Results

1925/26: Changing Fields

The approach roads to the new bridge over the River Tweed were soon to severe the playing surface at Union Park, making the finding of a new ground imperative. Whilst this was a good thing from the playing side of view, due to size restrictions, it was centrally located, and it was thought that a better situated venue would be hard to find. The town council were approached for the use of part of the Magdalene Fields for a ground, but they quickly pointed out that it was not up to them to provide the club with a field on which to play.

The only ground available that was in anyway suitable was Shielfield, which was on the market, but only on condition that the purchase was made immediately. A public meeting was held at which valuable information was given by local chartered accountant, Mr Greaves, with the result that the Shielfield Park Company was formed with many of the townsfolk subscribing. Trustees were appointed to purchase the field and in turn let it to the football club at a rental of £35 per annum. Work started immediately to bring the ground up to a suitable standard with many of the club's committee members giving their time free of charge.

The committee made another attempt to join the Northern Alliance League, but after serious consideration by the member clubs they were still not in favour of admitting "Berwick-upon-Tweed" due to bad trade conditions in the mining fields and the great increase in expenditure the journey to Berwick would incur. This was a sigh of relief for many of the East of Scotland clubs as they could ill afford to lose the membership of the Berwick Rangers. Last season's Border Cup final at Duns was a record gate for any ESFA final played outside Edinburgh, and the three finals without the Berwick club resulted in a loss of £35.

At a meeting of the ESFA, at which it was revealed that the association had made a loss of £70 over the course of the season past, Berwick Rangers' representative, Mr A J Cairns, again moved that the home clubs should keep their own gate or that the guarantee be raised from the current £2 10s to £7 10s or half gate over £15. In support of the motion Mr Cairns submitted the club's balance sheet showing that the current half gate principle had resulted in Berwick Rangers losing £298 0s 9d on away matches. He urged that with so many Edinburgh clubs now entering the league, and not taking a gate, the present arrangement was a financial drain on the limited resources of the Border clubs. The motion was seconded by Gala Fairydean, but on being put to a vote the motion was defeated by eight votes to three with some members abstaining.

Despite losing so heavily on away matches the Rangers' balance sheet showed a credit balance of £51 2s 7d, due mainly to a special appeal fund, which helped to reduce the club's overall debt considerably and that, combined with the real prospect of changing fields, gave the club a renewed sense of optimism on which to start the new campaign.

August

The season opened on August 11th with the Rangers giving a very moderate display of football in a 2-1 friendly defeat against the 4th KOSB Territorials. The Berwick defence was unsafe and the attack week; the KOSB on the other hand deserved their win for they played with good judgement and accuracy. Johnston, one of six Coldstream players in the Territorials' side, opened the scoring with a splendid strike and Fairbairn, added a second shortly before half-time. The home side gave a better display after the interval but were rather fortunate to get a goal; Blythe's weak shot hit the post before trickling into the back of the net.

Rangers gave a much-improved performance when they met Leith Amateurs at the Royal Gymnasium, Edinburgh, in their opening match of the East of Scotland League. Berwick faced a glaring sun and strong breeze in the first half, and it came as no surprise that Leith did most of the early pressing. However, they were met by a resolute Berwick defence in which Harvey excelled with some stunning saves. Leith finally broke through the seemingly impregnable defence in the 35th minute when Purves beat Harvey with a high shot from 20 yards. Only a goal down at the start of the second half, and with the elements now in their favour, Berwick began to make their presence felt, and on the hour-mark Galbraith levelled the scores with a quick-fire shot. A few minutes later Pearson gave Berwick the lead, and from that point onwards there was only one team in it. Rangers were now playing fast flowing football and Blythe extended the lead with a superb long-range shot. Two minutes from time, Desson pulled a goal back for Leith, but it was too little too late as Rangers notched their opening points of the season with a deserved 3-2 win.

Leith travelled to Tweedmouth a week later for the return league fixture. However, this time it was a game of little incident, played under depressing conditions amid a steady downpour of rain, and the goal-less scoreline summed up the game up.

In the regional draws for the first round of the East of Scotland and the Scottish FA Qualifying Cup competitions Berwick were drawn against Coldstream in both. On August 29th, the teams met at Union Park in the ESFA Qualifying Cup and played out an exciting 3-3 draw. The game was to have been played at Coldstream but, owing to a cricket match being played at Home Park, Coldstream were forced to travel. Played in traditional cup-tie fashion the result was in doubt right up to the final minute. Coldstream had the better of the opening exchanges and led by a goal to nil at the interval. A misunderstanding between Wakenshaw and Haswell let Wilkinson nip in to score. A few minutes into the second half, however, Gray secured the equaliser, the ball going in off the post. The home support yelled for a penalty when Wilson was grassed by Gray, but the referee waved play on. However, a minute later the referee spotted a handball in the area and this time a penalty was given. Wakenshaw took the spot kick but had to follow up when A. Mitchell saved, and he scored at the third attempt. R. Mitchell then showed Haswell a clean pair of heels, and from his centre Tocher put the teams on level terms. For a while, the Berwick defence looked shaky, but they steadied the ship and looked to have won the tie when a fine Borthwick centre was tapped home from close range by Blythe with six minutes remaining. However, the lead did not last long as R. Mitchell again shook off the opposition before centring for Tocher to again level the score.

