Results

1923/24: Changes

With a debt balance of £60, down from last year's £190, Berwick Rangers opened a season of change with a spirit of optimism. The club had been fortunate in securing the services of Archie Carstairs, who was a lifelong supporter, as secretary, along with Hector Thompson and Arthur J. Cairns, a teller and cashier at Barclay's Bank, as joint treasurers. The committee were determined to reduce the debt balance further and with such capable men in office it was hoped that the debt would soon be cleared, placing the Rangers back on a sound financial footing.

Due to the encroachment of the new housing scheme onto the field, the pitch was turned on its axis to face more north to south than east to west; the playing area being reduced to the minimum requirements to fit the flat of the land between the recently built bungalows on Osborne Place and Yard's Head. The club had been offered the old football ground at Shielfield for £500, but as it was only agricultural land it was thought that £40 per acre was more like it and the committee decided to start the season at Union Park.

The committee's decision to run a purely amateur team this season was severely criticised locally, but with last year's trial of a professional team they would hardly have been justified otherwise. The cost in wages, even with the players and player-manager agreeing to a 25% reduction in February, was £304, and it was thought necessary to economise with expenses for the new season being cut considerably. There were plenty of players in and around the town that were willing to play as amateurs, and many of last year's team had already agreed to carry on, although Purves, E. Johnston and Pearson had enlisted and would be absent this term.

It was decided by the committee to retain the post of player-manager. David Atkinson, of the West End, Tweedmouth, who was well known in the town and district and employed by Mr John Robertson of the Mill Farm, was approached for the post. Last season he had played for both Dunfermline Athletic and Dumbarton Harp and already had offers for the ensuing season from Bradford City and Peebles Rovers. However, he accepted the post and was promised full control of team matters.

In view of cost of travelling, without a reasonable financial return, on the Scottish side combined with a lack of faith, as with the other competing clubs, in the Border League, it was suggested that the Rangers return to the Northumberland circles. However, that would have been a distinct loss to football in south-east Scotland and the club's decision to again take part in the Border and the East of Scotland FA competitions gave an all-round satisfaction. At a meeting of the ESFA in Edinburgh, on Thursday 9th August, the result of a preliminary meeting held in June on a proposed new league setup for the Borders and south-east Scotland was announced. The clubs under the jurisdiction of the Association were nearly all in favour of forming a new league for the east of Scotland under the control of the ESFA and as a direct result the BFA decided to suspend the Border League for a season in order to see what lay ahead with the new East of Scotland League. Three new clubs – Westfield Amateurs, the Board of Agriculture and Leith Amateurs, were admitted to the ESFA at the meeting, but only Leith Amateurs show any firm interest in joining the new league setup.

August

The three new clubs were included in the draw for the first round of the ESFA Qualifying Cup, but Rangers were drawn against one of the old guards with Coldstream visiting the "new" Union Park on 26th August. The game, which opened quietly, was even and a draw was a fair result, although at times Coldstream were unlucky and a little ill-feeling crept into the game. Coldstream had the better of the early exchanges, but after a spell of Berwick pressure towards the interval the home team opened the scoring. After forcing a series of corners Scott unluckily had his hand in the way of Borthwick's kick as it was swung across, and Wakenshaw scored from the penalty spot with a shot that hit the inside of the post before finding the back of the net. Coldstream opened the second half on the attack, but Atkinson cleared the danger. Fawcus hit the crossbar and Richardson put the rebound past. End- to-end football continued and Young brought off a fine save from McKenzie as Coldstream began to gain the upper hand. Johnston then broke away against the run of play, but when in the act of shooting he was knocked off balance and the ball went wide. With ten minutes remaining a close tussle took place around the Berwick goal and after Young had saved twice in quick succession, and before he could get to his feet, Tocher beat him with a shot from point blank range to level the score.

September

Rangers met Leith Amateurs in the first round of the Scottish FA Qualifying Cup. Despite several changes to the Berwick side, it was a poor game that did not inspire confidence in either team progressing much further in the competition. After a goalless first half it was nearly ten minutes from time when Leith broke away on the left; Atkinson miskicked badly in trying to clear, letting Davidson through and his shot glanced off Haswell's toe past Young and into the net. This late reverse kicked Berwick into action and they pressed relentlessly in search of the equaliser. Luck was on Berwick's side for a second week running they were awarded a penalty from a handled corner ball. Wakenshaw stepped up again and scored from the spot to secure a replay.

In the replay at the Chancelot Park, Leith, the following week, both teams showed changes, but nevertheless the match still ended a stalemate. Both sets of forwards had little difficulty in passing the half-backs, but their finishing left something to be desired. There was still a clean score sheet when the teams crossed at half-time, but play brightened up towards the end, and a fine dribbling run by Johnston left Gilchrist in position to open the scoring. However, in the last-minute Turner equalised for the Amateurs, and the teams were to meet for the third time of asking.

