Results

1927/28: Silver Galore

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August

Rangers got their East of Scotland League campaign off to the best possible start at Selkirk, on August 27th, when an early Borthwick corner was first-timed into the net by Armstrong with only two minutes on the clock. Keeping up the pressure, they went further ahead in the 16th minute when Brown put the ball into the net with a fast, low shot. Selkirk tried repeatedly to breakaway but found the Rangers' midfield line in formidable form. Borthwick, Armstrong and Piercy were causing the Soutars no end of trouble down the right but was not until midway through the second half before a third counter came. A move down the left ended in a Selkirk defender elbowing the ball to clear and Wakenshaw made no mistake from the spot. A few minutes later Borthwick sent across a defence splitting ball which Blythe rammed into the back of the net. Selkirk now woke to the fact that they were four goals down and reduced the score slightly after winning a free kick some distance out. Buchan took the kick and sent in a high ball. Patterson was unintentionally impeded by Wilson on the goal-line and the ball sailed over his head and into the net. For a prolonged spell Selkirk had the Rangers' defence on the racks and looked like adding to their score. Smith came closest when he hit a strong shot that had Patterson beaten all the way, but the ball encountered the crossbar. However, Berwick regained their superiority and registered their first points of the season with a relatively easy win.

September

Fitness was the key ingredient to the Rangers' impressive 5-2 win over a strong Gala Fairydean side in the opening round of the Scottish FA Qualifying Cup, with the thousand-strong crowd getting full value for their money. The pace was fast from the start. Gala, kicking down the hill and with the advantage of the sun, pressed hard from the start, no doubt with the idea of gaining a substantial first-half lead before acting more defensively in the second. As far as the Rangers were concerned, however, they were wrong. They were as speedy at the start, while in the second half Gala were played almost to a standstill. Gala opened a two-goal lead when Monaghan, profiting from indecision between the home backs, netted with a good shot and Shand scored a second with a gift; Patterson seemed to have the ball in safe keeping when it eluded his grasp and trickled over the line. However, from then on Gala were hardly ever in the picture, with the football served up by the Rangers delighting the on-lookers. Attacking in determined fashion a penalty was awarded, but Crombie failed to score, the ball striking the outside of the post. Wilson then headed a Borthwick cross against the upright before Piercy finally put the ball into the net from a pin-point Wilson cross. A few minutes later Piercy equalised with a hard shot, before Rangers took a deserved lead just before the interval when Crichton could only fist out Lee's high cross and Blythe, following up, took the ball on the drop, leaving the keeper helpless. In the second half the home team totally dominated and were not long in increasing their lead. A shot from Johnston struck the upright and from the rebound Wilson headed home. Crichton made several fine saves from Atkinson, Borthwick and Wilson as the visitors were hard pressed to keep their goal intact, but after drawing the opposing defence, Blythe placed nicely for Piercy to complete his hat-trick with a fifth goal to seal the tie.

Having received a bye in the first round of the East of Scotland FA Qualifying Cup, it looked all over for the Rangers ten minutes from the end of the second at Clerwood Amateurs. A late penalty miss seemed the last word, but a remarkable shot by Blythe gave the Rangers a second chance. The Berwick defence was hard pressed in the early stages and although they held their lines well a mistake let Clerwood in. Armstrong played a safety shot back to Patterson, but Stirling intercepted the ball and gave the Amateurs the lead with a well-placed shot. Rangers rallied but Dickson was safe in goal and kept the Berwickers out. In the second half Borthwick and Johnston tried hard to open the game but found Clerwood stiff opposition. From a long Lee clearance, Rangers closed in on Dickson and a penalty was awarded for "hands", but Atkinson failed with his kick and with time fast running out the outcome looked ominous. After this escape Clerwood rushed the Berwick goal, but the defence repelled their advance and from a quick breakaway Rangers swept up field, brushing the opposition aside, and from fully 30 yards, Blythe levelled the score with an unstoppable shot.

By virtue of their slender 1-0 win over Coldstream and a place in the third round of the competition, Berwick Rangers qualified for the Scottish Cup proper for only the third time in their history. The match at Home Park was a scrappy affair for such an important cup-tie, with neither team showing anywhere near their current league form. Playing with a strong wind at their backs, Rangers had the better of the first half exchanges and took a deserved lead when Wilson's opportunist shot hit the crossbar and bounced back for Johnston to head neatly into the net. With only a goal lead at the interval supporters of the Black and Gold were not too confident. Throughout the second half, the Berwick defence was subjected to severe pressure, but Spence and Crombie stood up well to the attacks and frustrated the Coldstream forwards enough to prevent them from levelling the score.

In the ESFA Qualifying Cup second round replay Clerwood Amateurs opened in promising fashion with Stirling putting over a dangerous cross which Meredith just failed to meet, and Gardiner missing a sitter when unmarked and only eight yards out. Clerwood had a policy of shooting often and it was quite common to see them attempt shots from 30 or 40 yards; however, they gave Rangers little cause for concern as they were seldom on the mark. Berwick opened the scoring against the run of play when Atkinson found Johnston with a well-judged pass and he in turn crossed for Blythe to score from close range in the 18th minute. The Amateurs were unfortunate to be in arrears, but this did not put the damper on their play. They continued to attack at every opportunity, but there was hesitancy at the back, and it was to prove fatal. In the 33rd minute, a smart passing bout between Wilson and Blythe enabled the latter to literally walk the ball through for a second goal, but he unselfishly passed for Wilson, who sent neatly into the net. End-to-end football continued, but Berwick had now taken stock of the opposition and easily held back their attacks. A fine cross from Johnston on the hour mark was neatly turned into the net by Wilson as Clerwood were finding it increasingly hard to make progress. However, Gardiner managed to notch the visitor's only point of the game when he headed the ball inches wide of Patterson's outstretched hands following a corner with ten minutes left to play. For the remaining minutes they were kept on the defensive until the end where a late goal by Piercy from a Johnston cross sealed their fate.