September

Those who witnessed the East of Scotland tie looked forward to another exciting tussle between the Rangers and Coldstream when the teams met at Home Park in the Scottish FA Qualifying Cup a week later, but they were doomed for disappointment in comparison. Both teams showed changes, but Coldstream seemed more effected than the Rangers with their defence shaky to say the least. In the 12th minute, following a nice piece of combination work between Gray, Galbraith and Borthwick, Swan miskicked in front of goal leaving Galbraith with the easy task of beating the home keeper. The game livened considerably after this, although Rangers continued to have the upper hand until the interval. On the restart Coldstream took up the running, much to the delight of their support, and Fairbairn hit the upright with Harvey well beaten. Then Atkinson sent Borthwick away down the right and from his cross Gray added Berwick's second with 20 minutes remaining. Coldstream reshuffled their front rank in a bid to reduce the leeway, with the Berwick goal living a charmed life at times. However, Rangers defended well and kept Coldstream out.

Having beat Coldstream in the SFA Qualifying Cup, Rangers were favourites to win the replay of the ESFA Qualifying Cup. However, Rangers were handicapped from the start when Harvey failed to turn up and Haswell had to fill his place in goal at the last minute. Coldstream piled on the pressure from the start in hope of catching Haswell out, but despite the pressure the Berwick goal held out until shortly before the interval, when Buglass floated a free kick into the goalmouth and Tocher opened the scoring. Coldstream continued where they left off at the start of the second half, but Rangers then took a foothold in the game and Atkinson was unlucky when his shot from the centre line grazed the crossbar. Only poor shooting was preventing Rangers from scoring with Coldstream seldom passing the half-way line for at least 20 minutes. Shots and corners fell to the Rangers, but without success. Then the unlooked for happened. From a melee in the visitors' goalmouth a speculative clearance up field found the waiting Tocher, who ran on with only Haswell to beat. Haswell saved his initial shot, but could not hold, and Tocher hit the loose ball home. Wakenshaw had to leave the field for "repairs" at this point and with the defence weakened Coldstream took full advantage. From another breakaway in a similar manner, Fairbairn centred nicely for Tocher to complete his hat-trick. Rangers looked to be heading out of the competition but battled. Johnston put in a low shot that Mitchell appeared to save behind the line, the referee agreed and awarded a goal. Gray headed inches past with a header when it was easier to score and a few minutes later Wakenshaw saw Mitchell save his penalty kick. With ten minutes remaining, Johnston breasted in a cross from Galbraith after which Berwick pulled out all the stops in search of an equaliser their play fully deserved but, unfortunately, time ran out.

The prospect of Berwick Rangers reaching the Scottish FA Cup proper for only the second time in their history brought out a crowd of 1000 to Union Park to watch the tie against Gala Fairydean. Rangers attacked in style from the outset, despite playing against a stiff breeze, and only the heroics of Wright in the Gala goal kept the score sheet decent. The Gala team was in disarray at the back, with Berwick making the most of the situation. However, it took until the 20th minute for Rangers to take the lead. A smart cross from Borthwick yielded a corner, and in the melee that followed Atkinson forced the ball into the back of the net. If Gala were lucky to cross over with only one goal registered against them in the first half, they had even more luck in the second. Playing with the wind in their favour, Rangers were even more aggressive, and play was very one-sided. Johnston put narrowly wide on two occasions, Galbraith thrice, Blythe twice, Atkinson twice and Wakenshaw once. Atkinson also hit the upright and Wilson had a goal disallowed for offside, but the Gala defence held out until the whistle blew on a narrow 1-0 Berwick victory that secured their place in the Scottish Cup proper on reaching the third round.

In a break from cup competition Rangers travelled to Stenhouse Mills, Edinburgh, to face the Civil Service Strollers in a League fixture. Berwick had team raising difficulties and as a result the kick-off was delayed until 4 pm. Owing to a heavy downpour of rain earlier in the afternoon the ground was waterlogged, and it was a while before play became settled. Ritchie sent a long ball through for Primrose, who was given far too much time on the ball by the static Berwick defence, to centre for Forbes to open the scoring. The Strollers then upped the pace, which began to tell on the tiring legs of the Rangers, and the Berwick goal fell for a second time when Bonar worked his way through the defence before unleashing a piercing shot with which Harvey stood little chance. After the interval, and a welcomed break from the heavy pitch, Rangers went tooth and nail to improve their position. Wilson was desperately unlucky to see his 30-yard free kick hit the crossbar. Berwick forced several corners, but the home defence stood firm. The Strollers managed to raise the siege and mount an attack. There did not look any danger in the initial moves, but when Bonar tried a ground shot Benton got in the way and unfortunately steered the ball past Harvey to register an own goal. Three goals ahead and content with their position the Strollers played the safety game whenever the Rangers threatened, but at the final whistle the three-goal margin fair flattered the winners.

October

The populace from the outlying towns and villages, including rivals from Coldstream, travelled to Union Park to watch Berwick Rangers entertain Scottish Football League Third Division side, Brechin City, in the third round of the SFA Qualifying Cup. An estimated crowd of 1600 were in attendance as the game opened on quite lines with play equal. However, in the 25th minute, following a goalmouth melee, Atkinson drove the ball into the corner of the net to put the Rangers a goal a head, which, on the run of play up until that point they just about deserved. The Berwick forwards were frequently dangerous down the right, but lacked the killer punch; Brechin, on the other hand, were always on the alert and had several long-range shots, none of which seemed to trouble Harvey. Brechin began to press towards the interval, but the danger was easily cleared by the home defence. Rangers certainly hand the better of the second half exchanges, winning corner after corner, but were caught out by the sucker punch when a misunderstanding in the home defence left Smith with an open goal – and he made no mistake. Berwick launched a ferocious attack on the Brechin goal in a bid to regain the lead. Johnston came closest when he rattled the crossbar with a great shot, but the Brechin defence held out for a replay and Berwick's home advantage was lost.