The second replay should have taken place on neutral ground, but by offering a guarantee the Rangers' committee lured the Amateurs to Union Park on September 15th. This time Leith fielded a weakened team and Berwick were without the services of Borthwick and Fawcus. Pearson returned to the Rangers' side and Barham, who was picked on the field, filled the remaining place. There was quite a respectable gate to watch, but the football served up was hardly of a higher standard than the poor stuff experienced since the start of the season. However, Rangers opened in promising fashion and it was not long before Atkinson caught an in-swinging cross from the wing and beat Bridges with an unstoppable shot straight between the goalkeepers' hands. Five minutes into the second half Johnston put Rangers further ahead when he kneed home a Gilchrist cross. Leith had hardly got over the reverse when Atkinson added another. However, Rangers then slackened off and on the hour mark Leith scored. A long shot hit the crossbar and bounced high; Young failed to gather the dropping ball and Mackay touched it home. The Amateurs then made a prolonged attack on the Berwick goal, but their finishing was wild to say the least. Rangers sealed Leith's fate when Gilchrist scored a fourth with a fine shot which went in off a combination of both crossbar and post. Despite the 4-1 scoreline, the match was a very tame affair, and a marked improvement would have to be shown if they were to beat Coldstream in the second round.

Rangers made a favourable start in their second-round clash with Coldstream at the Union Park, but Wakenshaw got injured early on and had to leave the field for a while. Coldstream took advantage of his absence and from a McKenzie cross R. Mitchell scored a neat goal. Berwick strove hard to level, thereafter, and gave the Coldstream defence some trouble, but at half-time they were still a goal behind. Throughout the second half Rangers continued to dominate, but could not find the net, and despite a much-improved performance on previous weeks, their cherished hopes of qualification for the Scottish Cup proper were dashed at an early stage.

In their first match in the newly formed East of Scotland League, Berwick Rangers met Selkirk at Union Park on September 29th before a fair attendance of spectators. The committee were well satisfied with the team changes made as Rangers gave a better display than of late and the final score of two goals to nil did not represent their superiority. From the kick-off, Rangers attacked and only a kind providence which appeared to watch over the Selkirk goal, kept the score respectable. Wilson opened the scoring following clever wing work by Atkinson and Longbone. A few minutes later the Selkirk defence failed to clear their lines and Campbell nipped in to double the score. Rangers then held Selkirk in their own half for long periods and Mills was called upon on several occasions to prevent the locals from increasing their lead. Campbell struck the upright with the keeper beaten, but the rebound was cleared and at the interval Selkirk were lucky to be only two down. The second half was more even with a lot of midfield play. Selkirk tried hard to get through, but the Berwick defence gave nothing away and Rangers claimed their first league points of the competition with a solid display.

October

Berwick Rangers met Coldstream in their much delayed ESFA Qualifying Cup first round replay at Home Park on October 6th. Rangers were bolstered by the return of Tom Purves, who played at centre-forward, and the introduction of new goalkeeper, Harvey, who had played last season in Belford's North Northumberland League championship winning side. Rangers took a large following who travelled by special train in hope of witnessing the Black and Gold gain revenge for their SFA Qualifying Cup defeat a few weeks earlier. From a Coldstream attack on the half-hour mark Spence cleared at the back by sending Johnston away; he crossed well to Borthwick, who carried the ball up field before centring for Wilson to open Berwick's account with a strong shot that gave Mitchell little chance. In the second half Coldstream tried hard to break through the Berwick defence, but they were well held. With only a minute of play remaining Rangers had the chance to put the matter beyond doubt when a penalty was awarded against Sloan for handling. Wakenshaw took the kick from which Mitchell brought off a splendid save at the expense of a corner. Coldstream's Gray was injured in the melee that followed and when play finally resumed time was called with the Rangers worthy winners by the only goal of the match.

Rangers fielded the same team in the second round of the competition against Westfield Amateurs. The game, however, was disappointing from a footballing point of view as Rangers won 7-0 in a totally one-side affair in which Harvey in the home goal was a virtual spectator. Atkinson opened the scoring with a neat header just under the crossbar and Purves quickly added a second after pouncing on a defensive error. The Amateurs' forwards could make nothing of the Berwick defence, and it came as no surprise when Wilson added number three from a Gilchrist cross. Gilchrist was also provider for number four when Atkinson headed his corner ball into the net. Just on half-time a penalty was awarded against the Amateurs for Alexander handling and Atkinson, taking the kick, sent the keeper the wrong way to score. From a long Spence clearance in the second half, Wakenshaw gave to Johnston, who in turn crossed for Wilson to score number six with a first-time shot, and finally Johnston scored the seventh from a neat Borthwick through-ball.

