2019/20: Lowland Debut

Results

Date C V Opposition Res Pos Att i
Jul 13 LC G H Ayr United L 0-7 5 603
20 LC G A Stranraer L 0-6 5 247
23 LC G H Falkirk L 0-3 5 509
27 LC G A Livingston L 0-5 5 692
30 LL H Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic L 3-5 12 452
Aug 3 LL H University of Stirling L 1-2 12 404
6 CC 1 H Rangers U21 L 1-2 303
17 EQC 1 H Spartans W 2-0 265
24 SRC 1 H Newtongrange Star W 4-0 291
27 LL A Edinburgh University W 1-0 12 202
31 LL H Civil Service Strollers L 1-3 12 314
Sep 7 LL A Gala Fairydean Rovers D 2-2 13 288
14 SRC 2 A Tranent Juniors L 1-2 303
21 LL A East Kilbride L 2-3 13 240
28 LL H Cumbernauld Colts D 2-2 13 292
Oct 5 LL H Kelty Hearts L 0-1 13 404
19 SC 2 A Elgin City L 1-3 554
26 LL H Dalbeattie Star W 3-0 12 382
29 EC SF H The Spartans L 1-2 186
Nov 2 LL A Caledonian Braves D 2-2 13 80
8 LL A The Spartans L 0-1 13 193
16 LL H Vale of Leithen W 4-0 12 303
19 EQC 2 A Kelty Hearts L 0-4 295
23 LL A East Stirlingshire L 1-3 12 222
30 LL H BSC Glasgow L 0-1 12 214
Dec 7 LL H Gretna 2008 W 2-1 12 252
14 LL A University of Stirling L 0-1 12 62
28 LL H Caledonian Braves W 1-0 11 317
Date C V Opposition Res Pos Att i
Jan 4 LL H Gala Fairydean Rovers D 2-2 11 336
18 LL A Gretna 2008 D 1-1 11 160
25 LL H East Kilbride L 0-2 12 341
Feb 1 LL A BSC Glasgow L 1-4 12 104
8 LL H East Stirlingshire L 1-5 12 309
15 LL A Cumbernauld Colts D 0-0 12 172
22 LL H Edinburgh University W 2-0 11 556
LL A Vale of Leithen NP
LL A Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic NP
LL A Civil Service Strollers NP
LL A Dalbeattie Star NP
LL H The Spartans NP
LL A Kelty Hearts NP

Scottish Lowland Football League

Home Away
    Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Kelty Hearts 25 11 2 0 63 9 11 0 1 32 8 78 68
2 Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic 24 8 1 1 33 7 12 1 1 37 15 48 62
3 East Stirlingshire 26 8 0 6 42 19 9 2 1 35 10 48 53
4 BSC Glasgow 22 10 2 1 41 10 6 1 2 17 11 37 51
5 The Spartans 25 8 0 6 25 18 8 1 2 24 14 17 49
6 Civil Service Strollers 23 5 2 3 18 12 7 1 5 22 26 2 39
7 East Kilbride 23 6 1 6 28 16 5 3 2 15 8 19 37
8 Caledonian Braves 26 5 3 5 30 29 6 0 7 27 26 2 36
9 Cumbernauld Colts 27 7 2 5 26 17 3 4 6 23 33 -1 36
10 University of Stirling 25 4 3 4 15 19 5 1 8 13 25 -16 31
11 Gala Fairydean Rovers 25 4 1 7 18 25 3 5 5 21 30 -16 27
12 Berwick Rangers 24 5 2 7 22 24 1 4 5 10 17 -9 24
13 Gretna 2008 24 1 4 6 12 23 1 2 10 9 39 -41 12
14 Edinburgh University 25 2 3 7 12 30 0 3 10 6 36 -48 12
15 Dalbeattie Star 23 1 1 9 5 23 2 1 9 14 45 -49 11
16 Vale of Leithen 23 0 2 8 7 35 2 0 11 11 54 -71 8
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Competition abandoned due to the Covid-19 pandemic. No matches played after 11th March 2020. Kelty Hearts declared champions. No promotion or relegation.

