2008/09: Changes


Date C V Opposition Res Pos Att i
Jul 26 CC 1SW H Queen of the South L 1-5 655
Aug 2 L3 H East Stirlingshire W 2-1 4 570
6 LC 1 A Ayr United L 1-2 745
9 L3 A Montrose D 1-1 3 344
16 L3 H Dumbarton L 1-2 5 516
23 L3 A Albion Rovers L 0-2 7 269
30 L3 H Forfar Athletic D 2-2 8 390
Sep 13 L3 A Cowdenbeath L 1-2 8 375
20 L3 A Stenhousemuir L 0-2 8 446
27 L3 H Annan Athletic W 3-0 8 502
Oct 4 L3 H Elgin City D 1-1 8 367
18 L3 A East Stirlingshire L 0-1 9 387
25 SC 2 H Albion Rovers L 1-2 259
Nov 1 L3 A Dumbarton L 2-5 9 673
8 L3 H Albion Rovers L 0-3 9 288
15 L3 A Forfar Athletic L 1-2 9 327
22 L3 H Cowdenbeath L 2-3 9 389
Dec 6 L3 H Stenhousemuir W 3-2 9 367
13 L3 A Annan Athletic W 2-1 9 447
20 L3 A Elgin City W 2-0 9 304
27 L3 H Montrose W 3-2 8 510
Date C V Opposition Res Pos Att i
Jan 13 L3 A Cowdenbeath L 0-2 8 282
17 L3 A Albion Rovers L 1-2 9 264
24 L3 H Dumbarton L 1-1 9 425
Feb 7 L3 A Montrose D 1-1 9 318
21 L3 A Stenhousemuir W 2-1 8 439
24 L3 H Annan Athletic D 1-1 8 306
28 L3 A Forfar Athletic L 4-5 8 382
Mar 7 L3 H Cowdenbeath W 1-0 9 523
14 L3 A East Stirlingshire W 4-0 9 438
17 L3 H Forfar Athletic L 0-2 9 382
21 L3 H Elgin City W 2-1 9 348
28 L3 H East Stirlingshire L 1-2 9 431
Apr 4 L3 H Albion Rovers D 1-1 9 323
11 L3 A Dumbarton L 0-2 9 702
18 L3 H Stenhousemuir L 0-3 9 390
25 L3 A Annan Athletic D 1-1 9 786
May 2 L3 H Montrose L 0-1 9 418
9 L3 A Elgin City L 0-2 9 429
Scottish Football League
Division 3
Home Away
    Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Dumbarton 36 11 5 2 38 13 8 5 5 27 23 29 67
2 Cowdenbeath 36 11 5 2 27 15 7 4 7 21 19 14 63
3 East Stirlingshire 36 10 1 7 30 29 9 3 6 27 21 7 61
4 Stenhousemuir 36 8 5 5 23 19 8 3 7 32 27 9 56
5 Montrose 36 8 3 7 23 24 8 3 7 24 24 -1 54
6 Forfar Athletic 36 6 5 7 26 28 8 4 6 27 23 2 51
7 Annan Athletic 36 8 4 6 35 23 6 4 8 21 22 11 50
8 Albion Rovers 36 6 2 10 18 25 5 4 9 21 22 -8 39
9 Berwick Rangers 36 6 4 8 24 29 4 3 11 22 32 -15 37
10 Elgin City 36 5 2 11 16 32 2 3 13 15 47 -48 26
Dumbarton promoted as champions. Stenhousemuir promoted as play-off winners.

Competition Results

Appearances & Goals

Managers: Allan McGonigal (to 8 Nov), Jimmy Crease (from 15 Nov).
Chris Anderson 2 16 1 1
Craig Anderson 5 2 1 1 1
Jamie Barclay 13
Steven Bonar 24 3 1 1
Stuart Callaghan 28 3 4 1 1 1
John Dillon 28 1 3 1 1
Jamie Ewart 35 4 1 1 1
Fraser Forrest 10 2 1
Stuart Fraser 5 2 1
David Grant 6 1
David Greenhill 23 11 1 1 1
Gary Greenhill 8 1 1
Darren Gribben 31 3 14 1 1 1 1
Graham Guy 20 1 1 1 1
Steven Hampshire 6 1
Robbie Horn 24 2 1 1
Andy Howat 1 2 1 1 1
Steven Kiczynski 3 1 1
Tommy Lennox 13 4 1
Ian Little 6 12 1 1 1
Jim Lister 9 1 1 1 1
Marc Lunn 2
Ryan McGurk 21 1 1 1
Fraser McLaren 34 8 1 1
Andy McLean 2 1 1
Peter McMahon 13 3 1 1
Chris McMenamin 22 2 3
Eddie Mearns 6 4
Dayne Robertson 2
own goals 3
Number of players used: 29


In his annual report, Chairman Robert Wilson described the 2007/08 season a disaster. Rangers had been relegated back to the Third Division after only one term at a higher level and were hoping to bounce straight back at the first attempt.

The Board of Directors took their time appointing a new manager to succeed Michael Renwick, who had been sacked after only six months in the job, and after a series of interviews Allan McGonigal was chosen to fill the vacant managerial post. McGonigal had worked wonders at Camelon Juniors, lifting them from relegation no-hopers into cup final finalists and promotion candidates in the junior leagues in the space of one season, but faced a much stiffer test at Shielfield Park. It was McGonigal's first time as a manager of a senior league club in his own right; he was previously assistant manager at Forfar Athletic, Stenhousemuir and Dumbarton. "It's a hobby, but I'll be professional" said the new boss, who aimed to make use of his vast knowledge of the non- league scene to recruit quality players.

New contracts were offered to several players who represented the club in 2007/08, including strikers Scott Gemmill and Andy Howat, midfielders David Greenhill, Ian Little and Stuart Fraser along with defenders Robbie Horn, Paul McMullan and Tommy Lennox. Robbie Manson was offered a pre-season trial to prove his fitness, whilst three players, Iain Thomson, Brian Fairbairn and Chris McGroarty were offered new deals, but turned the club down and moved on. Thomson and McGroarty signed for Stenhousemuir, Fairbairn joined Cowdenbeath, and Manson moved on to East of Scotland League side Spartans.

McGonigal, who had little time to assess the squad due to being away on holiday, took advice from the directors before releasing eight players – goalkeepers Gary O'Connor and Chris Flockhart, defenders Jordan Smith and Michael Bolochoweckyj, left-sided defender-cum-midfielder Stephen Noble, the experienced utility player Kevin McLeish, midfielder Mark Stevenson and reserve team striker Lewis Coult. O'Connor, Smith and Bolochoweckyj had all left the club on loan towards the end of the previous season and were not recalled. Of the three players on extended contracts only Stuart Callaghan remained at the club with Grant McNicol and Gary Wood being released due to work commitments. Stuart Fraser was retained but looked unlikely to figure in the team for some time as he recovered from his broken leg. Rangers made three signings from non-league football with the arrival of Whitehill Welfare goalkeeper Ryan McGurk, Jamie Ewart, who spent three years on the books at SPL side Hibernian, from Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic, and Jim Lister from McGonigal's former club Camelon Juniors. Lister had previously agreed to join Stenhousemuir but decided to follow his former boss to Shielfield Park instead. Ex-Gretna striker Fraser McLaren agreed a new 12-month contract to remain at Shielfield and was joined by proven goalscorer Darren Gribben (Stranraer), attacking midfielder Craig Anderson (Craigroyston), John Dillon (Stenhousemuir) and Steven Bonar (Stranraer).