In the semi-final of the ESFA Qualifying Cup, Rangers travelled to Edinburgh to meet Civil Service Strollers at Stenhouse Mills, Gorgie. The Edinburgh side were confident of reaching the final round, but Berwick had other ideas. Facing a stiff breeze, Berwick were under pressure at the start, but gradually they fought their way into the proceedings. In the 15th minute they swept downfield and Wilson, catching up a pass, made no mistake with forceful shot to put the Rangers one ahead. The Strollers made desperate efforts to draw level, but when the teams crossed over Berwick had the benefit of the wind and put it to good advantage. Taking a firm grip of the game they gave their opponents no rest. The home backs could not cope, and only some fine saves by their keeper kept them in the game. However, a second goal was engineered down the right, and Wilson, cutting in, made no mistake to put Rangers two up. This looked like settling the issue, but unfortunately the Berwick defence slackened a bit and a solo effort by Purves gave the Strollers a goal. Rangers never looked flustered, taking it in their stride, and five minutes from time Wakenshaw crashed the ball into the net to make the result safe.

The two teams met again, for the second week in succession, at the Stenhouse Mills ground, the match this time being a King Cup and East of Scotland League double header. It was a hard rather than brilliant game, with most of the attacking in the favour of the Rangers, who tried at least to play flowing football. Berwick worked hard for victory; the Strollers on the other hand were certainly in luck's way on several occasions and stuck grimly to their spoiling tactics to claim some credit in the goalless draw.

November

Berwick Rangers met Gala Fairydean in the final of the ESFA Qualifying Cup at Home Park, Coldstream on November 3rd. The start was delayed, much to the annoyance of the 1400 crowd, by 18 minutes due to the late arrival of the Gala team. Berwick took to the field to a rousing reception from their supporters, but it was apparent that the Fairies had also a large measure of support, mainly from the Coldstream area. Excitement ran high from the start as Berwick pressed, with the Gala defence looking extremely shaky, and it came as no surprise when Rangers took the lead in the 6th minute. Johnston let Borthwick away and from his cross Gilchrist rolled the ball home from close range after Hogg had miskicked when trying to clear. Many of the Rangers' supporters were forecasting a barrow load of goals, but Gala played much better after this reverse. However, their finishing was poor, and Harvey was not seriously troubled. Throughout the remainder of the game there was little between the teams, but in the last quarter Gala made a strenuous effort to at least draw level. It was not to be, however, as time ran out on them and it was Berwick Rangers who lifted the trophy by a goal to nil. The final whistle signalled a stampede of Rangers' supporters towards the pavilion to witness player-manager and club captain, Dave Atkinson, receive the Qualifying Cup amid echoing cheers.

Berwick Rangers were rather lucky to get the 2-1 decision, when they faced the Civil Service Strollers in the replay of the King Cup first round, as they never looked like scoring for 80 minutes of the game. Rangers were first to go close when Atkinson rattled the crossbar with a fast shot, but shortly before half-time the Strollers broke away and scored against the run of play. From a long goal kick, they forced a corner; Henderson placed well, and Bridges opened their account. Rangers tried hard to level, but the Strollers were giving little away. It was a different story late in the second half, however, with Berwick giving the visitor's defence a torrid time. In the 80th minute Longbone put over a nice cross which Purves missed, but Johnston was close behind him and equalised from the edge of the six-yard box. Both teams now battled hard in search of the winner, but both defences were playing a hard game. However, with five minutes remaining Johnston scored the winning goal for the Rangers when he tipped the ball past Aitken with the best shot of the match from 15-yards out.

Rangers hosted Edinburgh side, Warrender, in the second round of the King Cup. Despite Rangers having the lion's share of the early exchanges Warrender opened the scoring through McKinnon following a corner. Berwick equalised a few minutes later, however, when Forrest could only punch away Borthwick's shot and Longbone followed up to steer the ball over the stranded keeper into the net. The visitors redoubled their efforts as half-time approached, but the home defence held firm. With only a minute remaining Berwick broke away and a corner was forced; Gilchrist placed well, and Wilson gave Berwick a deserved 2-1 interval lead. The second half was more evenly matched, but neither side could find the net, despite some good chances on both sides, and at the final whistle it was the Rangers who progressed to the semi-final stage.

Union Park was the venue for the semi-final tie against Leith Amateurs, where a fine game was witnessed by a large crowd. The Amateurs kept the Rangers busy in the first half but fell away in the second and were seldom dangerous. The day was ideal for football, with there being no wind, and the football in the opening half was played in a fast-paced end-to-end style. In one of their early raids Leith forced a corner which Simpson placed well, and R. Edgar opened the scoring for the Amateurs. However, straight from the centre kick, Rangers' attacked and equalised when Gilchrist sent in a cross from near the corner flag for Wakenshaw to hit home. In the opening minute of the second half a slick move down the right saw Borthwick centre well for Wilson to head home to put Rangers in the lead. After this, the Leith attack faded considerably, with Harvey having only one real save to make, leaving the home side in total command until the game's end and a place in the final against Coldstream.