In the replay at Glebe Park a week later, City were first to press with Wright sending narrowly wide and only a last-ditch challenge by Spence preventing Smith from scoring. However, from a break down the Rangers' right, Gilchrist opened Berwick's account against the run of play with a stunning shot. Brechin replied with force, and a great pass by Taylor saw Smith equalise for the home side. Brechin were by far the better side up until this point and Rangers were luck to keep the score level. More luck went Berwick's way when a mistake by McCallum gave Gray the chance to put the Rangers ahead again – which he did with a compose shot into the net. Berwick were forced on the back foot for most of the second half and it came as no surprise when Smith equalised following a lovely piece of work from the centre circle. A dangerous cross by Gentle was fisted out by Harvey and the resultant corner was well defended as Brechin sought to gradually wear the Rangers down. Wright was doubly unlucky to see his shot hit the woodwork and rebound back into play, but seven minutes from the end the breakthrough finally came when Milne beat Harvey with a fast, low shot. Rangers now played for all they were worth with Gilchrist and Campbell going extremely close, but the whistle blew time out, much to the relief of the Brechin players and supporters who gave Berwick credit for their battling performance.

In the first round of the King Cup at a gale lashed Ettrick Park, Selkirk, with the elements in their favour, set a fast pace with Forrester and Douglas both testing Harvey in the opening stages. The home side took the lead when James Johnston scored from a Simpson pass, and a few minutes later the same player added a second. Selkirk were three goals clear, soon after, when Johnston completed his hat-trick with a fine 30th minute strike. Rangers began to gain ground, despite playing against the wind, and got a somewhat lucky goal when Gray kicked the ball against a home defender's back and the rebounded landed in the net. Luck again came Berwick's way when Longbone's corner-kick caught an eddy of wind and floated directly into the net. In the second half, with the gale wind at their backs, Rangers monopolised the play. Blythe scored with a free kick from 30 yards to level the score. Gray then put Berwick in the lead with a well taken goal, and towards the end of the match, Atkinson, from fully 40 yards, beat Mills with an unstoppable shot to put the Rangers two ahead. Harvey saved a penalty kick just as Selkirk made a late flurry, but it was too little too late with the 5-3 scoreline being a fair reflection of the afternoon's proceedings, in which the wind played a major part throughout.

Nobody could dispute Berwick's superiority when they beat Vale of Leithen in the second round of the King Cup, on 31st October, the last ever match played at the Union Park. The opening exchanges pointed to a fast and entertaining game, the visitors holding a slight edge. However, as the game progressed Rangers began to take control, and it seemed only a matter of time until a goal would come their way. It fell to Blythe; he caught Anderson's "fist away" and made no mistake with a low shot. A second goal came soon after when Gray picked up a neat pass by Campbell and crashed it past a stranded Anderson. After a lively start to the second half Vale were forced back on the defensive. Longbone scored a third goal when he cleverly rounded the backs and left Anderson helpless with a neat 15-yard shot. Vale smartened up after this further reverse and notched a very quick goal; Turner finishing off a fine move by beating Harvey straight from the kick-off. This was no flash in the pan, however, as the Vale were not long in returning to attack. The home defence seemed to lose their grip on the game and Turner worked his way through to score a second. Rangers rallied again and Wakenshaw had a good drive stopped by Anderson, but the goalkeeper failed to clear and Borthwick rushed into put Rangers 4-2 ahead. Both sides missed good chances late on; however, Borthwick put the issue beyond all doubt when he notched a fifth past Anderson the final minutes.

November

Gala Fairydean entertained and defeated the Rangers in League at Galashiels match where the weather and ground conditions influenced proceedings. There was not the slightest doubt on the overall play that the better team won; Gala wiping out the Rangers' single goal lead of the first half after which they never looked back. In the opening half Rangers, playing with the wind and slope, had the advantage and gained the lead just before the interval when their forward line broke through in convincing style and Campbell finished off with a smart header into the net. Harvey had his work cut out after the interval as Gala staged a relentless attack on the Berwick goal. Arnold headed through following a brilliant cross by Anderson to square the game, and Bowie was not long in adding a second to give Gala the lead. Harvey, who was severely tested for some time, merited the applause of the crowd when he expertly tipped the ball over the bar following a good attempt by Arnold, but he eventually succumbed to Lowe, who sent in an unstoppable shot to seal both points for the Gala team.

A fast and interesting game was the result of a League meeting between Vale of Leithen and Berwick Rangers at Innerleithen. On this occasion, unlike the earlier cup encounter between the teams, Vale were far nippier than the Rangers and fully deserved their victory. However, it was Berwick who took the lead, much against the run of play, when a strong raid resulted in a corner from which Atkinson scored. Vale, however, were not kept out for long. Pearce, from fully 25 yards, netted with an unstoppable shot to level the score and Turner put the home ahead a few minutes later. Spence and Crombie broke up several Vale attacks early in the second half, but in the process a penalty was conceded from which Turner increased the lead further. The home side had the bulk of the play, and a good forward movement saw Ferguson register a fourth goal. Harvey then saved well from Currie and Euman before a late breakaway by the Rangers saw Campbell score Berwick's second.