The new signings marked their debuts with goals as Rangers beat Airdrie United 4-3 in the first match of their pre-season friendly programme. Gribben, Dillon and trialist David Grant scoring before Fraser McLaren bagged the winner from close range. Berwick then faced SPL newcomers Hamilton Academical and again turned in a decent performance as they fought back from 3-0 down to put a respectable 3-2 look on the scoreline. However, Rangers were unable to repeat their early scoring form and went down 3-0 at the hands of Alloa Athletic two days later as McGonigal looked on from the dug-out for the first time. A 2-1 victory over a decent Falkirk side brought the pre-season programme to an end after which several new additions were made to the playing squad. David Grant (Milton Amateurs), goalkeeper Marc Lunn (Livingston), Graham Guy (Cowdenbeath), Steven Kiczynski (Camelon) and Peter McMahon (Falkirk) putting pen to paper along with Andy McLean and Chris Anderson who both played for the reserves last season, bringing the number up to 22.

26. Queen of the South were the visitors in the first round of the League Cup on July 26th. Rangers were left chasing shadows as the Dumfries outfit controlled the game from start to finish and winning more comfortably than the 5-1 score line suggests. It took the Doonhamers only 12 minutes to make the breakthrough when Dobbie turned the defence and shot low to the far corner. McGurk pushed the ball away, but only as far as O'Connor who first timed the return into the net with a 15-yard shot. Dobbie laid on goal number two just past the half-hour mark when he cut through the home defence like a knife through butter and from his cross Kean headed home with McGurk completely stranded. Two minutes after the break substitute Little reduced the deficit with his first touch of the ball from just outside the box. However, on 58 minutes the visitors restored their two-goal advantage when O'Connor headed in from a corner with McGurk glued to his line. McGurk then pulled off two fine saves. First, he denied O'Connor his hat-trick when he raced off the line to block, and then a fine double save denied first Kean then Barr with the follow up. McGurk stood little chance when a defence splitting ball through the middle by Tosh was lobbed over his head and into the empty net by Kean in the 65th minute for goal number four. With ten minutes remaining the rout was completed when Barr headed in from another corner with the keeper nowhere to be seen.

Jamie Ewart in action versus Queen of the South on July 26th 2008.


2. Berwick Rangers survived a tense finish to claim a dramatic 2-1 victory over East Stirlingshire in their opening league fixture. Berwick opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Gribben capitalised on a defensive blunder to fire home. A poor attempted back header by Stephen Oates fell well short of the keeper and Gribben took full advantage by stroking the ball past the stranded Hillcoat. The lead was then doubled in the 28th minute, when Lister's effort rebounded into the path of Dillon, who crashed home a 25-yard first-time thunderbolt into the far corner of the net. Rangers looked as if they were going to take a comfortable 2-0 lead into the break, but in the dying seconds the game sprang into life. McGurk rushed from his line to deny Graham but sixty seconds later the visitors found a way through when Rodgers scored from close range. From the kick-off Berwick broke up field and McLaren was unlucky when his rasping shot rattled the crossbar. It was the visitors who had the better of a competitive second period with McGurk forced into making a series of excellent saves from Cramb, Graham and Gibson. Dillon had Berwick's best chance of the half but shot inches wide after he was set up by McLaren. A dramatic finale saw Cramb sweep the ball into the net for what appeared to be a last-gasp equaliser, but the referee ruled that the striker had used his hand rather than his foot, and he was promptly sent off for a second bookable offence.

6. Battling Berwick gave another creditable performance at Ayr in the Challenge Cup despite losing 2-1, in their second cup exit in just over a week. Rangers gave Ayr a run for their money but two goals in five minutes from Aitken and Williams just before the break steered the visitors into the second round with a 2-1 win. Rangers gave Ayr an early fright by taking the lead after 12 minutes when Greenhill raked in a low 25-yard effort. Ayr were stunned, but as the half progressed, they began to exert more pressure. It looked as if Berwick would hold out until half-time, but the home side equalised in the 40th minute when Aitken fooled keeper McGurk with a long curling strike. Ayr edged in front right on the stroke of half-time when Prunty set up Williams to score with a close-range drive. In the second half heavy rain made conditions difficult for both sides but Berwick held their own with Lister and Greenhill both going close. However, the superior experience and strength of Ayr enabled them to control the closing stages and they should have wrapped matters up late when Stevenson was just inches out with a shot on the turn.

9. In their first away fixture of the league campaign Rangers claimed a point with a spirited second half performance at Montrose when Andy Howat scored his first goal for the club seven minutes from the end. The home side grabbed the lead in the sixth minute when McLeod headed home a Black free kick from close range. Rangers thought they had equalised on 29 minutes when Ewart's header appeared to be over the line, but despite the appeals the referee waved play on and the hosts went into the break with their lead intact. Berwick improved in the second half and created a series of chances as they pushed for an equaliser. Callaghan saw his free kick go agonisingly wide, but with seven minutes remaining Howat scrambled the ball home to level following a corner after Ewart had once again out jumped the Montrose defence. Berwick finished the stronger and were unlucky late in the game when Callaghan claimed for a penalty after a handball, but the referee judged it was outside the box and awarded a free kick.

16. Berwick Rangers slipped to a disappointing 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Dumbarton as the Sons fought back from a goal behind to take all three points. Berwick were kept in the game by some fantastic goalkeeping from McGurk, but the keeper could do nothing about Dumbarton's two goals. The visitors had the chance to take the lead in the very first minute, but Iain Chisholm wasted a glorious opportunity. Rangers went ahead against the run of play in the 40th minute when Gribben capitalised on a mix-up between Lennon and goalkeeper McEwan on the edge of the 18-yard box and slotted the ball home. However, Lennon redeemed himself in the 55th minute by scoring a 20-yard equaliser after Rangers had the ball scrambled off the goal-line twice through McMahon and Dillon. Tiernan clinched the winner just after the hour mark, taking advantage of a bad mistake by McMahon. The home defender fluffed his clearance and presented the ball for Tiernan to score from inside the six-yard box. Dumbarton then survived an anxious final 10 minutes as Rangers rallied but could not find a way past McEwan. Dillon hit the crossbar with a fierce shot before McEwan made crucial saves from a Kiczynski header and McLaren shot.

23. It was an away day to forget when Berwick visited Albion Rovers as the home side easily defeated a depleted Rangers side 2-0, and to all accounts it could have been much worse, leaving manager Allan McGonigal lost for words at the end. Rangers were missing six players who would have normally featured, but this was no excuse for such a poor performance. The home side took the lead after 25 minutes when a drag-back from Barr allowed Walker to drill a low shot past McGurk. Albion should have doubled their advantage moments later when the same combination linked up well, but Walker's shot was this time well saved by McGurk. However, Walker was not to be denied his second of the afternoon two minutes after the break when he rose above the defence at the back post to head home a Harris cross. Albion should have added a third late on, but Walker headed over from close range for what would have been a deserved hat-trick.