December

Rangers travelled to Galashiels for an East of Scotland League fixture against the Fairydean without the services of Atkinson and Gilchrist. Short of players, Young, the reserve goalkeeper, took the place of Gilchrist at outside-left. With a weakened side Rangers were always going to be up against it and their defence was well tested in the opening half. Shiels headed in for the home side, but the goal was disallowed for off-side. However, a few minutes later he beat nearly half the field in a breakaway before sending in a shot, with which Harvey stood no chance, to open Gala's account. Shiels was a constant thorn in the side of the Berwick defence with Haswell and Purves having to work hard to keep him out. Midway through the second half a bustling attack by the Berwick forwards forced the ball through the Gala defence and Johnston drove in a shot that Anderson failed to stop. Having equalised, Rangers began to force matters with only the goalkeeping of Anderson keeping them out. Younger skimmed the crossbar with a fierce shot following a corner, but then disaster struck for Berwick. From a break down the left wing Shiels sent out nicely to Gill, who from close range beat Harvey with a hard and fast shot. Rangers exerted strong pressure in the remaining minutes, but Gala defended strongly to the end and claimed both points.

With a view to keeping the team in practice and in the hope of spotting new talent, Rangers fixed up a match against a revived Tweedside Albion. The game was a very one-side affair with the Albion barely putting anything like football on display against a scratch Rangers side. Berwick took things easy from the start. Gilchrist put over a fine cross for Longbone to get his foot to, and the Rangers were one up. In a scrimmage, Longbone cleverly backheeled the ball into the goal for number two, and shortly before the interval Gilchrist centred nicely for Johnston to add number three. Wilson had a goal disallowed for off-side in the first minute of the second half after which a period of uneventful play took place. Borthwick revived things when he broke away to notch number four, with a shot from almost on the corner flag, before the Albion went on a determined run that ended with Gray opening their account with a good 20-yard shot. The Tweedsiders tried again with Gray hitting a shot from the same spot as before which Young seemed to misjudge, and the ball went into the net under his hands. Rangers upped their pace a little and Johnston tapped the ball into the net when Short was unsighted. Longbone and Wilson both missed narrowly before Johnston rounded off the scoring with a sixth near the end.

Rangers were back to their usual strength, except for Longbone at outside-left and Lough of Eyemouth playing centre-forward, for their League visit to Selkirk. In the first minute Borthwick scored for Berwick without a single Selkirk player having touched the ball, but after that they fell apart and could do little right. Within ten minutes Selkirk were level and not long before the interval Haswell gave away a penalty and the Soutars were ahead. Berwick showed improved form in the second half and Lough twice went close before Wilson eventually got an equaliser but had the Selkirk team won Berwick could not have grudged them victory.

Spittal Rovers were outclassed in all departments with Rangers scoring twice in each half of their friendly encounter at Union Park. From the start Berwick showed their superiority. Wilson neatly picked up Borthwick's cross and the Rangers were a goal up inside two minutes. Lough scored a second in the 20th minute. Purves made a weak clearance with a goal kick and Lough promptly drove it behind him into the net. Spittal had a great chance to score when Patterson squared across the goalmouth, but there were no takers to bother Haswell, who was deputising in goal. The second half was a repeat of the first with Rangers in command. Purves could hardly be blamed for the third goal. Johnston finished off some good footwork by shooting past the keeper, who was practically stuck in the mud, from the edge of the 18-yard box; however, he ought to have saved the fourth when Wilson headed in a corner off his shoulder and into the net.

The Christmas Day attraction at Union Park was the visit of Raith Rovers, who were doing well in the first division of the Scottish Football League. Raith were only four players short of the team that had just beaten Motherwell with Mathieson, Barton, Slaven and Ritchie deputising for Brown, Inglis, McBeth and Bell. The 2000 crowd was the largest seen at the Union Park for a long time and were to witness a cracking game of football. Raith started with flare and their clever close passing kept the Rangers guessing for a time. Gradually the pressure eased, and Rangers had a glorious chance, but Johnston slipped on the point of shooting. However, in the 10th minute Lough sent over a perfect cross for Purves to head past Mathieson and put Berwick a goal up. Raith upped their pace but were caught on the break. Johnston let Borthwick away down the left and after beating Moyes he centred from almost the corner flag for Wilson to score. Raith replied with determination, but the home defence held firm and the teams crossed over with Rangers two goals ahead. Everyone expected Raith to walk away with the game in the second half, but for the greater part of the half Berwick were the more dangerous team. Borthwick came close to extending the lead when he hit the upright with a fierce shot. Wilson then tried a high dropping shot which Mathieson seized and was about to clear when Purves came upon him. The keeper turned to avoid a collision, accidentally swinging the ball over the goal-line, and the referee awarded a goal. Some fast midfield play was witnessed until a long clearance by the home defence was followed up by Purves in a one-on-one race for possession with Mathieson. Purves won and touched the ball over the keeper's head into the net. The locals were ecstatic at seeing the Rangers winning by four clear goals against such strong opposition, but Raith were not finished yet. Sustained pressure by the visitors wore down the Berwick resistance and Raith's first goal came when a slip by Haswell let Jennings through and he gave Harvey no chance. Raith went all out for a time but made little impression on the Berwick defence. However, a long shot by Ritchie hit the upright before rebounding into the hands of Harvey, who was standing about a yard from the goal-line. To the surprise of everyone, Raith forwards included, the referee awarded a goal. It looked likely that Raith would reduce the score still further as they continued to attack. Jennings broke through with only Harvey to beat, but much to the delight of the crown he shot straight into the keeper's hands. A few minutes from time James scored a third for the visitors with a terrific drive, but luckily for the Rangers time ran out on any further attacks and they claimed a famous victory by four goals to three.