After two League defeats, which seriously damaged their championship aspirations, Berwick returned to winning ways when they inflicted a crushing 7-1 defeat on Selkirk, in the first match back at Shielfield. The turf was somewhat rough, but the ground overall was a vast improvement on the Union Park for both players and spectators alike. A small shed had been made ready as changing quarters and the committee fully intended to make more improvements when finances allowed. Due to the late kick-off time of 2.30 only 35 minutes of each half was played. The weather was bitterly cold with a strong cross wind that was if anything beneficial to the Selkirk team in the first half, but after a smart opening attack by the visitors Rangers began to take control. Fine passing work between Blythe and Campbell gave Gray the opportunity to open the scoring with a hard and fast shot. However, after a period of end-to-end football, during which Berwick forced three corners and Selkirk one, a penalty was awarded to the visitors from which Brown levelled the score. From the kick-off Rangers attacked immediately; a scuffle broke out in the goalmouth and a penalty was awarded from which Wakenshaw put Rangers back in the lead, albeit at the second attempt. Rangers upped the pressure and shortly before the interval Longbone put them further ahead with a third from close range. Selkirk went to pieces in the second half. Within half-a-minute's play Borthwick scored a fourth as Selkirk were penned back and Wakenshaw soon added a fifth with a lovely 30-yard free kick that Newhall misjudged. Gray, Campbell, Atkinson and Longbone all went close before a sixth goal was scored by Blythe. The last half of the match was a fiasco. The Rangers' goal was left unattended with Harvey, who had never touched the ball during the second half, standing away from the posts in his overcoat, chatting to a few friends. On one occasion he had to "off" his coat and hurry back into goal, but the attack fizzled out and he coolly returned to continue his conversation. Nearing the end, it was simply a "shoot-out" and a seventh goal was scored by Gray.

December

Gala Fairydean provided the opposition in the semi-final round of the King Cup at Shielfield. The game opened on fast lines with each end visited in turn. Within two minutes Rangers were ahead after some forceful work by Borthwick had put Longbone in a favourable position. Being early in arrears, Gala attacked the Berwick goal with zest and a miskick by Crombie let Arnold in to equalise. Hard end-to-end football now became the norm. Wright in the Gala goal was playing a great game; however, he was lucky when Gray's shot struck the underside of the bar and rebounded clear. A few minutes later he stopped a stinging shot from Longbone, but only succeeded in pushing it to Gray, who chipped the ball over him and into the net. Gala returned to the attack and were not long in levelling for a second time when Harvey stopped a shot but was blinded by the sun, the ball dropped kindly, and Arnold rushed in to score. The second half was played in much the same vein as the first: hard and fast. Bowie shaved the upright for Gala, but Rangers gradually wore their opponents down and another goal was their just deserve. Borthwick struck the crossbar and Campbell, catching the rebound, made no mistake. Berwick were now playing neat football and the Gala defence was in disarray. Corner after corner was won by the home side and from one of these Blythe headed in a fourth. Campbell had a couple of goals disallowed, after which a little ill feeling crept into the game with players of both sides wishing to fight. Fouls were committed frequently as Rangers over ran the Gala defence, and it came as no surprise when two further goals were added by Gray before the finish.

For the second year running Berwick Rangers succeeded in getting a leading Scottish team to visit the town for a Christmas Day friendly, with Heart of Midlothian being this year's visitors. However, Rangers gave a poor performance, against a Hearts team consisting of mainly their Scottish Alliance League team, and suffered a humiliating 9-2 defeat, which by no means flattered the Edinburgh team. Hearts made the most of their advantage in the first half when playing downhill, with four goals in half-an-hour, and were 5-0 up by half-time. McMillan rattled the crossbar early on as Hearts confirmed that they were not taking the game lightly, and only bad luck was preventing them from opening the score. McMillan eventually broke the spell with a hard and fast shot with which Harvey stood little chance. Rangers could make little headway, travelling over the half-way line only twice in the opening half, and it came as no surprise when McMillan added another, although this time Harvey was at fault. He stopped the shot but dropped the ball and it rolled over the line. McMillan scored a superb solo goal to complete his hat-trick, dancing around Harvey before picking his spot, as the goals now came quick and fast. McNeil converted a smart cross from Cameron for number four and King diverted the ball out of Harvey's reach for the fifth just before the interval. Berwick opened the second half in better style, but Hearts soon broke them down and Marshall scored a sixth from a Cameron cross. Rangers then fought their way into Hearts' territory and, after forcing a series of corners, the ball travelled to Wakenshaw who nearly broke the netting with a fierce shot to open their account, much to the delight of the two thousand plus crowd. Cameron and Johnston added more goals before Rangers got their second when Campbell broke through and capped a fine run by putting the ball well out of Gilfillan's reach. However, straight from the kick-off Hearts raced up field and scored goal number nine when Johnston's well-struck shot travelled between Harvey's legs and into the net.