30. After the woeful display at Coatbridge, Berwick turned in a much-improved performance to take a point from a battling draw against Forfar Athletic at Shielfield Park. Darren Gribben scored in each half, but it was not enough to earn the Rangers a much-needed victory as Forfar came from behind to secure a point in a 2-2 draw in which three of the goals came from the penalty spot. The visitors took the lead after 21 minutes when Russell was pulled down by Ewart. Former Berwick player McLeish scored the resulting penalty. Lister headed against the bar in the 42nd minute but seconds later got some reward when he made a surging run into the box only to be brought down by Dunn and Gribben converted a penalty confidently to the keeper's right. McLean headed narrowly over at the start of the second half whilst Tulloch hit the post at the other end as Forfar countered. Rangers went ahead on the hour when Craig Anderson was felled in the box by Kilgannon and Gribben crashed home his second of the game with a shot this time to the left. McLaren had a great opportunity to make it 3-1 when he broke down the right, but under pressure from a defender his shot was well saved by Brown who rushed off his line and spread himself well. The visitors equalised in the 79th minute when trialist substitute Gibson got behind McLean before rounding McGurk and squeezing the ball home from a tight angle.


13. Berwick slipped to another disappointing defeat when they went down 2-1 away to a Cowdenbeath side rated as the best in the league by manager Allan McGonigal, who expressed his frustration when he said a lack of cash was preventing the club making the progress he had hoped for. The Fifers looked to be on their way to an easy win after a great start which saw them score two goals in the opening nine minutes. However, Berwick fought back well and went close to snatching a draw. Cowdenbeath took the lead with only two minutes on the clock when Gemmell gathered the ball and worked his way into the box before shooting low past McGurk and into the net. Berwick were 2-0 down seven minutes later when Ramsay sent over the perfect cross for Fairbairn, who dived to head home from eight yards. Berwick then hit back strongly with home keeper Hay pulling off two great saves to deny Gribben just before the interval. Hay was again on top form as Berwick upped the pressure after the break, brilliantly blocking a shot from McLaren. However, Berwick's pressure paid off in the 60th minute when Ewart headed home from 10 yards following a Gribben corner, but Cowdenbeath held on to claim the points.

20. Ex- manager John Coughlin returned to haunt his former side as Stenhousemuir maintained pole position in the third division table with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Berwick at Ochilview. The home side made the breakthrough that their early play deserved in the 20th minute when Ovenstone powered home a Motion corner to put them in front. In the second half Berwick tested Renton for the first time through a Gribben effort from the edge of the box in the 64th minute after a good spell for the Borderers. However, the home side secured all three points from the penalty spot in the 76th minute when Dalziel sent McGurk the wrong way, after Lennox had tripped Motion.

27. The visit of league newcomers Annan Athletic to Shielfield Park saw Rangers blank the opposition at long last. The 3-0 victory was the first time in over a year that they had kept a clean sheet and their biggest win in over two in a match where they scored two penalties and missed one. Ewart opened the scoring after 20 minutes with a close-range strike after Callaghan's free kick was headed back across the face of the goal by Darren Gribben. The home side should have taken a two-goal lead into the break when, on the stroke of half time, Gribben was tripped just inside the box by Townsley and the referee awarded the first spot-kick of the match; however, Gribben saw his shot saved at full stretch by keeper Calder. After the break Annan, who never really posed a threat up front all afternoon, tried to inject new life into their attack with a double substitution, but Berwick's defence stood firm and any balls that did get through were confidently dealt with by McGurk. Rangers' second spot-kick came on 67 minutes when Dillon broke up the right and shrugged of the challenge of the keeper, only to see his goal-bound shot blocked on the line by the hand of sliding full-back Brown, who was red carded for his action. Dillon made no mistake with the resultant penalty with a ball to the keeper's right. Rangers were awarded a third penalty after Jim Lister was tripped in the 79th minute and this time Dillon beat the 'keeper by firing low into the left-hand corner of the net.


4. Rangers were left cursing their luck after seeing two vital home points slip from their grasp when bottom-of-the-table Elgin City levelled late on from the penalty spot. Berwick had held a 1-0 lead but missed a host of chances. A gutted Allan McGonigal said: "If that had been a boxing match it would have been stopped by the referee." City were down to 10 men for the last 23 minutes of the game when Wright was sent off for two bookings in as many minutes, but Berwick could not capitalise. McLaren appeared to have left his shooting boots at home as he missed a string of chances. In the 20th minute a long through ball found McLaren directly in front of goal but he was unable to connect properly, and his shot was deflected for a corner. However, from the corner Berwick took the lead when Dillon's cross was met by Lister who rose unchallenged to head his first goal for the club. Elgin's O'Donoghue fired in a low shot which McGurk did well to save but he had no chance with a Crooks effort from 25 yards that luckily rebounded out after hitting the underside of the bar. Berwick should have gone in at the break more than a goal up and it was McLaren who was the guilty party when he twice failed to score when being put clean through. On 40 minutes the visitors had to change goalkeepers when McNulty was forced to leave the field and he was replaced between the sticks by Ridgers. At the start of the second half Elgin came out the stronger but Berwick failed to take numerical advantage when Wright was dismissed in the 67th minute, for two bookable offences within a minute and they literally paid the penalty. Steven Bonar was judged to have handled the ball in the area when in fact it was at least a yard outside and Shallicker levelled from the spot. Jason Crooks almost snatched a winner for City and with a minute to go before McLaren's day of misery was completed when he somehow headed wide from six yards when it would have been easier to score.

18. Berwick again had off-day as they slumped to yet another defeat, this time at the hands of East Stirlingshire by a single goal to nil. The manager called for the senior players in the squad to take more responsibility as the team was developing a losing mentality. Former Berwick player Bolochoweckyj hit the only goal of the game for Shire after 10 minutes, but the hosts could have scored many more were it not for the excellent form of keeper McGurk. However, McGurk`s first action of the match was to pick the ball out of his own net. The keeper flapped at a Dunn corner and the ball landed at Bolochoweckyj's feet for the centre-half to stab Shire in front from seven yards. McGurk went on to redeem himself with a string of fine saves to keep Berwick in the match. He made a point-blank save from Derek Ure's shot after 44 minutes, and after the interval made a brilliant save with his legs from Rogers before tipping a Ure half-volley onto the post. In between, Cramb managed to hit the post with a shot when it seemed easier to score. The Shire's fine display was marred slightly in injury time when Ure picked up a second yellow card for dissent and was sent off.