Rangers fielded the same eleven that defeated Raith Rovers when they met Gala Fairydean in a League fixture at a treacherous Union Park. Two tons of sand had been used on the field due to the conditions left behind by still partly frozen snow. Despite the conditions the game opened in a sensational fashion. Johnston let Borthwick away from the kick-off and he beat Anderson with a hard shot to give Berwick the best possible start. Gala pressed hard after this set back although it took until the half-hour mark before they equalised when Greaves' centre struck Shiels, who was only three yards from Harvey, and the ball trickled over the line. Berwick opened the second half in a business-like manner, but the second goal was a long time in coming. A misunderstanding between Anderson and Hogg gave Purves an opportunity he could not miss – and he did not. The game still hung in the balance with both teams having their chances to score. Duthie hit the crossbar for Gala before Rangers made the game safe when a great centre by Borthwick was trapped by Wilson and Lough followed up to hit a terrific shot into the back of the net.

January

The closing stages of the New Year's Day League encounter at Union Park against Civil Service Strollers were full of interest. Rangers were masters of the situation for long periods, especially in the first half, and they did as they liked. Wakenshaw opened the scoring with a terrific shot that sailed into the top corner of the net. A second soon followed when Borthwick centred; Lough and Wilson got in each other's way in trying to shoot, but luckily Johnston was following up and his express delivery beat Lauder all ends up. Rangers looked like making the issue safe in the opening minutes of the second half with Johnston, Borthwick, Purves and Wilson all going close. However, with ten minutes to go Rangers still held a two-goal lead and were still going strong with full points looking a certainty. Harvey was then forced into a full length save and the ball returned in the direction of the other post. Evidently thinking that Harvey had not the time to get there Haswell handled unnecessary as the ball would have gone wide anyway. Scott stepped up and scored from the penalty spot, giving the home supporters an anxious last five minutes until the final whistle sealed the Strollers' fate.

Rangers travelled to Innerleithen with a much-weakened team, but they put up a good fight against an unchanged Vale of Leithen side and were very unlucky in dropping a point. After being under the cosh for much of the opening half Rangers began to find their feet, playing some fine flowing football in the process. Atkinson played the pivotal role and from one of his passes Johnston drove firmly into the net to give Rangers the lead. From the kick-off Berwick made straight for the Vale goal and within 30 seconds Johnston again scored. After the interval, the home side took the upper hand and Nesbit, with a fine midfield run, beat several players before shooting. Young stopped the initial shot, but Nesbit caught the rebound and drove it into the net. With quarter-of-an-hour to go Graham needlessly brought down Nesbit in the penalty area and Waldie converted the spot kick to equalise. Graham later scraped the crossbar with the keeper beaten as Rangers tried desperately for the winner, but the home side were having slightly the better of the exchanges and with no further scoring the matched ended a 2-2 draw.

An under-strength Coldstream were the opposition in the first round of the Border Cup. Consequently, Rangers were all over the defence in the early stages and it was only a matter of time before the visitors' goal fell. The goal came after ten minutes' play when Wilson accepted a cross from the right and first timed it past Mitchell. Coldstream then took up the running before excellent wing work by Borthwick and Wilson moved play to the other end and from Wilson's cross Johnston netted number two from close range. Johnston became provider when he broke down the wing and put over a neat cross; Longbone had a shot blocked, but the ball rebounded to Wilson who promptly dispatched it into the net to give Rangers a 3-0 half-time lead. Coldstream were reduced to ten men shortly after the restart when Gray finally had to leave the field with an injury received earlier in the game, but they still managed to scramble a goal when Scott scored following a corner. Afterwards, Berwick applied severe pressure on the Coldstream goal, and it was just a matter of time before it fell again. The breakthrough came when Johnston worked his way through the visitors' defence and hit a difficult shot from a tight angle into the net. The final score of 4-1 to the Rangers was no exaggeration of the play as Berwick were by far the better team throughout, but had Coldstream had their full team available it might have been a different story.