October

Rangers travelled to Brechin City for a third round SFA Qualifying Cup match on October 1st. At the time of the kick-off the Rangers' players had no strips and only six had boots. Their kit hamper had been sent from Edinburgh Waverly to Arbroath instead of Montrose, but Brechin came to the rescue by loaning their reserve strip – black and gold striped shirts! Berwick, if anything had the pull of the first half, their combination and understanding being slightly ahead of the home side, but their finishing was woeful. Piercy came closest to scoring in the opening half, but with only the goalie to beat, he shot straight into Bell's arms. Brechin had Rangers penned back in their own half for long periods after the interval and were unlucky on several occasions not to take the lead. However, in the 75th minute, from a long clearance up field by Atkinson, Blythe controlled the ball and bore down on Bell. The goalkeeper flopped at the centre's feet, saving brilliantly, but the ball somehow broke loose; Wilson tried to force it home, but Bell pushed it out again and while Brechin claimed for a foul on the keeper Piercy tapped the ball into the net and the referee pointed to the centre circle. It knocked the stuffing out of the City players. Two minutes later Blythe was clean through with only Bell to beat, but the keeper rushed out and saved a certain goal, the ball hitting him on the chest. Over the ninety minutes a draw would have been a fairer result, as it was Brechin's second half, but it was the Rangers who got the necessary goal.

Corstorphine Amateurs were originally drawn at home in the semi-final of the ESFA Qualifying Cup but were obliged to travel owing to another team using their field for a Scottish Amateur Cup tie. Rangers took a surprise lead in only the 6th minute. Blythe picked up a loose ball and rounded a defender before centring neatly; Piercy met it with Cranston stopping his effort, but the keeper failed to hold and Borthwick was handily placed to slot home. Three minutes later Rangers were two ahead when Blythe forced the ball home following a corner. The visitors seemed bewildered after two quick-fire goals and fell to pieces. Corner after corner fell to the Berwickers without avail as they put the Amateurs' defence under severe pressure. In the 25th minute Blythe broke from the centre line and crashed home a third with a superb shot well out of the goalkeeper's reach. The Amateurs then showed a slight improvement and Smith notched their opening goal five minutes from the interval with a low shot through a ruck of players. The Amateurs reduced the deficit to only a goal in the 61st minute with a soft goal to say the least. Anderson shot at goal and the ball glanced of a defender. Patterson was waiting to gather on one knee, but the ball slithered through his legs. It served to awaken the Rangers after which they literally swept Corstorphine off their feet. Borthwick was unlucky with terrific drive and Blythe just missed with a header from a well-placed free kick. However, the Corstorphine defence was helpless in the 73rd minute when Wilson met Borthwick's fine centre first time to score with a fierce shot which Cranston saw little of as it crashed into the back of the net. With time fast running out the visitors received another lucky goal when Spence, in trying to clear a Wishart shot, misjudged the flight of the ball and it glanced off his head and into the net over Patterson's outstretched hands.

In the fourth round of the SFA Qualifying Cup at Shielfield Park, Berwick Rangers continued to add laurels to their name with a well merited victory over a strong Montrose side that had defeated St Andrew's University 10-1 and Clackmannan 5-2 in the previous rounds. Rangers attacked hard from the outset despite playing against both wind and gradient. Montrose could not settle and were being swept off their feet by Berwick's pace. The visitors seldom crossed the halfway line during the early stages, and it came as no surprise when home side eventually took the lead. Superb left-wing play by Flannigan, who had displaced Johnston in an otherwise unchanged line up, led to the opening goal when, after reaching the goal-line, he crossed neatly for Blythe to score from close range in the 35th minute. Piercy missed a gilt-edged opportunity as Berwick continued to dominate, but for all their pressure they held only a goal advantage at the interval. However, it took Rangers only six minutes of the second half to take advantage of the elements when Borthwick rounded off a neat bout of passing by dropping a looping shot over Harrison's head for the second goal. Four minutes later Blythe slipped neatly for Borthwick to out fox Harrison in a one-on-one to put Berwick three up. The Montrose defence was now in tatters and three minutes later Borthwick went through to complete his hat-trick with another well-taken goal. Rangers kept up the offensive and following a corner in the 61st minute Blythe scored a fifth when Harrison could only parry a drive from Piercy, and it landed at Blythe's feet. Four goals in the space of nine minutes had all but finished the tie. After Harrison had saved another Piercy effort Montrose raised the siege and in an attack on the Rangers' goal, they were awarded a penalty. J. Baird stepped up and made no mistake from the spot. Berwick attacked from the kick-off, but the last goal of the game belonged to the visitors. McNeil got the better of Armstrong in a tackle and shot speculatively from the touchline, the ball travelling through Patterson's hands and into the net much to the surprise of the entire Montrose team.