25. Rangers again crashed out of a cup competition at the first hurdle, losing much needed revenue, when they were defeated 2-1 by Albion Rovers at Shielfield Park in the Scottish Cup. The result sparked unrest on the terraces as the fans expressed their concern at the way the club was heading both on and off the field. Manager Allan McGonigal, after only a brief spell in charge, was starting to lose the confidence of the fans, the players, and some of the directors. A strong swirling wind, coupled with driving rain made it almost impossible to play flowing football. Rangers had the wind at their backs in the first half but failed to take advantage of the elements and seemed reluctant to shoot from distance. In the 32nd minute Berwick made the breakthrough against the run of play when a long through ball from Fraser McLaren bounced over the head of central defender Benton and Gribben nipped and rounded Mitchell before sliding it into the empty net. However, Berwick's lead lasted only two minutes as the Rovers produced the best move of the game down the left to level the score. A move involving four players spilt the home defence apart with Coyne providing the finishing touch with a well-placed angled shot from just inside the area. Bobby Barr then shot just wide and seconds before half-time Marc Pollock clipped the outside of the post with McGurk beaten. There was no let-up in the conditions after the break and Berwick missed two glorious chances to level. First Gribben raced clean through on goal after beating the offside trap, but he dithered with only the keeper to beat, and the chance was lost and the second fell to Jim Lister who blasted over from close range late in the game. The winning goal, which came in the 71st minute, was a strike to win any match. Harris was more than 30 yards out when he spotted McGurk off his line, and he whipped in a superb wind-assisted shot which dipped slightly as it found its way into the net.


1. Manager Allan McGonigal released striker Jim Lister, who returned to junior football with Bathgate Thistle, and brought in loan signing Chris McMenamin from Airdrie United, who went straight into the side. However, Berwick slumped to a heavy 5-2 away defeat at the hands of promotion-chasing Dumbarton, leaving the club firmly anchored in the bottom two of the Third Division. Berwick were reduced to ten men early in the second half when Gary Greenhill was red carded. Dumbarton ripped the Rangers defence to shreds in the first period and it came as no surprise when they opened the scoring as early as the ninth minute when Paul Mcleod fired home from just inside the box. Ross Clark then stretched their lead ten minutes later with a penalty when a 40-yard effort by Murray crashed off the bar and attempting to make something of the rebound Clark was fouled by Gary Greenhill in the area. Chris Anderson got Rangers back in contention just past the half-hour mark with a well taken shot when the defence failed to clear their lines, but the home side restored their two-goal advantage just two minutes later when Stevie Murray pounced on a loose clearance by stand-in keeper Lunn and shot high into the net from 35 yards. Seven minutes after the break Clark made it 4-1. From a free kick six yards out of the left-hand side, he bent the ball perfectly into the far corner of the net. Gribben was shown a red card after being substituted for his gesture to the home crowd before Gary Greenhill saw his red for a foul on Lennon. Berwick's troubles deepened when Cusack added a fifth for Dumbarton after 75 minutes, picking up the rebound after Geggan had hit the upright, but Ewart put a better slant on the final scoreline when he popped up in the box to pull a goal back in the 83rd minute.

On the morning of November 5th, it was confirmed that a hostile take-over bid for Berwick Rangers had been made by a consortium fronted by the Berwick Rangers' Supporters' Club, who offered to purchase the majority shareholding of Chairman Robert Wilson. In a statement issued by the consortium it stated: "Berwick Rangers are the subject of a takeover bid this week following a decision by one of their own fans' groups to offer to purchase a majority shareholding from the current club chairman Robert Wilson. On the field, the team suffered relegation last season, and are currently close to the bottom of the Scottish Third Division. Only five wins in the last 49 games has seen gates start to fall, with a crowd of only 259 witnessing their recent exit from the Scottish Cup. However, a lack of confidence in the future stability of the club has led to the current offer being tabled." Bill Parkin, chairman of the Supporters' Club said: "The time is right for some changes to be made to the structure of the club. We really need to get fans involved at all levels, which is critical for small clubs like Berwick Rangers. We have several parties involved in this bid who are really keen to help turn things around." The offer was rejected by the majority shareholder although negotiations continued.

8. The uncertainty hanging over the club manifested itself in another dismal performance at Shielfield Park against Albion Rovers as Rangers crashed 3-0 in front of another low crowd. Rangers were overrun and outclassed by a far superior Albion Rovers side. Goalkeeper McGurk put up a good display despite the score and Dillon twice cleared off the line, but it was a lost cause with Barr and Harris destroyed Berwick for the second time in a month with a fourth successive defeat. Barr's brilliant running and distribution again tore the Rangers defence apart and Harris produced another fine exhibition of the art of finishing. Harris put Rovers ahead in the 18th minute with a 6-yard volley after Barr had gone past two defenders and cut the ball back to him. Rangers were unlucky seven minutes later when Craig Anderson saw his 25-yard shot tipped onto the crossbar by McCluskey. In the second half Rangers found themselves coming under more pressure as the visitors turned the screw and Dillon was twice forced to clear off the line. In the 72nd minute, Albion extended their lead when Barr fired in a low 25-yard shot that flew into the net off McGurk's right-hand post. Harris put the icing on the cake two minutes later with a wonderful 30-yarder which struck the right-hand post and flew into the net. There was a definite case of déjà vu about the goal as Harris scored with an almost identical strike in the cup tie two weeks earlier. Rangers were now a spent force and were lucky not go further behind when McGurk had to rush off his line to stop substitute Pollock's run and saved with his legs.

A deal was thrashed out which enabled the newly formed consortium to take temporary control of the club at which point manager Allan McGonigal and his assistant, Martin Mooney, stepped down from their positions. McGonigal had indicated that when the current directors left, he would move on. Jimmy Crease became caretaker boss with Ian Little as his assistant.

15. Any hopes of the team ending their recent losing streak were blown away by a last-minute wonder strike by ex-Berwick player Kevin McLeish at a windswept Station Park, as Forfar Athletic secured their first home victory of the season with a 2-1 win. The referee awarded Berwick a first-minute penalty for a push following a corner, but Dillon's shot was saved by Brown. Rangers fell behind on the half-hour when Forfar were awarded a spot-kick when Robertson was judged to have fouled Campbell in the area. Lilley stepped up and blasted the home side into the lead. However, Berwick were back on level terms within two minutes when Ewart powered home a header following a David Greenhill corner. With the wind advantage, Forfar upped the ante in the second period and Berwick had to battle hard to stem the tide. Ten minutes from time Campbell struck the base of the post with a deft header and with time fast running out a draw looked odds on, but McLeish had other ideas. Picking the ball up wide left and just over the half-way line, he made his 15 yards or so before cutting inside and curling a wind-assisted 35-yarder over McGurk and into the top corner of the net. It was hard on Berwick who produced a much better performance under caretaker-manager Jimmy Crease, in his first game in charge.

22. Despite a much-improved performance, Rangers shot themselves in the foot when they twice held the lead at home to Cowdenbeath but ended up pointless in a 3-2 defeat. Gribben scored a double in vain as Rangers twice surrendered the lead against Cowdenbeath and suffered their sixth successive defeat. The visitors pressed hard from the start, but Rangers took the lead after 11 minutes with their first attack of the game when Gribben beat Gallacher to a poor back pass by Adamson and rounded the keeper before scoring into an empty net. However, McGurk was caught napping eight minutes later when Armstrong headed in the equaliser following good work by McQuade. Gribben restored Berwick's advantage after 59 minutes with a first-time volley from a Chris Anderson cross, but the visitors were back on level terms just four minutes later when Gemmill made a 30-yard run down the wing before squaring the ball for Dempster to slam the ball home from the edge of the 6-yard box. With less than 20 minutes remaining Cowdenbeath brought on substitute Tomana, and his introduction literally turned the game. From that point on Rangers were almost permanently on the defensive and it came as no surprise when McQuade's low shot from the edge of the penalty box slid under McGurk at the near post to snatch all three points for Cowdenbeath.


