3 1 15 0
blank
Remaining matches not played. Coldstream declared champions and awarded the Paul Shield.

Appearances & Goals

BL BC EQC EC ECC KC SQC SC F
A G A G A G A G A G A G A G A G A G
John Borthwick 1 1 2 1
Harry Campbell 1
Johnny Campbell 3 4 1 3 8 1 4 3 4 1 5 9
John Edney 1 2 1 3 2
Fordy 2 3 2 3 2
Robert Gilchrist 4 1 3 2 2 3 3 1 4
Robert (Patsy) Graham 1 3
James Haswell 3 1 2 1 2 3 1 3
Alex Johnston 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 1 4 3
Edward Johnston 1
William Johnston 1
Robert Johnston 1 1 1 1
Walter Kerr 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 1
Samuel Longbone 1 1
William Marsh 1
Peter Nellies 3 1 3 1 1 2 2 1 4 1
Tommy Pearson 4 3 1 3 3 1 1 2 1 3 3 3 1 6 3
Tom Purves 4 1 3 3 1 3 3 1 5
J Renton 1 4
Peter Richardson 2 1
Robert Richardson 4 1 3 1 2 2 3 1 6
Tom Ross 1 1
John Thomson 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 2 1 2 1 3 1 5 1
Robert (Bob) Wakenshaw 4 1 1 2 1 1 2 3 2 3 1 6 2
Andrew Young 1 1 3
Robert Younger 1
Number of players used: 26