The ESFA Qualifying Cup Final at Home Park, Coldstream, against the current cup holders Gala Fairydean, was a typical cup final. Despite the wretched weather and quagmire pitch, the pace fast and exciting. Gala undoubtedly had the better of the first half exchanges and the Berwick defence was certainly kept busy. In the 17th minute, following a smart run down the right, Fletcher crossed for Stevens to open Gala's account with a shot that had Patterson beaten all the way. Gala increased their lead in the 25th minute when Christie's fine pass found the unmarked Webster, and his shot totally deceived Patterson when it swerved at the last second into the top corner of the net. After this second reverse Rangers took matters into their own hands and Wilson made an opening for Piercy to reduce the leeway a few minutes before the teams crossed over. Berwick began to dominate after the interval and at times had the Gala defence in dire straits and it was sheer ill-luck that prevented them from equalising. Wilson, Piercy, Atkinson and Blythe all tested Crichton whilst Flannigan hit the upright with the keeper beaten. However, Rangers' efforts were justly rewarded midway through the half albeit a scrappy goal to say the least. Piercy sent in a low shot, which Crichton was slow in clearing, with the result that a scramble for possession took place. In the melee that followed Blythe was judged to have poked the ball over the line as the referee, much to the annoyance of the protesting Gala players, awarded a goal. In the concluding stages Gala had to resort to defensive tactics and sheer luck to force a replay.

Rangers' nine match unbeaten run finally came to end at the hands of the Civil Service Strollers at their Stenhouse Mills ground in the fifth round of the SFA Qualifying Cup. On the day's showing, Berwick never rose to their true form and paid the consequences. Rangers made a good beginning and gave the Strollers' defence a busy time, but a lack of punch in the finishing department denied them a reward in the early stages. The Strollers, however, found goals easier to get and against the run of play Miller gave the home side the lead. Burns sent in a nice cross which Patterson seemed to touch, but Miller rushed in and turned the ball into the net from close range. Five minutes later McConachie made it two when he took a Primrose cross in his stride and left Patterson helpless with a delightful drive. Blythe converted a Piercy cross to keep Berwick in the hunt but, just before the interval, the defence was beaten again when McConachie score a third for the Strollers with a true shot from 20 yards. Rangers raised some hope midway through the second half when Wilson scored a second with a tap-in, but this only brought on a strong finish by the Strollers and Miller broke through to score number four. Berwick struggled on gamely without further success, while Miller completed his hat-trick with the Strollers' fifth with only a few minutes remaining.

November

The replay of the ESFA Qualifying Cup Final was again held at Home Park, Coldstream. Rangers were without the services of Atkinson with the veteran Bob Wakenshaw deputising. However, Wakenshaw proved that he was still a force to be reckoned with as Berwick took up the running and dominated the opening half. Both Armstrong and Lee struck the crossbar, but it was five minutes from the interval before Berwick's pressure paid off. Armstrong sent Borthwick and Piercy away down the right and from Borthwick's perfect cross Wilson headed neatly into the net. Rangers gave the Gala defence a few anxious moments early in the second half as they continued their attacking form. In a rare breakaway, Stevens tested Patterson with a stinging shot before Berwick's domination resumed; Blythe registering a second goal when he beat Crichton with a fast, low shot. At this point some ill feeling crept into the game, instigated mainly by the Gala players, and the referee sent McHugh and Borthwick off the field to regain order. Gala then came more into the game and reduced the score when Spence was forced to concede a second corner from which Fletcher sent the ball past Patterson. It was now Berwick who had to adopt defensive tactics as Gala pressed hard for the equalising goal but, with Wakenshaw a tower of strength at the back, Rangers held on to claim the Qualifying Cup. However, Gala prevented the cup being presented when they lodged a protest on the grounds that Flannigan gave the wrong address on registration.

Rangers added another victim to their lengthening list with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Leith Amateurs that took them to the top of the East of Scotland League with only two games played. Berwick were well worthy of their win after Leith fell away badly after a bright start. Rangers' opening goal came in the 18th minute when Armstrong sent in a dropping shot that completely deceived Douglas, who made no attempt to save. However, for all Berwick's domination they had to wait until the 18th minute of the second half to register their second when Blythe scored with a terrific drive following a poor defensive clearance. Two minutes later, a nice passing move between Wilson and Blythe ended with Wilson finding the net with a similar shot. The final goal came 12 minutes from the end with Blythe again the marksman.

After an 11-1 drubbing at the hands of Coldstream the previous week, Hawick showed several changes for their visit to Shielfield Park in the opening round of the King Cup. Many local supporters anticipated an easy victory for the in-form Rangers, but Hawick impressed from the start and it was not until Berwick opened the score that they finally began to settle. The opening goal came in the 23rd minute when Atkinson coolly slotted home from six yards following a corner and, five minutes before the interval, Blythe added a second. It took the Rangers only five minutes of the second half to increase their lead further when Borthwick sent in a good shot which Tait punched out only for in inrushing Blythe to hammer the clearance home. The Hawick goal lived a charmed life on several occasions, with the ball often bobbling along the goal-line and only needing a final touch, as the Rangers continued to dominate. However, Berwick seemed content with their three-goal haul which proved sufficient to see them through to the next round of the competition.