Rangers gave a much-improved performance against Coldstream in a Boxing Day League match at Shielfield, but with a much weaker side. Atkinson, Campbell and Harvey were all missing, with Benton, Roughead and Hogg taking their places in a reshuffled line up. Berwick settled down quickly with Benton and Blythe working a clever opening that allowed Gray to open the scoring in only the 4th minute. However, Coldstream soon found their feet and equalised when Hogg failed to hold Ford's shot and Dobbie bundled the ball into the net. Mitchell, the visiting keeper, made several fine saves as Rangers retaliated, but he could only part clear Blythe's cross from near the corner line and Gray followed up to challenge the keeper before tipping the ball over him into the net. Mitchell was hurt in the challenge and was replaced by his brother, who was playing at left-half. A man short Coldstream were severely weakened and nearing the interval Longbone scored with a 20-yard shot that gave young Mitchell no earthly chance. The second half was a rather scrappy affair. Mitchell, having recovered, returned to the field, but in an outfield position, and with a full complement they made a great effort to reduce the lead. After a spell of constant pressure R. Mitchell scored the visitors' second with well hit shot and it looked odds on that Coldstream would equalise. However, Gray beat Buglass by a short neck in a race for the ball and with Mitchell stranded out of his goal he coolly slotted the ball home to make certain a Berwick win.

January

A team representing the West of Scotland Amateur League – the West of Scotland Amateurs fully deserved their 4-1 win. Play in the opening stages was keenly fought with both sides showing neat touches, but once the Amateurs settled down their superiority soon showed. There was an obvious weakness in the home defence and the services of Harvey, as last man, were called upon on several occasions. Corners were plentiful for the visitors, but the Amateurs' opening goal came directly because of a mistake by Spence. The full-back let Stewart through near the goal-line and he scored from a difficult angle. A few minutes later McCracken, after a neat bout of passing, was left in possession directly in front of goal and had the easiest of tasks in scoring. The Amateurs went further ahead early in the second half when McCracken doubled his tally from close range and, with the home defence now in total disarray, the Amateurs scored a fourth when McCracken completed his hat-trick with a fine shot. With time running out Wilson scored a late consolation goal for the Rangers.

Rangers had the hardest of lines when they visited Coldstream in the first round of the Border Cup, with the game being lost and won with practically the last kick of the match. Borthwick nearly gave Berwick an early lead when his shot hit the upright with the keeper well beaten, and a few minutes later Blythe put past when well placed. However, Campbell opened the scoring on the half-hour mark when he fired home from close range as Berwick's pressure finally told, but at the interval they were still only a goal ahead for all their superiority. The second half started with Berwick back on the attack, but Coldstream forced their way through and equalised in the 55th minute when a swift move by the home defence allowed R. Mitchell to score from the edge of the six-yard box. Rangers hit back from the kick-off. Longbone missed when well-placed and Borthwick hit the crossbar with Wilson well beaten. Coldstream forced a couple of corners in response, the second from which Fairbairn gave them the lead with a well taken shot. The game was now a typical cup-tie. Hard knocks were given and taken by both sides with the play fought at a fast and furious pace. There was only eight minutes left when Blythe put Rangers back on level terms and a draw looked likely as both sides began to tire. Harvey fisted away a shot by Mitchell, while at the other end Campbell just missed by inches, but then came the final minute and disaster for the Rangers when Fairbairn found space in a crowded goalmouth and scored the winning goal.

In the first-round proper of the Scottish FA Cup, Rangers played Arbroath at a water-logged Gayfield Park on January 23rd. Arbroath had not been doing so well of late, having played six home matches in succession without a win, and Berwick fancied their chances of a cup upset. Gayfield was considered one of the best grounds in the second division of the Scottish Football League, but not on this occasion. After heavy rain had fallen all night and all morning the ground was not far from being entirely underwater. The west end was well submerged, with the turf being lifted in places into which the water was swept. It was this end that Rangers had to defend, after they lost the toss, and it had a considerable effect on the game. The Berwickers made a good start to the game with the Maroons frequently passing back to Stewart in goal for relief. However, the home side adapted better to the conditions – which largely consisted of judging whether the ball would land in a deep puddle and remain there or shoot off at a peculiar angle; professional experience was a great asset in this respect. Then, after ten minutes' play, disaster struck. Baird centred nicely and Hardie headed past Harvey to put Arbroath a goal up. A minute later Hamilton latched onto a rebound and fired in a long-range shot that cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and Cottar headed the loose ball home. Within three minutes Cottar had doubled his tally with a simple shot. This quick succession of goals had an un-nerving effect on Harvey and Rangers were now playing against the odds and after a series of corners Cottar completed his hat-trick. A brief spell of Berwick pressure was ended when Wilson put the home side five ahead a few minutes before the interval with a long shot that went in off the post. Even though Rangers conceded another three goals in the second half, they gave a vastly improved performance, much to do with the change of ends. Borthwick sent narrowly wide and Longbone hit the side netting. Arbroath soon put the damper on things when Farquhar scored the sixth goal, but Berwick did not lose heart. Wakenshaw livened matters by sending Gray through on goal, and in clearing Allison conceded a penalty for hand ball. Atkinson struck the spot-kick well, but Stewart was up to the challenge and saved at the post. Harvey tipped over an express shot from Kane as Arbroath resumed their attacked, whilst at the other end Longbone gave Gray a superb chance, but Stewart was again up to the task. Cottar missed an absolute sitter before Baird notched number seven with a simpler shot, and with time fast running out Black completed the scoring when Harvey got down to his shot but allowed the ball to travel between his legs and into the net. Whilst the result was bad enough the financial result was worse. Considering Arbroath's large support only 1700 turned out to watch. The final gate receipts were £50 out of which Rangers made a £10 loss on the venture. It was a big blow to the club's finances as the committee fully expected a windfall of thirty to eighty pounds on the trip.