6. With six straight defeats, things could only get better. Rangers turned the form book upside down when they pulled off a surprise 3-2 home win over league leaders Stenhousemuir, despite conceding a goal after only 90 seconds, and spoiled ex-Berwick manager John Coughlin's return to Shielfield Park. A delighted Jimmy Crease said after the match that the players had stuck together and had not let their heads drop. The visitors took the lead after just 90 seconds when McGurk's sliced clearance landed straight at the feet of Hampshire, who shot into an empty net. Berwick hit back on 18 minutes when McLaren won a race into the left corner of the box before rounding Bennett and firing his shot in off the post from an acute angle. The goal stunned Stenny and worse was to follow. After 30 minutes Rangers found themselves in front when a Callaghan free kick was turned into his own net by Thom, who was under severe pressure from Horn. Two minutes later Thom had the chance to redeem himself when he was one-on-one with McGurk, but the Berwick keeper spread himself well to block at point-blank range. However, Love levelled the score with a low drive on 67 minutes after another Berwick defensive mix-up. Ewart failed to clear his lines properly and the ball fell for Love just outside the penalty area. Stenny tried to up their game, but the heavy pitch made flowing football impossible with the ball often held up. Berwick were having more joy with their direct approach and the pace especially of McLaren. It was McLaren's persistence down the left that resulted in the winning goal with 14 minutes remaining. Bennett had rushed of his line try and thwart Gribben. The ball broke to McLaren on the left, and as the keeper scrambled across his box to cover, the striker squared it to McMenamin, who slotted it into the net from 12 yards.

13. Berwick followed up the morale-boosting victory against leaders Stenhousemuir with a 2-1 win at Annan – their first away victory since March. On-loan midfielder McMenamin scored a stunning winner as Berwick made it two wins on the spin. Berwick made a lively start, but it was Annan who made the breakthrough in the 13th minute when Neilson rose highest to power home a superb downward header from Dunbar's cross. It was developing into a feisty encounter and Annan were dealt a blow after 21 minutes when striker Archibald was sent off for a reckless tackle on Fraser. Despite their numerical disadvantage the hosts were unlucky not to increase their lead when Brown teed up Gilfillan who smashed a 30-yard thunderbolt off the underside of the crossbar. However, Berwick made their extra man count on the half-hour mark when Gribben's cross ricocheted to Horn who fired home an equaliser from just inside the box. Rangers took control after the break and on the hour Gribben's excellent cross-field pass found David Greenhill who fired just over from a tight angle. Annan were now toiling and a misguided free kick by Townsley found McMenamin who embarked on a mazy run down the right. His low cross found the unmarked Gribben who somehow missed the gaping goal. However, with twenty minutes remaining Little was introduced to the fold and after only two minutes on the park he made a run down the right and laid the ball off to McMenamin who netted a superb strike from 22 yards to secure the points.

20. A third successive win with a 2-0 victory at Elgin City was greeted along with the news that Jimmy Crease was to take on the manager's role until the end of the season. Berwick grabbed the lead when Gribben collected the ball on the edge of the box and fired home on 12 minutes. Elgin had a let-off when Gribben beat the offside trap only to hit the post in the 36th minute. Berwick continued to dictate play in the second half and went two up on the hour when McLaren set up Gribben inside the box and he slotted home from close range. Gribben missed a great chance to complete his hat-trick when he saw his 90th minute penalty saved by Malin, whose heroics in goal, with three tremendous saves when one-on-one with Berwick players, kept the score respectable.

27. Rangers produced a Christmas cracker in a festive encounter against Montrose at Shielfield Park. It looked as if their pre-Christmas bubble had well and truly burst when Berwick found themselves 2-0 down at half-time and down to ten men only 90 seconds into the second half. However, a fight back of epic proportions saw Rangers score three second half goals to secure a victory that was greeted with a standing ovation from the fans. Montrose looked on course for all three points following goals from Black and Davidson before Berwick's woes were seemingly compounded with the dismissal of Little. However, Berwick hit back with goals from Callaghan, McMenamin and Gribben. Black opened the scoring after 13 minutes with a 25-yard strike which McGurk got a hand to but could not prevent entering the net. Rangers had a lucky escape when Hegarty fluffed a shot at an open goal, but they were not so fortunate two minutes from the break when Montrose extended their lead when Davidson netted the rebound after McGurk had made a good point-blank save from Hunter. Two minutes into the second half Berwick's situation worsened when Little was sent off for an over-the-top foul on Davidson on the half-way line. Minutes later Davidson hit the bar with a header as the visitors threatened to go further ahead. Then the fight back came. Callaghan reduced the deficit in the 66th minute with a prodded goal after Kelly had dropped a David Greenhill corner. Four minutes later McMenamin pounced on a rebound, swivelled on the edge of the box, and fired home a low shot into the corner of the net to level the score. It was now game on as the energy levels rose along with the anticipation of the crowd and with only four minutes remaining Gribben, who earlier looked dead on his feet, pounced when Crighton failed to head clear a long ball played over the top to grab the winning goal. Gribben summoned enough strength to run through and place the ball past the helpless Kelly, sparking wild celebrations both on and off the pitch. So appreciative were the fans that they afforded the team the compliment of a standing ovation at the final whistle.


Berwick's remarkable up-turn in fortunes over recent weeks, with four straight wins, was marked with a notable double presentation at the monthly manager and player awards at Hampden Park by league sponsors Irn Bru. Jimmy Crease was named as the Third Division Manager of the Month for December and on-loan midfielder Chris McMenamin picked up the trophy for Young Player of the Month for all three divisions after scoring three goals in four games.

A deal to extend McMenamin's loan deal until the end of the season was completed with Airdrie United whilst defender Fraser Forrest, a former Berwick Rangers youth player, also joined the club on loan from Alloa Athletic until the end of this season.

The transfer of the shares was finally concluded on January 27th and a new seven-man board was appointed. Brian Porteous was appointed chairman with Moray McLaren as vice chair; John Hush, Callum Porteous and Supporters' Club representative Bill Parkin remained as directors; John Robertson moving up from associate status and John Bell returning to the board as the Supporters' Trust representative; Jimmy Crease remained as an associate director and was joined by Supporters' Club committee member Len Eyre. Neil Simpson, who had previously been the BRFC Treasurer for eight years, was appointed chief executive on a voluntary basis, bringing a wealth of financial expertise to the new Shielfield Park setup. Chairman Brian Porteous said: "After a period of consolidation we can now move forward and press ahead with the many plans we have in place for all aspects of improving the club both on and off the park". With this news both JB Site Investigations and Ideal Carpets decided to extend their current sponsorship deals to cover the next two seasons.