Rangers were on form when they took on Edinburgh University in a League encounter at Shielfield Park. It was evident from the start that the pace was to be a killer and Rangers, with the aid of the wind, were the pacemakers. The play of both sides was delightful to watch. Within 16 minutes there had been four goals scored and by half-time the total was seven. Flannigan scored for Rangers in the opening minute. Small stopped his shot, but the referee judged the ball to be over the line. Piercy headed in a second in the 10th minute from corner, and five minutes later Wilson found the net with number three following a bout of neat passing work down the left. Three goals in fifteen minutes looked hard on the visitors, but they did not look like a beaten team. A minute later Steven reduced the leeway when he converted a Bain cross from close range. The Student's second came in the 30th minute when another cross by Bain found Sommerville who made no mistake with a timely shot. The 3-2 scoreline at this point rather flattered the visitors as they had only been in the home half about half-a-dozen times. However, Rangers had now weighed up their opponents, and Bain was watched carefully by Lee. Three minutes later Piercy headed home a Wilson cross, after smart play down the left and, just on the interval, Atkinson notched a fifth. On changing ends, the visitors had a larger share of the play, but Rangers played equally well against the wind. The second half was 20 minutes old before Wilson gave Blythe the opportunity that yielded Berwick's sixth. The Students rallied and five minutes later Stevens scored their third when he headed home following a corner. With four minutes remaining a pass from Blythe set Piercy racing for goal; his shot struck the upright, but luckily Borthwick was running in and made no mistake with the rebound to score the seventh and final goal of the afternoon.

December

The quest for League points continued when Rangers travelled to Hawick. The team was weakened as Armstrong was unavailable due to playing a trial for Bathgate and with the veteran Wakenshaw unavailable to take his place and the half-line was reshuffled. In a well contested opening half Rangers scored the only goal when Crombie converted from the penalty spot after Borthwick's cross had been handled. Hawick made a determined effort throughout the second period and, after some hard work, Thomson equalised. However, some fine combination work down the Berwick right was causing Hawick no end of trouble and, after forcing a corner, Atkinson put the Rangers back in the lead from Johnston's well-placed kick. Towards the end of the match Hawick pressed strongly; however, a quick clearance by the Berwick defence set Borthwick, Piercy and Blythe on the run, and after some good interchanging between the three, Borthwick netted a third goal which effectively killed Hawick United dead.

The King Cup semi-final at Stenhouse Mills, which was also to decide the destination of League points, was a very poorly attended affair, there being only about ten spectators including the Press representatives. Berwick started brightly and came closest to scoring in first half when Blythe hit the upright with a low shot. The Strollers came more into the proceedings as the game progressed and had the better of the second half. Bonar missed the chance of the match when he first-timed a cross from Burns over the crossbar from only yards out and later McConachie skimmed the crossbar with a fast-travelling shot. Rangers replied when Johnston hit a similar shot from near the touchline only to see it hit the inside of the post and bounce out. However, with both defences on top it was not surprising that the game ended goalless.

There was a better attendance for the replay when a crowd of 500 turned out, despite the weather. Shielfield Park presented a wintry scene with the pitch covered in snow along with a hard frost that promised to add to the already difficult playing conditions. Harvey replaced Patterson in goal in an otherwise unchanged Berwick. Rangers gifted the Strollers the opening goal when a simple pass from Forbes, which the Berwick defence guarded casually, was headed in by Bonar and Harvey, apparently thinking it would go over the bar, stood and watched it enter the net. However, within three minutes Rangers were level. Wilson received the ball some 30 yards out and, after eluding Primrose, he beat Aitken with a high shot into the top left-hand corner. The Strollers were soon back on the move. McConachie gained possession just outside the penalty area and hit a beautiful shot which Harvey failed to stop to give the visitors a 2-1 interval lead. Berwick upped the pace after the break and soon had the Strollers on the back foot. The right-wing was making the biggest in roads and from a cross by Borthwick, Aitken could only punch out for Lee to level the score with a first-time shot. Rangers redoubled their efforts to secure the lead, but the Strollers defended in depth and at the final whistle a second replay was required to separate the teams.

In festive friendly Rangers were totally outclassed by Raith Rovers at Shielfield Park on Boxing Day even though the visitors were not at full strength. It was obvious from the start that Raith were taking matters easy, with the football being served up a treat to watch. It was not until the 20th minute that the goals began to come, and within a few minutes Raith had scored four. Deuchar opened the scoring with a rasping 30-yard drive following a corner before Beith followed suit and Ritchie scored a brace just before the interval. Rovers had things much their own way in the second half, although Piercy did manage to salvage some pride for the Rangers when he beat Muir with a fast shot midway through the half. However, Raith continued to serve up some dazzling football without any real exertion. At times it looked as if Rovers could score at will, but they kept their last two goals until the end when Beith scored the fifth and Smith rammed home the sixth with a shot that tore the net.

January

Rangers met the Strollers for the fourth time of the season when the teams played out an exciting draw in the Border Cup first round. Within five minutes Rangers took the lead. A smart clearance by Buglass was the start of some nice flowing football which ended in Johnston crossing for Piercy to score from close range. However, in the 20th minute McConachie scored levelled with a good goal which on the run of play the visitors fully deserved. Three minutes later the Strollers went ahead. A mistake by Buglass let Millar clean through to shoot past the advancing Patterson into an empty net. The Strollers, now in rampant form, hemmed the Rangers back and in the 35th minute they extended their lead when Murray broke down the wing and crossed for Bonar to head home. Rangers hit back and were unlucky when Borthwick's shot cannoned off the crossbar just before the interval. Berwick started the second half with a surge. Borthwick again rattled the crossbar shortly before the home side were awarded a 57th minute penalty with which Crombie made no mistake. Rangers now had the Strollers on the back foot, as corner after corner fell to them, and it was only a matter of time before the equalising goal came. A great shot by Atkinson in the 65th minute was touched over and from the resultant corner the same player notched the levelling goal. Under pressure, the Strollers adopted time wasting tactics as they played for time. Berwick kept at them until the finish and were unlucky not to take the lead as corner after corner again fell to them, but the Strollers' defence held out.