Competition Results

Appearances & Goals

LL LC CC SC SRC EQC EC
Player A S G A S G A S G A S G A S G A S G A S G
Joao Balde 11 1 1 1 1
Lewis Barr 22 1 2 4 1 1 1 1 2 1 1
Sean Brennan 14 4 1 1 1 2 1
Ciaran Brian 18 1 1 2 2 1
Ciaren Chalmers 4 6 1 1 2 1 2 2
Jack Cook 16 1 3 1 2 1
Sam Daniel 3
Greg Donald 8 1 1 1
Ali Forster 18 2 1 4 1 1 1 1 1
Chris Gray 1 3
Daryl Healy 9 2 5 4 2 2 1 1
Kieran Jack 2 1 3 1 1
Alassan Jones  3
Cammy Lumsden 14 5 3 1 1 1 2 1 2
Ricky Miller 13 4 1 1 1 2 1
Yaw Osei 9 10 4 1 1 1 1 1
Dan Purves 19 4 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 2 1
Grant Rose 11 8 2 3 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1
Ali Smith 3 3 1 1 1 1 2 1
Calum Smith 5 1
Darren Smith 3 2 1
Euan Smith 19 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1
Hamish Thomson 5 2
Mark Walters 10 1 1
Kevin Waugh 21 3 4 1 1 2 2 1
Gary Windram 3 7 1 4 1 1
Jack Wright 5 6 3 1 1
Number of Players Used: 27

It was not only a change on the playing field that came with the club's relegation from the Scottish Professional Football League. Chairman Len Eyre resigned along with three of the four directors. Vice Chairman John Bell became the new chairman with Colin Pike joining the board and becoming vice chairman along with new directors Sarah McMorn and Andrew Allan (associate director). Moray McLaren was the remaining director. John Bell stated at the beginning of the season that tough financial decisions may have to be made at the club's AGM in January, due to the knock-on effect of the club losing its SPFL status, to secure the long-term future of Berwick Rangers and expectations adjusted accordingly. Relegation brought with it a declining league subsidy along with an expected fall in gate money, hospitality income and advertising revenue, and an appeal was made to any interested parties who felt they could contribute to the future of the club to get in touch before the AGM.

July

Berwick Rangers warmed up for their first season in the fifth tier of Scottish football with two home friendlies against East of Scotland League side Coldstream (2-0) and Billingham Synthonia (3-0) of the Northern League Second Division.

In previous seasons, Rangers had faced a tougher and more prolonged pre-season, but this season manager Ian Little used the four SPFL League Cup group matches against Ayr United, Stranraer, Falkirk and Livingston as warm-ups to their first season in the Lowland League. Little, who had been John Brownlee's assistant for the remaining three games of last season, was brought in for a second spell in the Berwick managerial role with former player Kevin Haynes as his assistant.

Rangers retained only five first team players from last season: Lewis Barr, Sean Brennan, Jack Cook, Daryl Healy and Jack Cook. Manager Ian Little quickly added 12 new faces to his squad with Kieran Jack, Dan Purves, Jack Wright and Gary Windram moving up from the Under-20s Development squad to play alongside new signings Ali Forster, Ali Smith, Euan Smith, Chris Gray, Cammy Lumsden, Ciaran Brian, Ciaren Chalmers and Kevin Waugh, who returned for a second spell at Shielfield Park.

Lewis Barr in action v Ayr United 13 Jul 2019.

13. The new-look Berwick Rangers side was well beaten by Championship side Ayr United in the opening SPFL League Cup Group G match at Shielfield Park. A comprehensive first half performance saw the visitors score five times in a 7-0 win. Berwick enjoyed some early pressure, but the first real chance fell to Ayr after six minutes when a shot from McGuffie brought out a full length save from Brennan and from the resulting corner Lumsden headed off the line. The breakthrough came on 21 minutes when Ayr played the ball out from their own penalty area and three passes later Moffat coolly slotted home past Brennan. On 26 minutes, Ayr went close to adding a second when a close-range header from Doolan was acrobatically tipped over by Brennan, however, less than sixty seconds later McCowan fired in a low shot which nestled into the bottom corner to double the visitors' advantage. Ayr continued to press and on 35 minutes they added a third with a simple header from Doolan following a McGuffie cross from the left. Just a minute later it was four when Moffat netted from close range and on 42 minutes McGuffie took advantage of a poor defensive clearance to break forward and score a fifth. Early in the second half, Berwick created arguably their best chance when Healy crossed from the left, but Forster, under pressure, was unable to get his shot away. Rose then headed wide before blasted over as Berwick tried to salvage some pride. Brennan made a point-blank save to deny Doolan, but after 70 minutes McCowan made it six when he netted his second of the game with a close-range finish. Ayr added a seventh with four minutes remaining when Ferguson broke down the right and crossed for Doolan to force in his second from six yards out. In the final minute, Purves had a half chance for Berwick, but he scooped his effort over the bar under pressure from a defender.