On the signing front, striker Steven Hampshire, who was released by Stenhousemuir after the arrival at Ochilview Park of Iain Diack, joined the Berwick ranks at the end of the January transfer window. The former Chelsea, Dunfermline Athletic, Brechin City and Stenhousemuir player is the elder brother of ex-Berwick player Paul Hampshire, who played at Shielfield Park during the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons. Manager Jimmy Crease confirmed Hampshire could play up front with leading scorer Darren Gribben, for whom the new board had rejected a bid from Dumbarton for his services.

13. Berwick's revival was well and truly halted when an impressive Cowdenbeath side ran out comfortable 2-0 winners to boost their title hopes at Central Park as they moved into top spot in the table. Cowdenbeath began positively with top scorer McQuade twice going close. Gribben forced a good save from Hay before Cowdenbeath took the lead in a controversial fashion on the half-hour. John Dempster was loitering five yards behind the Berwick defence, after a previous attack had broken down, when he was fed the ball by Ramsay allowing him a clear run on goal and a powerful 16-yard finish past the disbelieving McGurk. Guy and Callaghan were both booked for dissent in the chaotic aftermath as Rangers demonstrated their anger. The second half was a scrappy affair but as the game entered the final quarter Rangers stepped up the pressure and created their first period of real dominance. David Greenhill fired an instinctive volley past the upright in the 68th minute and five minutes later Berwick came close when Callaghan's free kick from 22 yards was tipped over by Hay. McLaren forced Hay into making a good diving save but Rangers' hopes of salvaging a point were dashed a few minutes later. Callaghan was shown the red card five minutes from time for a trip on substitute Brown, and in the 90th minute Brown crossed from the right for fellow substitute Tomana to head home from 12 yards.

17. Albion deservedly made it four wins out of four against Berwick this season after a convincing 2-1 victory in virtually unplayable conditions. Surprisingly, Rangers started the match brightly with a barrage of corners, but it was the home side who took the lead on 12 minutes when Harty tapped home from close range following a Harris corner. Albion then ran Rangers ragged. McGurk produced a blinder of a save when he finger-tipped a McCusker shot inches wide in the 27th minute, and five minutes later Barr beat Guy down the left only to send his parting shot skidding narrowly wide with McGurk beaten. However, Berwick got back on level terms when a Guy free kick was headed into his own net from the edge of the box by Andreoni after 33 minutes. Five minutes from the interval' Gribben curled a superb 30 yarder onto the top of the home crossbar, as Rangers pressed, and they were unlucky not to take the lead just before the half-time whistle when Gribben and McLaren both saw efforts cleared off the line. Albion regained the advantage early in the second half when McCusker, who had already hit a shot off McGurk's post in the 49th minute, latched on to a Harris cross four minutes later and looped a header over the helpless McGurk. The home side almost put the game beyond doubt on the hour mark when a 20-yard Andreoni shot rebounded off the crossbar to safety. Rangers summoned their last reserves and forced Albion on the defensive for the final quarter, but the home side held on to take all three points.

24. Berwick slumped to their third successive defeat in a controversial clash against Dumbarton at Shielfield Park. Referee Thomas Robertson booked six Berwick players and sent off home debutant Fraser Forrest, within 10 minutes of his arrival as a substitute, for a second bookable offence as Rangers battled to find an equaliser. The home side started well forcing McEwan to save from Robbie Horn and Graham Guy, but it was Dumbarton who took the lead from their first attack. In the 21st minute McLeod cashed in as Rangers` defender Horn lay injured. A long diagonal ball saw McLeod run on across the front of two defenders, and with McGurk seemingly too far off his line he lobbed the ball over the stranded keeper to give the visitors an unexpected lead. Just past the half-hour mark it was all square again. A powerful 25-yard shot into the top left-hand corner of the net from Callaghan, with which McEwan stood no chance whatsoever, brought an equaliser. However, more defensive indecision cost Rangers dearly when Dumbarton got their noses in front again in the 43rd minute with an almost carbon-copy goal of their first. Another ball across the defence found Carcary running on to it, and he slipped the ball past a static McGurk after the 'keeper had rushed off his line, the ball finding its way into the net off the inside of the post. Rangers gave a spirited second half display, but McEwan foiled them with tremendous saves from McLaren, Gribben and Bonar. As the clock ticked down Berwick began collecting bookings with Bonar and Callaghan cautioned for dissent; Dillon and Ewart for fouls, and the unfortunate Forrest for his two indiscretions five minutes from the end. Right on time Dumbarton's McLeod wasted an opportunity to put the result beyond doubt when he missed an open goal as Berwick slipped to another defeat in a game which they probably did not deserve to lose.


7. A makeshift Berwick team battled back from a goal down to earn a point in a draw at Links Park. Rangers had major selection problems, due to injuries and their poor disciplinary record of late, with manager Jimmy Crease forced into naming two trialists in his reshuffled squad. Montrose opened the scoring after 15 minutes when Gibson volleyed in at the back post following a Buchan free kick from the left. Cox shot against the post, while Hunter was twice denied by McGurk, as the home side pressed. However, Montrose were later made to pay for their missed chances. With 10 minutes remaining, Guy equalised, with a quality 18-yard strike, after Horn had headed down a Callaghan corner. Both teams were reduced to ten men late on as Cox was sent off for a second bookable offence on 87 minutes, while Berwick's trialist, Mearns, was shown a straight red two minutes later for a foul on Black.

The pitch at Shielfield Park had taken a bit of a pounding in the previous weeks due to bad weather, resulting in several match postponements, and quick action was needed to keep the surface playable. The last major investment in the playing surface had been over 25 years ago, when a new herring-bone pattern of drains was laid. Extensive tests had shown the drains to be clear and in good working order but the layers of clay and soil above the drains have compacted, preventing water reaching the drains. Specialist advice suggested a short-term fix using the 'earth quaking' technique to break up the clay layer, but this could not be carried out while the pitch was so saturated, and Mother Nature would be required to play her part and dry things up before the machinery could be used. However, this was only a short-term fix and further attention would be needed to ensure a good playing surface in the coming seasons.

With regular goalkeeper Ryan McGurk carrying an injury and due to miss some games due to work commitments the club signed Falkirk goalkeeper Jamie Barclay on an initial month's loan. Steven Hampshire was ruled out for anything up to eight weeks after injuring a tendon in his arm following an accident at work. It dashed Jimmy Crease's plans to partner Hampshire with Darren Gribben in a new strike attack up front. However, Crease tied up a deal to secure the services of ex-Dundee midfielder Eddie Mearns until the end of the season.

21. Rangers got back to their winning ways when a McLaren wonder goal gave a resurgent Berwick side a deserved 2-1 at Stenhousemuir. Berwick came from behind to secure all three points with a victory that may have ended Stenhousemuir's league title hopes. Both sides had early first half efforts disallowed for infringements. Diack had a goal chalked off for the hosts in the 12th minute for offside and later Berwick's McLaren was also denied after the referee apparently spotted a handball. In the 28th minute the Warriors took the lead through Dalziel, who capitalised on indecision in the Rangers' defence and slotted home from 12 yards. Stenny went on to control much of the opening half but were wasteful of their chances. Berwick emerged for the second half a different side and levelled the score after 64 minutes when Callaghan scored direct from an in-swinging corner kick from the left which Kieron Renton got a hand to but failed to prevent entering the top right-hand corner of the net. Spurred on by this, Rangers secured the points on 81 minutes when McLaren superbly lobbed Renton, who was standing on the edge of his six-yard line, from fully 40 yards after the ball had broken into his path.