Rangers took to the heavy ground conditions in a League match at Coldstream much better than the home side, who were seldom over the half-way line as Berwick dominated the proceedings. After fifteen minutes of steady pressure the home goal fell when Blythe beat Mitchell with a fine drive. It was not long until Blythe added a second after beating the home backs with some clever play. Coldstream finally came into the game towards the end of the half. Douglas hit a 30-yarder against the crossbar and Reeves was unlucky to see his shot rebound off the upright with Patterson beaten. However, Rangers continued to hold the upper hand after the interval and in the 53rd minute Blythe completed his hat-trick. Johnston was next on the score sheet when he collected a Borthwick cross and sent in a shot that Mitchell failed to gather, the ball passing through his hands and into the net. Further goals were added by Blythe and then Piercy after which the play became void of any real interest to both players and spectators alike.

In the first round of the Scottish FA Cup, Rangers made a gallant fight at a rain drenched Volunteer Park and it was not until the closing stages, when fitness told, that Armadale made the game safe. Despite Berwick conceding an early goal the teams were evenly matched in the first half. Rangers were playing some clever football and their defence held Armadale in check. The opening goal in the 6th minute was totally against the run of play. Martin slipped a nice ball through to the unmarked Love and he ran in to score with a shot that left Patterson powerless. However, an equaliser was not long in coming. In the 25th minute Reeves went through on his own, side-stepping four defenders on his way, before beating the keeper. The second half was a different story, however, as Armadale exerted tremendous pressure from the start. The heavy ground conditions had sapped the Rangers' strength and they were obviously tiring. In the 62nd minute the pressure finally told. Love dropped a high ball into the goalmouth. Patterson attempted to fist it clear but only succeeded in helping the ball into the net. Eight minutes later, a run by Love caught the Berwick defence napping and he slipped a perfect pass through for Wardhope to score a third and secure Armadale's place in the second round.

The second replay of the King Cup Semi Final against Civil Service Strollers on January 28th was the fifth meeting of the season between the teams. It was a fast and exciting match with three goals scored in an early five-minute spell. There was an element of luck about the Strollers' goals, both being of the long-range variety. Patterson seemed to have the first shot from Blair safe enough, but the ball slithered through his hands and into the net. A determined runaway by Piercy saw Rangers level but Patterson then misjudged a high shot from McConachie and the visitors were back in the lead. However, Rangers now had the pull of the match and Atkinson was twice denied. They seemed totally out of luck when Crombie missed a spot-kick after Outterson had handled a near certain goal but following a swift break down the right from a Strollers' corner Borthwick crossed neatly for Blythe to head in the equaliser. The visitors open the second half on the upper hand, but Blythe was proving dangerous and when left in possession in the six-yard box he made no mistake to give the Berwickers the lead. The visitors then fell to pieces as Rangers pressed home their advantage. Wilson had a good chance of scoring but hesitated and Outterson cleared; however, he atoned shortly after when he slipped a nice ball through for Borthwick to net. The Strollers were now a well beaten team and from a nicely placed corner Piercy added a fifth to prove the point.

February

Rangers played the smarter football in a League match against Coldstream at Shielfield Park despite facing both the gradient and a swirling wind in the first half. Their defence was solid with Atkinson having a good game and, with these factors combined, it came as no surprise when the score was still goalless at the turn of ends. With the conditions now in their favour Berwick laid siege on the Coldstream goal and in the 53rd minute Blythe gave the Rangers the lead and two minutes later he increased it after some delightful build up work. Mitchell in the Coldstream goal was now a busy man, pulling off some terrific saves. However, in the 65th minute Wilson beat him with tremendous shot and five minutes later Blythe crashed home a corner for number four. Borthwick and Atkinson both struck the crossbar before Piercy, with five minutes remaining, turned in a neat cross from Johnston for the fifth. Coldstream's solitary goal came just on time when Johnston got through, owing to a defensive mistake, and Harvey made no attempt to save.

Berwick Rangers won their second trophy of the season in front of a large crowd at Shielfield Park on February 25th. Rangers, who were back to full strength with Patterson returning in goal, played with confidence from the start. In only the third minute, following some neat play down the right, Blythe headed on a Borthwick cross for Wilson to open the scoring with a low shot. Leith, however, were not discouraged by this early set back and in the 10th minute Crighton scored a deserved equaliser following a corner. After a period of even play Berwick took up the running and shortly before the interval, Rangers regained the lead when Blythe gave Hepburn little chance with a well-taken goal. Rangers opened the second half in aggressive style. Hepburn did well to save a fine drive from Piercy as a quick succession of corners fell to the Rangers. However, a defensive mix-up from the last corner resulted in a fierce melee from which Borthwick scored a third for the home side. Leith were now visibly tiring as the Berwickers kept hammering away, their only stumbling block being the heroics of Hepburn. Time and time again he saved his side, but the keeper had to admit defeat for a fourth time late on when Atkinson headed in from a well-placed Borthwick corner as Berwick fought until the last minute to lift the King Cup.