February

Rangers were still on a high after their demolition of Coldstream when they thrashed Vale of Leithen 7-0 at the Union Park in their return League encounter on 2nd February. The game was a very one-sided affair as the score denotes. The visitors played some tricky football early on, but two quick goals knocked their heart out. A right-wing clearance by Atkinson saw the Rangers make quick ground and Oliver, attempting to clear as Purves and Wilson bore upon him, sent the ball past his own keeper and into the net. Three minutes later, Johnston beat Salton with a long shot after the keeper failed to clear his line properly and the visitors faced an uphill mission. Ten minutes later Atkinson sent in a cross, which Salton again failed to clear, and Purves, running in, took the ball in his stride and netted the third goal. The fourth goal came from a full-length Haswell clearance that found Purvis in a good position. With his back to the goal he smartly kicked the ball over his shoulder and as it dropped under the crossbar, Salton, in an endeavour to punch it out, touched it against the roof of the net. Rangers were now all over the Vale defence and after Longbone had worked into a good position he sent across a fine centre, which Purves walked into the net for Berwick's fifth. The visitors opened the second half in slightly better style. However, the home backs soon got the measure of them and settled down to another long period of pressure. Longbone missed an open goal and Purves shot narrowly wide with a first timer. The pressure was bound to tell, however, and following a run by Borthwick, Purves ran the sixth goal into the net. Two minutes later Johnston put in the seventh with a rip-roaring shot from outside the penalty area. Towards the end, Rangers slackened the pace with the points more than safe, although Purves and Atkinson should have added further to the 7-0 score that put them top of the East of Scotland League table.

The eagerly awaited King Cup final between Berwick Rangers and Coldstream took place at Hawthorn Park, Duns. Coldstream fielded a much stronger side than on their previous meeting with the Rangers and a hard battle was fully expected by the 1500 crowd. The opening play was even, but it was Berwick who drew first blood when Wakenshaw scored with a fast-rising shot after seven minutes' play. With the early nerves now settled Berwick pressed and the Coldstream defence had to work hard to prevent them from increasing their lead. Mitchell fisted a powerful shot from Purves against the bar and then cleared the rebound as Rangers tried to kill off the tie before the interval. However, they had to wait until the mid-point of the second half to double their score. A cross by Gilchrist was missed by Wilson, but the ball travelled on to Johnston who, despite being surrounded by blue jerseys, made space with a quick burst of speed and beat Mitchell with a crisp, low shot. Rangers kept up a stiff pressure, to which Coldstream had no answer, until the final whistle to claim the King Cup for only the second time in their history. On the team's return to Berwick the cup was paraded from the railway station down through the town and over the bridge via Hide Hill to the Union Hotel where the club celebrated their second cup success of the season.

Berwick met Leith Amateurs for the fifth time this season on 23rd February. Leith had taken over Edinburgh Civil Service's remaining East of Scotland League fixtures, due to the Service withdrawing from the league, and had been playing well of late. However, they were still to beat the Rangers this season and a keen contest was anticipated. In the first half both teams were evenly matched, but in the second Leith slackened considerably and let Berwick take a 2-0 lead which they clung to until the end. The game started at a fast pace with both teams attacking in turn, but the Rangers forwards spoiled several good chances through erratic shooting. Atkinson came closest when he skimmed the crossbar with a terrific drive, but the first half ended goalless. After the interval Rangers reshuffled the forward line. Purves went to outside right and Peter Manuel, who was making his debut, went into the centre and soon made his mark. Borthwick tricked several players before putting over a perfect cross from which Manuel had little difficulty in scoring. At this point Leith fell away and Wilson and Johnston both missed golden opportunities. The second goal came when Manuel touched the ball to Johnston, whose shot hit the upright before entering the net. A late surge by Leith saw Butcher hit the inside of the post with Young beaten, but he could not control the rebound properly and shot over. Over the ninety minutes Rangers were full value for their win and the two points helped to consolidate their place at the top of the league table.

March

The visit of Coldstream to Union Park on March 1st brought out one of the largest crowds of the season. Third placed Coldstream had an unbeaten record in the league so far. Although four points behind Berwick they had four games in hand and a win would see them breathing down the Rangers' necks. With so much at stake it was no surprise that the game turned out to be a scrappy affair. Rangers, however, were the better team both up front and in defence and deserved to get both points with a hard fought 2-1 win. Berwick opened their account within two minutes of the start. Wilson headed in from the left and Longbone hit the ball into the net just as it reached the ground. Rangers scored another early in the second half when Pearson found the net from close range following a clever Gilchrist cross. On the hour mark Coldstream reduced the score when R. Mitchell beat Harvey with a fast shot. Thereafter, the ball was more off the park than on it. No doubt it was policy on the Rangers' part, but it was far from entertaining.

With players laid aside by illness, injury and other causes Rangers made the journey to Edinburgh to play the Civil Service Strollers in the semi-final of the Border Cup. However, with little hope at the kick-off of getting a result, excellent play in the later stages secured a creditable one-all draw. There was little between the teams in the first half, but the Rangers lasted the game better and should have won had luck not favoured Aitken, the home keeper, in his clearances. After a goalless first half, in which there was never a dull moment from the spectators' point of view with some anxious defensive play from both sides, the Strollers changed their tactics for the second. Instead of playing a close game they swung the ball about, but the Berwick defence stood firm. However, midway through the half, and against the run of play, the Berwick defence made their first mistake. A misunderstanding between Haswell and Younger let Bonnar slip in and he crowned a fine right wing move by banging the ball past Harvey. Rangers upped the pressure on the home goal and, after several close calls, a wing dash by Gilchrist secured the equaliser with a bullet shot that totally baffled Aiken. Berwick kept the game in hand up to the close and had they possessed the least luck they might have won by four or five.