24. The mini revival continued three days later when Berwick took a point from a 1-1 draw against an in-form Annan Athletic side, who arrived at Shielfield for the mid-week fixture on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run. Annan Athletic were left to rue their wastefulness in front of goal. In a poor second half in which Rangers lost their early sparkle Annan dominated but failed to find a finishing touch. The nearest they came was when Campbell shot inches over and Michael Jack had a close-range shot saved by Barclay. Forrest, who had a fine game at the heart of the defence, put the Rangers ahead in the 30th minute, sweeping the ball home at the far post from a Callaghan free kick. However, the home advantage was short-lived as Annan drew level eight minutes later when full-back Hoolickin found space on the edge of the penalty area and struck a low 20-yard shot into the far corner of the net. McLaren missed an early opportunity in the second half, with a shot that flashed across the face of the goal, but from then on, a confident Annan side called the shots and were unfortunate not to claim all three points.

28. Fraser McLaren, playing as make-shift striker, was Berwick's hat-trick hero at Forfar, but it was not enough to secure even a point as Rangers lost at Station Park by the odd goal in nine, bringing the club's three match unbeaten run to an end. McLaren may have been Berwick's hat-trick hero but had nothing to show for his efforts but the match ball. After a poor opening spell, the game came alive after 41 minutes when Forfar's Gibson opened the scoring, blasting home from 12 yards. Four minutes after the break McLaren coolly volleyed a Gribben cross into the back of the net to level the score. Campbell put Forfar ahead again in the 60th minute with a diving header and Tulloch slammed home four minutes later to give the Loons breathing space. However, an own goal from Tod in the 69th minute reduced Berwick's deficit. From a 30-yard Callaghan free-kick Tod was pressed by McLaren at the back post and played the ball over the line. Gordon restored Forfar's two-goal advantage with a simple tap-in in the 77th minute when Barclay raced from his line to thwart the attack, but the ball was chipped over him and despite Lennox's attempt to clear on the line the ball rebounded off the crossbar into Gordon's path. McLaren scored again two minutes later when he outstretched the home defence before flicking the ball over the keeper from just 6 yards out. Russell looked to have sealed the points with a fine strike after 84 minutes but with just a minute left on the clock McLaren completed his hat-trick with the pick of the bunch from 25 yards.


The club announced that Jimmy Crease had agreed to continue in his managerial role next season with Ian Little continuing as coach. On the playing front, Gary Greenhill had been released by the club, having recently emigrated to Australia, and Fraser McLaren had been awarded the Irn-Bru February Young Player of The Month Award for all three divisions. Fraser scored four goals during the month including his first senior hat-trick at Forfar Athletic, though still ending up on the losing side.

7. For the second time in three weeks Berwick beat a team at the top of the table when they defeated Cowdenbeath at Shielfield Park with a dogged defensive display that earned them a 1-0 win. It was not a pretty win, but a win is a win. Afterwards, Jimmy Crease admitted that sometimes you have to win ugly. After a tense first half, during which Cowdenbeath had the edge, Bonar broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when he latched on to Chris Anderson's mishit shot across the face of the goal to score from close range. However, the visitors had the lion's share of possession but squandered several chances with young goalkeeper Barclay making some crucial saves. Substitute McQuade could have been the hero but wasted four easy chances, the first two coming only minutes after he came off the bench. Dillon headed off the line from Dempster, with the keeper beaten, while Ewart blocked another shot during a sustained onslaught by the visitors. Five minutes from time, McLaren almost wrapped it up, but his shot was palmed away for a corner by Hay. McQuade missed two clear openings within sixty seconds during time added on, but Rangers luckily held out to claim the points.

14. Rangers continued their habit of beating the top teams when they turned in one of their best 45-minute spells for many a year to blow East Stirlingshire off the park with a superb performance at wind-swept Ochilview. Darren Gribben grabbed the headlines with a well taken hat-trick, but it was Rangers' all-round teamwork which destroyed one of the best Shire sides in recent memory. Berwick put a dent in East Stirlingshire's promotion push with an emphatic 4-0 victory, but the final score could easily have been 6-2 as both sides struck the woodwork twice. Gribben was Berwick's hero with a hat-trick of goals. His first, just before the half-hour mark, carried a bit of luck, as he mishit from McMenamin's cross from the right, but it was enough to deceive Peat. Shire were reduced to 10 men on the hour mark when Forrest received a second yellow for a deliberate hand ball. Seven minutes later Rangers were two-up when Gribben, latching onto a long McMahon through ball, outpaced the home defence before placing an angled shot into the net from the edge of the 6-yard box. A few minutes later David Greenhill went on a mazy 40-yard run, taking on three Shire defenders on the way, before smashing a tremendous shot off the underside of the bar, the ball bouncing out off the line. McLaren was next to strike wood when his angled drive rebounded off the inside of the far post with Peat off his line and well beaten. Gribben completed his hat-trick with a spectacular 30-yard drive in the 84th minute and a minute later Shire's exposed rear guard were caught out again when McLaren raced clear to score a deserved goal with a low rising shot from inside the box.

17. Following on from their exploits at East Stirlingshire, Rangers took on in-form Forfar Athletic in a rearranged mid-week fixture at Shielfield Park. For a long time, it looked as if the game would end goalless but Forfar, who were unbeaten in their previous six games, broke the deadlock midway through the second half and went on to secure a 2-0 win. Rangers started brightly with McMenamin, Gribben and McLaren all trying their luck but could not find a way past Brown in the visitor's goal in a disappointing first half for both sides. Forfar pushed forward after the break with Gordon and Gibson testing Barclay. The game looked to be heading for a draw before the deadlock was finally broken in the 68th minute when Russell guided home a perfect delivery from Fotheringham. The visitors gained confidence from the opener and from then on were in control. With six minutes remaining Campbell wrapped up all three points when he scored with a close-range effort at the far post after a Barclay save rebounded to Russell and his deft header found his colleague unmarked.

21. Berwick's disappointing form continued, but a moment of magic in the last minute by skipper Stuart Callaghan, when he curled in a superb free-kick, sealed the points for the Rangers with a 2-1 win over a determined Elgin in a bottom-of-the-table battle at a windy Shielfield Park. In a match where a draw would have been a more fitting result, Rangers, with the wind in their faces, went ahead in the 14th minute when unmarked Fraser McLaren headed in David Greenhill's pin-point corner. Mackay saw a great shot rebound from the crossbar as the visitors fought back before Wright deservedly levelled matters on 34 minutes when he ran through the home defence unchallenged onto a long pass from O'Donoghue and equalised with a well taken shot. The visitors' direct style was upsetting Berwick and they would have gone ahead but for Barclay saving well from Wright and Mackay. Berwick failed to take advantage of the elements in the second half, although they did exert sustained pressure in the last 15 minutes when Gribben had the ball in the net, only to be ruled offside, before Callaghan struck home a brilliant 20-yard free-kick over the defensive wall and into the top corner to seal victory at the death.