March

Berwick's chances of lifting the ESL Championship improved vastly with a 9-3 win against Hawick United and Leith Amateurs' 4-1 victory over leaders Civil Service Strollers, which brought the gap at the top down to two points with two games in hand. Rangers were never really stretched throughout the match and the three goals conceded were all due to lapses in defence. Although Berwick opened brightly, they were caught cold at the back when a miskick by Atkinson let Augustus through to score after only four minutes' play. However, the home side was not long in arrears as Wilson's goal bound shot was handled by Cunningham and Wakenshaw made no mistake from the penalty spot. Rangers upped the pace and penned the visitors back in their own half. Borthwick blazed over when well placed, Wilson shot just wide, and Blythe had a good header saved as Tait was kept on the alert. Johnston then had a hard drive blocked but Blythe made no mistake in the 17th minute when he beat Tait with a superbly hit shot. Piercy struck the bar and Johnston put narrowly over as the Rangers kept raining in the shots. Blythe then intercepted a poor goal kick and ran clean through to put Berwick 3-1 up. Hardly two minutes had elapsed before Blythe was again clean through, following Johnston's well-timed cross, from which he completed his hat-trick. A mistake by Wakenshaw let Augustus through on goal. To rescue the situation Wakenshaw fouled the Hawick man in the area and from the resultant penalty Augustus scored. Hawick reduced the deficit to just one goal after more slack play in the home defence gave Leithead the opportunity to score from close range. However, towards the interval Rangers did all the pressing with Tait saving a great shot from Blythe before Wilson scored Berwick's fifth. Rangers started the second half well and were soon on the attack. Hawick had a few chances their way but after Wilson had scored Berwick's sixth, they looked a well-beaten side. Borthwick was next to try with a shot that was inches high but a few minutes later his luck was in when he forced home a corner. Wakenshaw then scored with another penalty before Borthwick completed the rout with goal number nine from a Johnston cross shortly before the end of play.

There was little between Civil Service Strollers and Berwick Rangers in the early stages of the Border Cup first round replay, played under atrocious conditions at Stenhouse Mills. However, some smart work down the left wing broke the deadlock in the 15th minute when Johnston found a way for Wilson to screw the ball home from two yards to give Berwick the lead. After this reverse, the Strollers kept a tight grip on the Berwick attack and as a result the play was never far from the Rangers' goal, with Patterson doing well in saving from Bonar, Blair and McConachie. The second half was played under a heavy snowstorm and at times the players had difficulty in following the course of the ball. Nearing the end of the game the Strollers' attack collapsed, after exerting heavy pressure in search of an equaliser, and the Rangers took advantage. With two minutes remaining Wilson received from the right and ran through unopposed to beat Bridges. From the centre kick, a Berwick clearance sent the forwards away again and this time Piercy, taking a fine pass from Borthwick, scored Berwick's third and last goal.

Gala seemed to be ill-fated in their meetings with the Rangers having been knocked out of every cup competition in which the two teams have met so far this season. In a double header for the semi-final of the Border Cup and East of Scotland League points at Shielfield Park, Rangers again proved too strong for the visitors. Berwick were at full strength whereas Gala travelled with a weakened team. Some of their committee men filled the gaps and their regular keeper, Crighton, played at centre-forward. The opening exchanges were confined to midfield. However, in the 10th minute all that changed when Rangers forced a couple of corners and from the second Johnston placed well for Atkinson to head home. Berwick made ground from the straight from the restart and a bout of passing between Piercy and Borthwick ended in the former screwing home a 25-yard shot for a second. Rangers never looked back after this. Corners galore were forced without reward, but after 16 minutes Armstrong forced the ball over the line when Ward was caught out of position. For a second time Berwick increased their lead directly after the restart when Blythe went through to score a fourth. Rangers kept up the attack in the second half with Borthwick going close early on with a hot shot that rebounded off the crossbar and Johnston's following up shot was blocked. Ill feeling throughout the second period between Armstrong and Inglis boiled over with 15 minutes remaining when Armstrong knocked the Gala man off the ball in the penalty box and Shand netted from the spot. Five minutes later, however, Lee scored Berwick's fifth with an easy 35-yard shot which the keeper ought to have saved. Lee almost repeated the performance in the final minute, but his parting shot yielded a corner from which Piercy scored the last goal of the match.

Rangers travelled to Selkirk knowing that a victory would put them top of the League table and, with two games still in hand, had a real chance of the championship. Despite having the better of the first-half exchanges Rangers found themselves a goal down at the interval after forceful work by W. Thompson, and Crombie's defensive mistake, led to Smith scoring for the home side. Play in the second half was of a scrappy nature but Berwick had more method in their attack than the kick 'n' rush of the Soutars and it came as no surprise when Wilson levelled the score early on. A few minutes later two further goals were added in quick succession by Blythe and Wilson. Blythe quite obviously handled the ball as he dashed through the defence to score but the goal was given. Wilson's, on the other hand, was a superb first timer from a well-timed Borthwick cross. An infringement saw Rangers awarded a penalty. Crombie was entrusted with the kick but hit the crossbar and was ruled offside when he netted the rebound. However, a fourth goal was not long in the making after some fine combination work created the opening for Piercy to score. The home side then adopted some robust methods to reduce the lead, but the Rangers' defence held firm until the final whistle to claim top spot in the league with a hard-fought victory.

As Berwick Rangers' championship aspirations gain momentum, they became the first team in three years to beat Gala Fairydean in a competitive match on their own turf. The Fairydean ground was in a sodden condition and accurate play was out of the question. The Gala goal was put under immense pressure throughout the opening half and seldom did the home side cross the centre line as they defended in depth. Despite Berwick's dominance the score remained goalless at the interval. However, after the change of ends Rangers had the ground advantage and put it to full use. Armstrong and Blythe were causing the Gala defence all sorts of problems and it was only a matter of time before the breakthrough came. Crombie, intercepting a Gala attack, played the ball out to Johnston and after dribbling the ball up the left wing he crossed perfectly for Blythe to open the scoring with a low shot. A few minutes later Armstrong lobbed a free kick into the goalmouth and after some clever manoeuvring Blythe put Rangers two up and just a single point from securing the East of Scotland League Championship.