February

The going was heavy at a rain sodden Home Park when a much-weakened Rangers team took on Coldstream in an East of Scotland League fixture. Coldstream, kicking against the wind, took an early lead when Rangers' stand in keeper, Stobbart, fumbled a shot by Mitchell and Tocher nipped in to score. Stobbart made up for his mistake with a series of fine saves from Wilkinson, R. Mitchell and Wilson, as Coldstream ran the show. Midway through the half, Wilson put over a fine centre from the last of a series of corner kicks and Wilkinson hit it home to open a two-goal lead. Makeshift forward, Spence, reduced the leeway a few minutes before half-time when he drove home a Wakenshaw cross. With the advantage of the wind Coldstream pressed throughout the second half. Crombie was forced to concede a corner when pressed by Tocher, which was only part cleared, and Curran dispatched a fine volley into the corner of the net.

Rangers played their first home game since New Year's Day when they faced the Civil Service Strollers on League business, in front of a poor crowd of only 300 spectators. Drastic changes were made to the team formation to stem the recent poor run of form. Berwick opened proceedings brightly, but the superiority of the Strollers soon became apparent. However, the home defence held firm until the 25th minute when Miller crowned some fine combination work by beating Harvey from close range. Only a few minutes had passed when Harvey only half cleared an in-swinging shot from the left by Forbes and Miller was on the spot to touch past the keeper for a second time. Rangers reshuffled the pack at the interval and showed a marked improvement throughout the second half, despite being reduced to ten men when Wilson had to leave the field due a knee injury. Longbone skimmed the crossbar with a fast shot and the same player later struck the upright, but the Strollers, who had slackened their pace considerably, kept their goal intact.

Due to injuries and work commitments, several youngsters were selected for a League fixture that the Rangers were fully expected to win when they travelled to play bottom-of-the-table Selkirk a week later. However, Selkirk were first to score in the concluding stages of a very scrappy, but even, first half. Play was much the same in the second. Lee scored a leveller for Berwick with a first-timed shot, after which it looked as if there would be no further scoring. That was, however, until the referee awarded a penalty against the Rangers for no apparent reason and Johnston converted from the spot to give Selkirk their first League win of the current campaign.

Rangers fielded a much stronger eleven when they faced Leith Amateurs in the final of the King Cup at Home Park, Coldstream. Crombie, Longbone, Piercy and Johnston returned as the Rangers gave one of their best performances of the season. Wakenshaw put a close range shot over the bar in only the 2nd minute as Berwick attacked strongly from the start. However, against the run of play the Amateurs took the lead when Scott received a well-timed pass from Edgar and beat Harvey with a fast shot. Leith were unlucky not to increase their lead when Dawson broke loose only to shoot over the bar with only Harvey to beat. Several good chances then went a-begging for Berwick and with half-time fast approaching it looked as if they were going to change ends a goal down; however, Longbone thought otherwise; getting possession in midfield, he raced up the right wing and sent over a perfect cross for Johnston to put the teams on level terms. End-to-end football was the run of the game in the second half. Longbone came close to giving Berwick the lead when he skimmed the crossbar with a fierce shot, while at the other end both Ayre and Crombie had a busy time of it in keeping the Amateurs at bay. Leith were certainly playing the better football, but Berwick held them back. Two minutes from time Rangers mounted a late raid on the Leith goal and were awarded a penalty when Douglas handled in the area. It looked like a certain winner when Wakenshaw stepped up to take the kick, but he drove the ball straight into Stewart's hands and the chance was gone. With just seconds remaining, Desson hit the woodwork with a first-time volley as Leith mounted a last gasp attack to avoid a replay.

March

Rangers won their first match in seven league and cup encounters when they defeated Vale of Leithen 3-1 at Shielfield on 6th March. The game did not reach the heights of the Leith game, but was notable for the debut Gillings, Berwick's new centre-forward. Gillings had played for Newcastle United Reserves and Alnwick United, from where he signed for the Rangers. Berwick had the pull of the game and were often in the visitors' half despite playing against a strong wind. In the 12th minute, after a splendid run down the right, Longbone put over a perfect cross for Gillings to take in his stride before banging the ball into the net for the opening goal. Vale tried hard to force an equaliser, but Berwick were playing well and kept them out. With the wind behind them in the second half Rangers gave the visitors' defence a hot time. Blythe grazed the crossbar with a superb shot, and Wilson saw his fine drive well stopped by Anderson; however, the keeper could not clear his lines and Gilchrist put the Rangers further ahead from the edge of the 18-yard box. Berwick then forced numerous corners before Wakenshaw scored with a 25-yard drive to make the points safe. The visitors scored a consolation goal from the penalty spot after Turner was tripped in the area and Walker banged the ball high into the roof of the net.

In the replay of the King Cup Final, played again at Home Park, Coldstream, Rangers meant business from the start. After three minutes' play, Wilson, gained possession in front of goal, opened the scoring with a well-struck shot. Leith had been taken unawares by this early onslaught and took time to settle. Gradually they worked their way into the game, and for a long spell they looked the better side with an equalising goal looking very much on the cards. However, Rangers fought back with Borthwick nearly putting them further ahead with a shot that grazed the corner of the crossbar and post. The interval arrived with the score at 1-0 after which Leith went all out for an equaliser, with Edgar and Crighton both going close. Harvey was called into action to save hot shots from Scott, Desson and Dawson, but by the midpoint of the half Rangers had turned the tables and the Leith defence was hard pushed to clear their lines. With time fast running out the game was still hanging in the balance; Leith were anxious to obtain an equaliser and Berwick determined to either get another goal or keep their opponents at bay. Then, with four minutes remaining, Gillings played a perfect through ball to set Campbell on his way towards goal. He beat two Leith defenders for pace on his way before unleashing a tremendous shot, which had the beating of Stewart all the way, to put the issue beyond doubt. After the match, Mr Arthur J. Cairns, as club secretary, accepted the cup on behalf of the players, amid jubilant scenes, before they returned to Berwick for a night of celebration at the Salmon Hotel by the players, committee members and supporters alike.