Fraser McLaren heads home in the 14th minute versus Elgin City on March 21st 2009.

28. Rangers might have been celebrating a last-minute win over Elgin but a week later they were bemoaning a last-minute defeat. Missing seven regular players including the first two choice goalkeepers, Berwick had no option but to play Marc Lunn in goal. Rangers had fought hard and looked certain of a point when a goalkeeping blunder by Lunn in the last minute gifted East Stirlingshire a 2-1 win at Shielfield Park. The visitors made a great start to the game with Anderson and Bolochoweckyj both heading against the crossbar. Shire opened the scoring after 11 minutes when the home defence failed to clear their lines and the unmarked Rodgers fired home. However, Berwick equaliser four minutes later when Peat could only palm the ball out to Gribben, who stabbed the ball home at the far post. Rangers created three fine chances in the second half, with skipper Callaghan's wind-assisted free kicks causing danger in the Shire box. However, Berwick could not find the target and were made to pay in the 90th minute. The game looked to be heading for a draw when Lunn let a tame Rodgers` header slipped through his hands and bounce over the line. It was a real shocker of a mistake that let the visitors snatch three vital points and move into second spot in the league.


4. After four straight defeats against Albion Rovers already this season Berwick were desperate to get one over the Rovers and put the record straight. Although they did not win, they succeeded in taking a point from a 1-1 home draw in game that could only be described as a dour 90 minutes made worse by a swirling wind and a hard bumpy pitch. The first half's only excitement came in the 9th minute when Ian Harty beat the offside trap before steering the ball out of Barclay's reach with a superb strike to give the visitors an early lead. Rovers looked comfortable in defending their lead with Barr and Benton missing chances in front of the home goal. In the second half Rangers raised their game. The introduction of substitute Hampshire in place of the ineffective Gribben breathed new life into the Berwick front line and in general terms Rangers looked a more determined side. In the 65th minute McLaren headed in a deserved equaliser at the far post after Hampshire had nodded on a cross from Little. However, Albion were still dangerous and nearly snatched all three points at the death when Pollock's fierce drive flashed inches over seconds before the final whistle.

11. Dumbarton, with four straight wins under their belt, secured a 2-0 victory over ten-man Berwick with a goal in each half to pile more pressure on league leaders Cowdenbeath. The Sons dominated the first half but had only a brilliantly struck 20-yard free-kick by Forbes in the 15th minute to show for their efforts which promised much but delivered little. McLaughlin fired wide, and Boyle sent a shot screaming just over before Rangers came close to equalising when Gribben's driven shot from the edge of the box was well stopped by McEwan. Berwick pressured the home side after the break and for a spell they looked to be turning the tables, but this phase self-imploded when Dillon's professional foul on Derek Carcary, as he raced in on goal, saw the Berwick man red carded in the 53rd minute and Carcary stretchered off with a knee injury. Dumbarton doubled their lead on 64 minutes when full-back Pat Boyle nodded home Mark Canning's corner-kick. However, Berwick never gave up and McEwan came to his side's rescue ten minutes from the end when he first blocked Callaghan's free kick then saved Little's follow up effort.

18. With the season's end in sight, a lethargic Rangers side played with little pride in a 3-0 home reverse at the hands of Stenhousemuir, who kept their hopes of a play-off place alive with a comfortable win over a much-depleted Berwick squad playing in typical end of season mode. A fierce low drive from Motion was turned on to the bar and over by Barclay before the Warriors broke the deadlock on 23 minutes when Barclay slipped going to meet a corner from Motion and Thom rose to nod home. From that point on Stenny controlled the game and it came as no surprise when Diack hooked in the visitors' second in the 55th minute after Molloy's free kick was headed down by Brazil. With little or no fire power, Rangers made changes up front after which substitute Gribben forced Bennett into make his only real save of the match, albeit from an offside position. However, six minutes from time Stenhousemuir sealed the points when, following a superb move down the right, Lyle produced a pin-point cross from which substitute Dalziel headed home at the far post.

25. Rangers showed a bit more appetite for the game when they dealt Annan Athletic's hopes of a play-off place a severe blow with a 1-1 draw at Galabank. The hosts started brightly with Dunbar sending a half volley just over after 12 minutes. David Greenhill saw a well-struck shot blocked by Summersgill as Berwick replied. Bell saw his 20-yard thunderbolt brilliantly saved by Barclay as Annan continued to press. Then Bell and Storey wasted great chances for the home side minutes before the break. Berwick took the lead against the run of play when Gribben produced a sensational left-foot drive from 25 yards out after 57 minutes. However, two minutes later, Storey levelled the score when he ran clear of two defenders before firing high into the net. A timely interception by Barclay in the 85th minute prevented Annan substitute Adamson from scoring with his first touch of the ball as Berwick held on for a point, severely damaging Annan's play-off hopes in the process.


2. A 1-0 defeat at the hands of Montrose in Berwick's last home game made it six in a row without a win. After decent first half performance they were lacklustre in the second and paid the price for some sloppy defending. Tweed and Crighton were flawless in defence as they thwarted several corner attempts, as Berwick pressed in the first half, and goalkeeper Bullock made important saves from Bonar and McLaren. The visitors were awarded a penalty after 11 minutes when Tweed was judged to have been impeded in the area by Horn whilst rising to meet a free kick. However, Hegarty's weak spot-kick was turned onto the post by Barclay, diving to his right, and the loose ball was played to safety. After the break, and against the run of play, Montrose gained the breakthrough in the 52nd minute when Barclay could only parry a Hegarty's free kick, and the unmarked Bradley slammed home the rebound from close range. Despite having long periods of possession Rangers rarely looked like saving the game. They were unfortunate when strong claims for a penalty were ruled out when a low McLaren cross into the goalmouth appeared to be handled, but Montrose held out comfortably until the end.

9. It was certainly a case of déjà vu when Rangers travelled to Elgin for the final game of the season. Rangers dominated proceedings and could easily have been four-up at half-time but ended up the losing side by two goals to nil in the bottom-of-the-table clash that brought a miserable season to an end. Rangers dominated the first half and could easily have been four-up after missing a barrowload of chances. Gribben could have had a hat trick but failed to hit the target each time he broke clear, including an open goal and miss into the side netting after rounding McNulty. Elgin opened the scoring with their first real chance on 13 minutes when Nicolson intercepted a loose Lennox pass in the centre of the field and ran 40 yards before finishing well past advancing Barclay. Rangers continued to press, with McLaren passing up two decent openings, before they were dealt another blow when the home side increased their lead; Cameron met a header at the back post and sent the ball across for team-mate MacDonald to nod home on 56 minutes. Berwick's luck was summed up when a defensive header by Elgin's Edwards rebounded off his own crossbar and eight minutes from time a reckless elbow by defender Ewart on Craig saw the Berwick man get his marching orders for his second bookable offence.