For the semi-final replay at Union Park, Rangers made three changes in their team from the week before with Young, Johnston and Borthwick taking the places of Harvey, Pearson and Wilson respectively; however, the new look forward line were in poor form as far as shooting was concerned with chances galore missed, which was to cost them dear. After a goalless first half Rangers were caught on the break early in the second. Purves shot for goal from a difficult angle; Young brought off a splendid full length save to fist the ball away, but his clearance was picked up by the advancing Bonnar who sent it crashing into the back of the net with the keeper still grounded. Rangers pressed hard for the remainder of the game in search of the equaliser, but Wright and Bridges were solid at the back for the Strollers and Aitken was seldom troubled. In the closing stages a shot by Wilson struck the crossbar and rebounded back into play before Wakenshaw was given his marching orders for a foul on Purves, which put the writing firmly on the wall as far as progression to the final for Berwick was concerned by them having to complete the remaining minutes with only ten men.

As winners of the ESFA Qualifying Cup, Berwick Rangers, along with runners-up Gala Fairydean, entered the semi-final round of the East of Scotland Cup proper. Gala were drawn against St Bernard's whereas Rangers were to play Leith Athletic at the Logie Green. Berwick were as good as their opponents during the first half, but the fitness factor was the difference as the game progressed and Leith, without a doubt, outplayed them in the second. Leith swept down on the Berwick goal after the interval and a fine cross by Dunn was hit goalward by Cornelius. Young clutched his shot but then dropped it and Burn, who was standing handily, poked it home. Leith continued their attack with such force that before the half was ten minutes old, they had scored a second. Dalziel shooting in hard from a left-wing cross. Rangers tried to claw their way back into proceedings but were no match for the swift moving Athletic and Dunn scored a third that settled the issue with half an hour's play remaining.

For the second week running, Rangers made an appearance at Leith. This week it was on League duty with Leith Amateurs the opposition at Chancelot Park. It was an important game for Berwick as a win would clinch the East of Scotland League championship providing they got a result in their last league match at Coldstream, but they put in a poor shift and the 1-0 reverse blew the championship door wide open. Play until the interval was largely in favour of the Amateurs, but they were well held by the sterling Berwick defence, and sheer luck. Twice Leith struck the post; twice Harvey saved splendidly, but the most fortunate escape of all was when two shots in quick succession were stopped on the line by Atkinson and Haswell. However, Leith went full steam ahead after the interval, subjecting the Berwick defence to immense pressure, and a blunder by Haswell let Swanson in to open the score and severely dent Rangers' championship hopes.

April

The Easter weekend saw Berwick Rangers rekindle their ties with the town of Alnwick when they played home and away friendlies against Alnwick United. Berwick played hosts on Saturday 19th April and fielded a strong eleven. The visitors, who won the toss and took advantage of a stiff breeze that blew from corner to corner, swung the ball around well and made ground, but always shot when too far out and their efforts had little effect. Rangers, on the other hand, came close to scoring when Purves lifted a perfect Gilchrist cross over the bar when it was easier to score. Aided by the breeze in the second half Rangers kept up a stiff pressure. Alnwick were playing an off-side game with reasonable effect. However, Purves and Atkinson both forced Carse in to making brilliant saves as the pressure mounted and not long after Berwick were awarded a penalty which Atkinson netted with Carse rooted to his line. Rangers were easily the better team and thoroughly deserved their win, although Alnwick gave them a good run at times. In the return at Alnwick on Easter Monday, Rangers, fielding a weakened side, gave a purely exhibition game and although superior they lost by two goals to nil.

Rangers visited Home Park, Coldstream, on the evening of Thursday April 24th, to play their last remaining fixture in the East of Scotland League. Berwick had to win to have any chance of preventing Coldstream, who had two games in hand, from claiming the championship spot. Conditions were far from ideal for such an important match with a high wind and rain. Berwick won the toss and set Coldstream to face the elements. However, neither side could claim to have the advantage, as the play opened briskly, with both sets of forwards hampered by the greasy conditions and slippery ball. Coldstream began to master the conditions better as the half wore on, but it was Rangers who opened the scoring first when Johnston scored from a free kick awarded against Joe Scott. This livened matters somewhat and Berwick were lucky to still be a goal up at half-time. It was not long after the restart when Coldstream equalised. Young failed to hold a Buglass free kick and Hope rushed in to level the score. The home forwards continued to press but were frequently pulled up for off-side. Against the run of play Mitchell was called upon to save, but he seemed unable to gather the ball, due to its greasy nature, and Gilchrist rushed in to put the Rangers back in the lead. Play after this was fast as Coldstream saw their championship hopes fading. However, with only five minutes remaining they were at last rewarded. R. Mitchell, on receiving the ball from Fairbairn, saw Young standing out of his goal and he coolly lobbed the ball over his head and into the net. Rangers made a last frantic attempt to save their own title hopes, but at the final whistle they were fortunate to have drawn and the destination of the championship now lay firmly in Coldstream's hands.