Rangers travelled with renewed optimism to Stenhouse Mills, Edinburgh, to play the Civil Service Strollers in the semi-final first leg of the Paul Shield, but they were soon brought back down to earth. The Strollers showed the Rangers the art of swinging the ball about and soon had the Berwick defence beaten. Hunter, who picked up a cross from Bonar on the right, curled in a beauty that beat stand-in keeper, Guthrie, who was in an unsighted position and stood little chance of saving. Rangers replied in spirited style, but Aitken was in fine form and pulled off a series of fine saves. However, the Strollers' luck ran out late in the half when Blythe snatched an opportunity and levelled the scores. Berwick then pressed heavily for the lead but were caught on the break from which Primrose picked up a return and scored with a deceptive shot. Rangers set the pace in the second half and Aitken twice saved from Blythe. However, most of Berwick's tries were from long range and posed little problem for an experienced keeper like Aitken. With time fast running out, a despairing effort by Borthwick deserved a better fate, the ball glancing off the crossbar and falling directly behind, and Rangers now faced a hard battle in the second leg knowing that they would have to beat the Strollers by two clear goals to reach the final stage.

For the return leg at Shielfield Park a week later both teams showed changes; Rangers were back to full strength, with Harvey, Campbell and Gillings returning to the fold, while the Strollers were two players short of their team. After winning the toss, the Strollers set the Rangers to face the sun as they hoped to protect their slender goal advantage. It made little difference, however, as the confident Berwickers took an early lead when Borthwick scored with a low shot, that McWilliam made no attempt to save, in only the 8th minute. Now level aggregate, Rangers began to play flowing football. They passed the ball around confidently and the Strollers' defence was hard pushed to stem the flow. However, when the home forwards did break through, they found McWilliam in fine form. Time and time again he thwarted Gillings and the only time the ball did pass him it rebounded off the post. Corners were not infrequent as far as Berwick were concerned but they simply could not score, despite having matters much their own way, and the Strollers must have considered themselves fortunate not to be heavily in arrears at the interval. The visitors opened brightly on the restart with Harvey having to clear his lines on a few occasions. Gradually the attack returned in Berwick's favour and Gillings was only a few inches wide of the mark with a pile-driver. Forbes then broke clean through as the visitors replied, but he shot wide with the goal at his mercy. However, the deciding goal came in the 82nd minute. Smart play down the Berwick left enabled Blythe to cross perfectly for Campbell who, after tricking two defenders, left McWilliams helpless with a low drive to put the Rangers two up on the afternoon's play and through to the final with a 3-2 aggregate win.

April

Newcastle Bohemians made a visit to Shielfield Park during their Easter tour of North Northumberland. After a high-scoring match played between the teams last year plenty of goals were again anticipated. However, the Bohemians attack lacked a little spice this time and it was left to the Rangers to do all the scoring, despite being short of five regulars, in a 4-0 success. After some fine midfield work, Lee headed in a Borthwick cross for the first of the afternoon's goals and two minutes later Johnston scored a second with a thunderous 20-yard drive. Continued pressure in the second half saw Johnston score a third and shortly before the end Lee scored the fourth after the keeper failed to hold a Wilson header following a corner.

Having been beaten in the race for the East of Scotland League Championship by Civil Service Strollers the previous week, Gala Fairydean fielded an under-strength side at Shielfield. Rangers, who were not at full strength either, were the more dangerous throughout and had the bulk of the play, their opponents attack lacking the cutting edge. A dashing run by the Rangers yielded the opening goal. Fawcus and Lee were the prime movers in the attack which ended with Blythe scoring with a hard and low shot that went clean through the net in its progress. Both the home wings were linking up well, especially that of Johnston and Borthwick. They gave a polished performance, with the footwork of Johnston a treat to watch. Johnston raised a laugh from the crowd when he stopped a pass from Fawcus and stood about three yards from the goal, as if inviting the goalkeeper out, before touching the ball out of his reach for a second goal. A minute later Johnston rammed in another with a superb shot from a difficult angle that left the crowd gasping with awe. Three goals up and cruising, Rangers let the pace slacken. Five minutes from the interval Arnold reduced the leeway with a goal from what looked like an off-side position, but the Berwick players did not object. Rangers extended their lead early in the second half when a cross from the right was met by the head of Atkinson. Gala's attacks were spasmodic, but when they did break the half-way line they were met by a stiff defence. However, for a period they were on the attack and following a corner Forrest scored a fine goal with a long range shot that went in off the post. Gala were back in the match – or so they thought! Lee broke down the left and when near to the goal centred for Fawcus to score with ease. Straight from the kick-off Lee again gained possession and from his pinpoint cross Blythe scored at the third attempt after Wright had twice saved. Wright was kept busy in goal and later saved brilliantly from Johnston and Borthwick. However, Johnston got the seventh and final goal with a superb flying kick that brought the season to a premature end.