20. Berwick Rangers suffered another heavy defeat when they faced Stranraer in their second League Cup group game. Rangers hoped to put in an improved performance at Stair Park, but four goals in the first half were followed by two in the second as the home side ran out comfortable winners. The opening play was even. Berwick had a superb chance to take the lead when Rose's cross from the left found Healy inside the six-yard box with only the keeper to beat, but he headed straight into Burgess' hands. Stranraer opened the scoring on 19 minutes when Elliot scored with a close-range header from an Allan cross after which the host took control of the game. On 38 minutes, Hilton crossed to the unmarked Allan at the back post, and he fired in a diagonal shot into the goal from 12 yards out. Three minutes later, McManus scored with a long shot from outside the box after Hilton had squared the ball to him from the right. Stewart netted from the spot with a high shot to the left, which Brennan got a hand to but could not prevent it from entering the net, after Elliott had been brought down a yard from goal to make it 4-0 a minute before the interval. On 63 minutes, Hilton netted direct from a free kick out on the right touchline which beat Brennan at his near post. Stranraer made it six with 15 minutes to go when Stewart scored his second from the spot after Chalmers had given his second penalty away with a foul on Dangana. Late in the game, Berwick had three half chances but overall, it was another disappointing performance.

Lewis Barr in action v Falkirk 23 Jul 2019.

23. Berwick Rangers kept the score down to three goals against in their final home game against Falkirk in the SPFL League Cup. The first half began competitive, with both teams having good spells, but the visitors looked the more dangerous of the sides, especially from set pieces. McManus grabbed the opener on 13 minutes when he headed a Dixon cross into the bottom right corner from the centre of the box. The remainder of the half continued in the same vein after the goal, with both teams competing, but Falkirk having most of the chances. Johnstone twice went close with headers, the first went just wide with Brennan saving the second, and the game went into the break with Falkirk a goal up. Falkirk started at a much higher intensity after the break. Connolly and Buchanan both had good early chances. On 51 minutes they got the all-important second goal. Gomis' cross from the right rebounded off the crossbar and fell kindly for the unmarked Leitch on the left, who lobbed it high over Brennan and into the net. Falkirk went close a few minutes later when a corner from the right was partially cleared and Gomis played it back to McShane on the edge of the box; his powerful shot beat Brennan but was headed off the line by Cook. Falkirk continued to dominate and got the third on 76 minutes. A cross from the right hit Cook, who failed to control the ball, and Johnstone got to the loose ball first to capitalise with a smart left-footed finish. Berwick came more into the game during the last ten, with Rose forcing a close range save from Mutch and Healy forcing Toshney into a terrific block, but Falkirk held on comfortably to take the points.

27. In the last of their League Cup group matches, Berwick Rangers were beaten 5-0 at Livingston with keeper Sean Brennan to thank for keeping the score down with some tremendous saves. Doubles from Lamie and Sibbald, either side of a goal from Lithgow, secured Livingston's place in the second round as group winners. Livingston got off to the perfect start when they opened the scoring after just 93 seconds. Devlin cut in from the right and drove across the edge of the box before slipping the ball through for Lamie to steer a first-time finish past Brennan. As the hosts continued to press, Devlin's low cross was flicked goalward by Dykes, who saw his effort blocked at the near post. Dykes then teed up Souda, but his effort was well saved by Brennan. A second Livingston goal was inevitable, and it arrived on 16 minutes when Lamie's deep cross was brilliantly kept in play by Devlin, and he crossed for Sibbald to side foot past Brennan from close range. It was 3-0 on 24 minutes when Souda's deep corner found Lithgow unmarked at the back post and he powered an unstoppable header past Brennan into the far corner of the net. A momentary lapse at the back from Livingston allowed Rangers their first sight of goal four minutes before the break as neat play saw Windram fire a low effort straight at Sarkic from the edge of the box. At the start of the second half, Livingston picked up where they left off in the first. Souda came close to grabbing a third when Sibbald won possession and played a one-two with Pittman, but he fired wide from a tight angle. Souda passed up an even better chance a minute later when Sibbald's shot was parried by Brennan, but Souda could not sort his feet out and he turned the ball wide. Livingston almost grabbed a fourth on 70 minutes when Lamie slipped the ball into Lawless, and he forced a terrific save from Brennan at his near post. The resulting corner found Lithgow, but his header crashed back off the crossbar. Livingston scored their fourth with nine minutes to play when Lawson's free kick was swiped at by Lithgow, but the ball fell kindly for Lamie and he curled a first-time effort past Brennan from just inside the box. It was five for the home side just three minutes later when the ball fell kindly to Sibbald at the edge of the box, and he took a touch before firing a fine low effort past Brennan into the bottom right corner. They almost made it six two minutes from time, but Lawless' header was brilliantly kept out by Brennan.