April

With a 2-1 victory over Civil Service Strollers, their closest rivals, Berwick Rangers gained the points required to claim the East of Scotland League Championship, an honour that they fully deserved after some outstanding performances throughout the season. End-to-end football was the name of the game in the first half as both teams battled hard for the points. Rangers opened the scoring after five minutes' play when Borthwick's well placed corner was played back by Johnston for Wilson to unleash a fierce shot that rebounded off the crossbar and Piercy rushed in to put the Berwickers one up. The visitors, however, soon hit back and Patterson was twice called into action to save the day in a one-on-one situation. Blythe then placed Piercy into a perfect position to score but somehow, he blazed over the crossbar, much to the disappointment of the crowd, as the Berwick frontline began to lack the finishing power for which they were later punished. A few minutes from the interval Strollers got on the move and McLeod, who had proved a source of danger to the Rangers' defence, sent in a fine cross from near the corner flag; Patterson fisted out, but the ball landed at the feet of the unmarked Gardner, who had little difficulty in levelling the score. The visitors played the better football in the initial stages of the second half, but their game collapsed at the midpoint and the Rangers besieged their goal. However, Berwick were still lacking the killer touch despite several close calls. This situation lasted until four minutes from time when Lee sent in a speculative shot into the goalmouth. Blythe was quickly onto the ball and headed home the winner from within a ruck of players.

Rangers were to have travelled to Portobello on Saturday April 14th, but the game against Leith Amateurs was postponed. The Amateurs gave up ground advantage with the game taking place at Shielfield Park on the following Monday night. The Leith side was severely weakened; five regulars were unable to travel and even the appointed referee failed to turn up. Local referee Mr A. Guyan took the whistle. Rangers were the more dangerous on the move, but their finishing was poor, and the overall display was unbecoming of newly elected League champions. In the second minute of play Berwick were awarded a penalty but Crombie shot past. Wilson then missed two absolute sitters while Shaw kicked Johnston's shot clear from under the bar with the goalkeeper out. After a goalless first-half Rangers were quickly on the attack in the second and their efforts were soon rewarded when, from a well-placed Johnston free kick, Atkinson headed home in style. Berwick continued to hold the upper hand and were awarded another penalty, but this time Atkinson blazed high over with a shot which landed well out of the field. Towards the end the Amateurs came more into the picture and at one time looked as if they might notch an equaliser, however, Berwick held out to claim the points with a single goal victory, their tenth in all competitions, despite a poor performance.

A toss of a coin gave Berwick home advantage over Coldstream in the final of the Border Cup as they secured their fourth trophy of the season with a deserved 7-0 win. Rangers took up the attack from the start and, from a well-placed corner by Johnston, Piercy headed in the first goal on sixth minutes. Such an early goal gave the Rangers confidence, and they kept the Coldstream defence under immense pressure. After 23 minutes Piercy extended the lead from the penalty spot following a handball in the area and seven minutes later Armstrong crossed neatly for Wilson to head home via the upright, with Mitchell helpless. Only the fine form of Mitchell kept the score at three before the interval and Coldstream were back on the defensive after the restart. After ten minutes' play Wilson and Johnston made a fine opening for Blythe to run the ball into the net. Piercy completed his hat-trick on the hour-mark before Coldstream finally got their act together with a short spell of pressure. Wilson resumed the scoring when he received a feeding pass from Atkinson to score the sixth, and in the 70th minute Borthwick scored a seventh. With the game just about over, Rangers sat back; Coldstream made valiant attempts to reduce the deficit; however, Atkinson and Crombie were on top form at the back and the game ended with Coldstream a well beaten side.

Considerable interest was shown in Edinburgh when newly crowned East of Scotland League Champions, Berwick Rangers, visited the Gymnasium for a Tuesday evening East of Scotland FA Cup Semi Final with St Bernard's. In the first half the home side made the early running but were held back by a stern Berwick defence. However, a bit of slackness by Armstrong let Moffat away; the danger was quickly cleared, but Swanson, standing well back, took a speculative shot that beat Patterson and the Rangers were a goal down. The Saints continued to press but it was not all one-way. Shortly before the interval, with the home defence all at sea, Rangers mounted a serious attack, but Blythe crossed too weak for Johnston to profit. In the second half Berwick took up the pressure, making several spirited raids, but their finishing was poor. Hilligan, in the home goal, was lucky to clear after fumbling a shot from Piercy, while Wilson flashed a fierce shot over the bar. With time fast running out St Bernard's made a strong effort to increase their lead, but they could not break down the well marshalled Berwick defence. Rangers fought back strongly but at the end had to admit defeat by the only goal of the match.