Rangers were to have met Coldstream in the final of the Paul Shield. However, Coldstream were due to play in the third replay of the ESFA Consolation Cup final, which held precedence over any Border Football Association competition, and the match was to be held over until the new season.

The season 1925-26 had been a successful for the club overall which had been run on purely amateur lines for the first time during the last five years. They had finished fifth in the East of Scotland League; won the King Cup; reached the first-round proper of the Scottish FA Cup for only the second time in the club's history, and still had the final of the Paul Shield to play.

On the financial side the overall balance sheet was much better than the previous season's, which included money raised from a special appeal fund. There was a deficit of £8 9s 10d and the total debt of the club now stood at £214 10s 11d.

For the last three or four years the club had been asking the ESFA for a better share of the gate for home clubs but received no satisfaction. It was felt by the committee that the ESFA thought that it was Berwick Rangers' job to help keep the other clubs afloat. Last season's share of the home gate paid to visiting clubs amounted to £136 and away gates received £57, and the season before £159 and £89. There was no wonder that the club was not showing a credit balance.

It was thought by many members that the club could find more profitable means of filling in a Saturday afternoon than travelling to Edinburgh or the Borders. However, the question remained: into which league would they go? Admission to the Northern Alliance League had already been refused, and a season of friendlies with the odd cup-tie thrown in did not seem worth the risk. After a long debate at the club's AGM, it was moved and seconded that the club reluctantly continue in the East of Scotland League seeing that it was impossible to gain entry to another league competition.

Results
Date C V Opposition Res i
Aug 11 F H 4th KOSB Territorials L 1-2
15 ESL A Leith Amateurs W 3-2
22 ESL H Leith Amateurs D 0-0
29 EQC 1 A Coldstream D 3-3
Sep 5 SQC 1 A Coldstream W 2-0
12 EQC1R H Coldstream L 2-3
19 SQC 2 H Gala Fairydean W 1-0
26 ESL A Civil Service Strollers L 0-3
Oct 3 SQC 3 H Brechin City D 1-1
10 SQC 3R A Brechin City L 2-3
17 KC 1 A Selkirk W 5-3
31 KC 2 H Vale of Leithen W 5-2
Nov 7 ESL A Gala Fairydean L 1-3
14 ESL A Vale of Leithen L 2-4
28 ESL H Selkirk W 7-1
Dec 12 KC SF H Gala Fairydean W 6-2
25 F H Heart of Midlothian L 2-9
26 ESL H Coldstream W 4-2
Jan 1 F H West of Scotland Amateurs L 1-4
9 BC 1 A Coldstream L 2-3
23 SFAC 1 A Arbroath L 0-8
Feb 6 ESL A Coldstream L 1-3
13 ESL H Civil Service Strollers L 0-2
20 ESL A Selkirk L 1-2
27 KC F N Leith Amateurs 1-1
Mar 6 ESL H Vale of Leithen W 3-1
13 KC FR N Leith Amateurs 2-0
20 PS SF1L A Civil Service Strollers L 1-2
27 PS SF2L H Civil Service Strollers W 2-0
Apr 3 F H Newcastle Bohemians W 4-0
10 ESL H Gala Fairydean W 7-2

East of Scotland League

Home Away
Pld W D L F A W D L F A Pts
1 Civil Service Strollers 12 4 1 1 15 6 5 0 1 17 9 19
2 Gala Fairydean 12 5 0 1 23 12 3 0 3 16 17 16
3 Leith Amateurs 12 4 0 2 25 13 3 1 2 15 14 15
4 Coldstream 12 3 1 2 13 10 2 2 2 13 13 13
5 Berwick Rangers 12 4 1 1 21 8 1 0 5 8 17 11
6 Vale of Leithen 12 2 1 3 14 17 0 2 4 4 15 7
7 Selkirk 12 1 1 4 5 15 0 0 6 9 29 3

Appearances & Goals

ESL EQC KC PS BC SQC SC F
A G A G A G A G A G A G A G A G
George Adamson 1
Robert Armstrong 5 2 2
David Atkinson 4 2 1 4 1 2 4 2 1 2
John Ayre 6 2 2 1 1
Andrew Benton 4 2 3
Joe R Blythe 12 4 2 1 5 3 2 2 1 1 4 1 4 1
John Borthwick 11 1 2 5 2 2 1 4 1 3
Harry Campbell 5 2 5 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1
Harry Crombie 9 5 2 1 3 1 3
John Fawcus 1 1
Galbraith 3 1 2 3 1
James Gilchrist 1 1 1 1 1
Ben Gillings 1 1 1 1
John Gray 8 6 2 1 3 6 1 4 2 1 2
William Guthrie 1 1
Hanlon 1
Harris 1
William Harvey 9 5 1 1 4 1 3
James Haswell 2 2 1
Hogg 1
Thomas Jefferson 1
Alex Johnston 1 3 1 2 1 1 3 1 2
William Johnston 1
Kissock 1 1
Jimmy Lee 4 1 1 2 2
Samuel Longbone 7 2 4 3 1 1 1
McGlinchey 1
Michael Patterson 1
Arthur Paxton 1 1
Tommy Pearson 1 1
William Piercy 1 1
Ben Roughead 2 1
Smith 1
Jackie Spence 8 1 2 3 4 1 3
Stobbart 1
Andrew Tully 1
Turnbull Robert 2
Robert (Bob) Wakenshaw 9 3 2 1 5 2 1 4 1 2 1
Andrew (Alla) Wilson 11 1 4 1 2 1 4 1 3 1
Wood 1
Number of players used: 40