30. Berwick Rangers made their Lowland League debut against Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic at Shielfield Park looking for a much-needed boost after a miserable series of defeats in their SPFL League Cup campaign. Rangers signed forward Yaw Osei, who had impressed as a trialist in pre-season friendlies, before the match. However, despite Rangers taking an early lead, the visitors took the points in a seven-goal thriller. Berwick were in front after just seven minutes when Grant Rose ignored Bonnyrigg claims for offside and he coolly sliding a composed finished past keeper Weir. Both sides had chances to score, and Rangers were inches away from adding a second when a Bonnyrigg defender was forced to hook the ball off the line after Weir, attempting to punch clear from a corner, sent the ball towards his own goal instead. However, Bonnyrigg levelled on 26 minutes through a scrambled equaliser from McGachie who slid in to force the ball over the line after a deflected shot fell kindly for the visitors. That heralded the start of a remarkable burst of four goals in seven minutes which completely turned the game on its head. Two minutes after Bonnyrigg's equaliser, Hunter collected a McGachie pass in space on the right-hand side of the Berwick box and shot low in off the far post to put the visitors ahead. On 30 minutes the visitors scored again. Berwick were unable to clear their lines properly from a corner and when the ball was delivered back into the box McGachie was left unmarked to head home from six yards. Things went from bad to worse for a shellshocked Berwick who conceded again on 33 minutes. Gray was penalised for a foul in the box as a corner was swung in. Gray was booked for his troubles before Currie stepped up and coolly steer a left-footed spot kick past Brennan. Berwick kept battling and Healy gave them a lifeline when he pulled one back with a fine header on the stroke of half-time to give some hope of a comeback after the break. Early in the second half, Healy forced a save from Weir with a powerful strike from a tight angle they were given real hope just before the hour when they won a free kick on the edge of the box from which Waugh steered his low shot wide of Weir to cut the deficit to one. It was now very much game on. However, Bonnyrigg restored their two-goal advantage on 70 minutes when Brennan was controversially penalised for handling a pass back and the ball was touched to Currie who rifled it home for his second of the night.

Grant Rose scores Berwick Rangers' first-ever goal in the Scottish Lowland League v Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic 30 Jul 2019.

August

3. Berwick Rangers suffered their second home defeat in the space of four days when they lost 2-1 to University of Stirling. It was certainly a huge wake up call to the reality of life in the Lowland League as UOS were not a great team and would be far from Berwick's hardest opponents. Manager Ian Little made changes to the squad with Gray out completely and Ali Forster on the bench. Chalmers was back in the squad and started on the bench. Meanwhile starts were handed to Windrum and Purves. After a relatively quiet and even start it became obvious that UOS were a well organised side who were going to compete well and create chances. With the home crowd starting to get a bit frustrated by the performance on the pitch things took a marked turn for the worse on 20 minutes when Jarvis, alone in space 20 yards out, had a loose ball drop perfectly for him to volley home. The goal epitomised the Berwick performance - slow at clearing their lines and undermanned in midfield. The half progressed without Rangers really creating a chance to speak of. Berwick's passing was slow and deliberate, frequently being played along the back line before ending up back with Brennan, realising this UOS were quick pushing up on the back four forcing them further back. When Rangers did get the ball wide, Windrum and Purves got the odd run, but the end product was not great, and Rose and Healy were proving incapable of holding the ball up or winning aerial challenges. Little shook things up at half-time taking off Purves, bringing on Chalmers and switching to three at the back However, the Students remained dangerous on the break and could easily have added to their goal tally from a couple of good chances. Just past the hour mark, Osei replaced the ineffective Healy. Immediately he seemed to galvanise things with his energy and movement up front and the pressure on the Stirling defence increased. Only a matter of minutes on the pitch and he managed to create space for what was pretty much Berwick's first real shot with a superb strike which hit the woodwork. Rangers levelled matters on 78 minutes when Osei picked the ball up, made some space, and sent a cross in for Rose to rise and head past the keeper. It looked like a get out of jail card and there was even hope that Rangers might go on and snatch an undeserved winner. However, hope that would last just four minutes. The students began to press and on 82 minutes that pressure paid off. Berwick failed to clear a corner on their left and the referee judged someone to have handled the ball and awarded a penalty to the fury of the home fans. Brown stepped up and comfortably slotted it home Rangers huffed and puffed for the remainder of the game but to no avail.