With their victory over Edinburgh University, in the final game of the season, Rangers preserved their unbeaten record in the East of Scotland League. However, they were a trifle lucky by scraping through by the only goal scored ten minutes from the end. The Students were quickly on the move, playing with dash and inventiveness, and the Rangers could not cope with the fast pace of the game. However, the Students might have had the better of the exchanges, but they were weak in front of goal; Rangers, on the other hand, were much more dangerous. A long dropping shot into the goalmouth was just missed by Wilson when he attempted to hit it on the drop, and later Blythe was clean through but skied over from only four yards. Berwick were reduced to ten men when Spence was carried off injured just before the interval. Facing ten men, the Students forced matters at the start of the second half and Rangers had an anxious time. Three corners fell in as many minutes and McDiarmid skimmed the crossbar with one. However, Rangers rallied and Borthwick banged the post with a first timer before Atkinson scraped the upright with a header. Eventually the home attack wore out and it was a case of all backs to the wall to keep the visitors out before dealing the sucker punch. A quick counterattack went out to the left where Wilson crossed neatly for Blythe to score from close range with ten minutes left on the clock. Minutes later Rangers nearly doubled their lead against the now disheartened University. Blythe was clean through and about to shoot when he was crudely brought down on the edge of the box, Atkinson shooting over from the resultant free. Borthwick had a chance in the final minute but shot past when well-placed and the whistle blew with Rangers keeping their record intact and brought the curtain down on their most successful season to date.

The season had been a success both on and off the field. Not only had they won the East of Scotland League Championship, dropping only a point along the way, they had also lifted the King, Border, and East of Scotland FA Qualifying cups. The team had again been run along purely armature lines, with only seventeen players used, and this resulted in a marked improvement on the club's finances. At the club's AGM it was revealed by Secretary A. J. Cairns that a profit of £42 0s 3d had been made from a total income of £491 7s 3d. The debt at the beginning of the season was £192 7s, and this, less profit, left an outstanding debt of £150 6s 9d. A supporters' club had been formed during the season, contributing £16 to the club's funds, and with this help there was light at the end of the financial tunnel.

Results
Date C V Opposition Res i
Aug 27 ESL H Selkirk W 4-1
Sep 3 SQC 1 H Gala Fairydean W 5-2
10 EQC 2 A Clerwood Amateurs D 1-1
17 SQC 2 A Coldstream W 1-0
24 EQC 2R H Clerwood Amateurs W 4-1
Oct 1 SQC 3 A Brechin City W 1-0
8 EQC SF H Corstorphine Amateurs W 4-3
15 SQC 4 H Montrose W 5-2
22 EQC F N Gala Fairydean 2-2
29 SQC 5 A Civil Service Strollers L 2-5
Nov 5 EQC FR N Gala Fairydean 2-1
12 ESL H Leith Amateurs W 4-0
19 KC 1 H Hawick United W 3-0
26 ESL H Edinburgh University W 7-3
Dec 3 ESL A Hawick United W 3-1
10 ESL & KC SF A Civil Service Strollers D 0-0
17 KC SFR H Civil Service Strollers D 2-2
26 F H Raith Rovers L 1-6
Jan 7 BC 1 H Civil Service Strollers D 3-3
14 ESL A Coldstream W 6-0
21 SC 1 A Armadale L 1-3
28 KC SFR2 H Civil Service Strollers W 5-2
Feb 18 ESL H Coldstream W 5-1
25 KC F N Leith Amateurs 4-1
Mar 3 ESL H Hawick United W 9-3
10 BC 1R A Civil Service Strollers W 3-0
17 ESL & BC SF H Gala Fairydean W 6-1
24 ESL A Selkirk W 4-1
31 ESL A Gala Fairydean W 2-0
Apr 7 ESL H Civil Service Strollers W 2-1
16 ESL H Leith Amateurs W 1-0
21 BC F H Coldstream W 7-0
24 EC SF A St Bernard's L 0-1
28 ESL H Edinburgh University W 1-0

East of Scotland League

Home Away
Pld W D L F A W D L F A Pts
1 Berwick Rangers 14 7 0 0 37 10 6 1 0 17 2 27
2 Civil Service Strollers 14 4 2 1 17 10 3 2 2 13 11 18
3 Leith Amateurs 14 5 1 1 20 8 3 0 4 18 19 17
4 Gala Fairydean 13 4 1 1 21 8 2 1 4 13 17 14
5 Coldstream 13 3 0 4 26 21 3 1 2 13 14 13
6 Edinburgh University 14 3 1 3 19 10 2 1 4 17 21 12
7 Selkirk 14 2 1 4 14 14 0 0 7 7 29 5
8 Hawick United 14 1 0 6 7 29 1 0 6 12 48 4
blank
Gala Fairydean v Coldstream not played.

Appearances & Goals

ESL EC EQC KC BC SC SQC F
A G A G A G A G A G A G A G A G
Robert Armstrong 13 3 1 4 5 4 1 1 5 1
David Atkinson 14 4 1 3 5 2 4 2 1 5 1
Joe R Blythe 14 20 1 4 6 5 5 4 2 1 5 4 1
John Borthwick 14 4 1 4 1 5 2 4 1 1 5 3
Brown 1 1
James Buglass 1
Harry Crombie 12 1 1 4 5 4 1 1 5 1
Thomas Flannigan 3 1 2 1 2
William Harvey 1 1
John (Ecky) Johnston 12 2 1 2 4 4 3 1 1
Jimmy Lee 14 1 1 4 5 1 4 1 1 5 1
Michael Patterson 13 1 4 4 4 1 5 1
William Piercy 14 7 1 4 2 5 2 4 7 1 5 4 1 1
George Reeves 1 1 1
Jackie Spence 12 1 4 5 3 1 5 1
Robert (Bob)Wakenshaw 3 3 1
Andrew (Alla) Wilson 14 7 1 4 4 5 2 4 4 1 5 2 1
Number of players used: 17