On April 26th, Coldstream could only draw at home against the Civil Service Strollers, leaving them a point behind the Rangers, but four days later, the last day of the season, they travelled to bottom-of-the-table Selkirk and won 2-0 to win the first East of Scotland League championship by a single point.

Rangers had had a successful season on the field, despite being pipped at the post in the East of Scotland League, with wins in the ESFA Qualifying Cup and King Cup finals giving them two trophies to celebrate in the same season, which on the form displayed at the start of the campaign would never have been envisaged. It was testament to David Atkinson's efforts and supporters thought that the club was finally heading in the right direction, on the playing field at least.

Results
Date C V Opposition Res i
Aug 25 EQC 1 H Coldstream D 1-1
Sep 1 SQC 1 H Leith Amateurs D 1-1
8 SQC 1R A Leith Amateurs D 1-1
15 SQC 1R2 H Leith Amateurs W 4-1
22 SQC 2 H Coldstream L 0-1
29 ESL H Selkirk W 2-0
Oct 6 EQC R1R A Coldstream W 1-0
13 EQC 2 H Westfield Amateurs W 7-0
20 EQC SF A Civil Service Strollers W 3-1
27 KC 1 & ESL A Civil Service Strollers D 0-0
Nov 3 EQC F N Gala Fairydean W 1-0
10 KC 1R H Civil Service Strollers W 2-1
17 KC 2R H Warrender W 2-1
24 KC SF H Leith Amateurs W 2-1
Dec 1 ESL A Gala Fairydean L 1-2
8 F H Tweedside Albion W 6-2
15 ESL A Selkirk D 2-2
22 F H Spittal Rovers W 4-0
25 F H Raith Rovers W 4-3
29 ESL H Gala Fairydean W 3-1
Jan 1 ESL H Civil Service Strollers W 2-1
5 ESL A Vale of Leithen D 2-2
19 BC 1 H Coldstream W 4-1
Feb 2 ESL H Vale of Leithen W 7-0
9 KC F N Coldstream W 2-0
23 ESL H Leith Amateurs W 2-0
Mar 1 ESL H Coldstream W 2-1
8 BC SF A Civil Service Strollers D 1-1
15 BC SFR H Civil Service Strollers L 0-1
22 EC SF A Leith Athletic L 0-3
29 ESL A Leith Amateurs L 0-1
Apr 19 F H Alnwick United W 1-0
21 F A Alnwick United L 0-2
24 ESL A Coldstream D 2-2

East of Scotland League

Home Away
Pld W D L F A W D L F A Pts
1 Coldstream 12 4 2 0 20 8 3 1 2 8 7 17
2 Berwick Rangers 12 6 0 0 18 3 0 4 2 7 11 16
3 Gala Fairydean 12 4 1 1 17 6 2 0 4 8 13 13
4 Civil Service Strollers 12 3 2 1 13 4 1 1 4 4 9 11
5 Leith Amateurs 12 3 0 3 12 12 1 2 3 6 10 10
6 Vale of Leithen 12 2 3 1 11 8 1 1 4 13 30 10
7 Selkirk 12 0 3 3 7 13 1 2 3 8 18 7
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Leith Amateurs replaced Edinburgh Civil Service after six matches.

Appearances & Goals

ESL EQC EC KC BC SQC F
A G A G A G A G A G A G A G
David Allan 1
David Atkinson 11 5 3 1 5 3 4 2 5 1
Thomas Barham 1 1
Joe R Blythe 2 2
John Borthwick 11 2 5 1 5 2 3 5 1
Harry Campbell 1 1 1
Ernest Donaldson 1
John Fawcus 1 1
Robert Gilchrist 4 1 4 1 3 3 1 4 2 2
Robert (Patsy) Graham 1 1
John Gray 1 2
William Harvey 8 4 4 2 2
James Haswell 11 5 1 5 3 4 5
Alex Johnston 10 8 5 1 1 4 3 2 2 4 1 5 4
Samuel Longbone 10 1 1 1 5 1 3 2 1 2
J Lough 4 1 2 1
Peter Manuel 1 1 2 1
Tommy Pearson 1 1 1 2
Tom Purves 6 5 4 1 1 3 4 2
Robert Richardson 1 1
Jackie Spence 1 4 4
Andrew Tully 11 2 1 5 3 3
Robert (Bob) Wakenshaw 9 1 5 2 1 5 2 3 4 1 2
Alex Weatherburn 1
Andrew (Alla)  Wilson 12 2 4 5 1 5 2 2 2 1 4 3
Andrew Young 4 1 1 1 1 4 2
Robert Younger 12 4 1 5 3 4 5
own goal 1 1
Number of players used: 27