Dan Purves in action v Rangers U21 6 Aug 2019.

6. Berwick Rangers exited the SPFL Challenge Cup and the first-round stage after being beaten 2-1 by the Rangers U21 Colts team at Shielfield Park. Berwick gave a debut to defender Ricky Miller, who they had signed before match from BSC Glasgow. The Colts were much faster than Berwick and with their slick passing move Berwick were up against it from the start. The Colts came close to opening the score when Grezda reached the by-line just inside the box and crossed for Medube, who blasted over from just six yards out. Berwick were defending well but Grezda found space on the edge of the box and hit a fast-rising shot which saw Brennan go full stretch to save. A short spell of Berwick pressure saw a series of corners won and from the last Rose was unlucky to see his downward head go inches wide of the post. The Colts opened the scoring on 24 minutes from the penalty spot after Lumsden and Medube collied just inside the area and the referee pointed to the spot. Medube stepped up to take the kick and sent Brennan the wrong way. The visitors went close again a few minutes later when Grezda hit an angled shot from 12 yards out which Brennan did well to deflect for a corner. The second goal came on 31 minutes when McPake raced forward and unleashed a low drive past the diving Brennan, who got a touch on it but not enough to prevent the ball from hitting the back of the net. Just before the interval, Medube should have scored when Grezda played him through on goal, but after beating two defenders he failed to beat Brennan in a one-on-one situation. The Colts continued to attack in the second half, but some resolute Berwick defending prevented them from increasing their lead. Brennan pulled off another tremendous save to deny Medube, who was unmarked and in a good shooting position. Berwick were reduced to ten men on 67 minutes when Osei was shown a straight red for a tackle on Barjonas. Osei protested, but the referee was having none of it. Berwick reduced the score on 74 minutes when a looping cross from near the left corner flag from Barr was pushed against the crossbar by the keeper in trying to save and Purves was first to react to the rebound and nodded the ball into the net. Berwick had to battle hard as the visitors attacked time and time again towards the end, but they could not penetrate the home defence and had to shoot from range.

17. Spartans' reign as East of Scotland Qualifying Cup holders came to a premature halt after they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Berwick Rangers at a blustery Shielfield Park. A classic this was not to be, however, as Rangers came out on top in an at times scrappy affair which saw a series of niggly tackles throughout and Spartans finishing the match with 10 players following the late dismissal of Hoskins. The opening quarter of an hour saw both sides struggle with the windy conditions which made any passing game challenging. Berwick took the lead after 24 minutes when Barr was on hand to tap home following Brian's header across the face of the goal after a sweeping move from defence to attack. Spartans saw more of the ball in the second half without ever being threatening. A ball was sent to the box by Hoskins, the aerial challenge saw Corbett cause some chaos, but he could not control the direction of travel and the chance was lost. On 64 minutes, Berwick put light between the teams when a mix up between defender Tolmie and keeper Carswell saw the ball break to Healy, who had the freedom of Shielfield to guide the home into the empty net from the edge of the 18-yard box. A well-weighted delivery from Hoskins found Atkinson in a good position, but the striker could only flash his header wide. A few minutes later McFarlane should have scored when he had a free header just a yard from goal, but he glanced the ball wide when it was easier to score. With 14 minutes remaining, Spartans were reduced to ten men when Hoskins was judged to have fouled Healy with a shoulder barge as the two challenged for the ball as Healy ran in on goal. The referee brandished the red card as Hoskins was last man and denied Healy a clear scoring chance and Waugh sent the resulting free kick inches over the crossbar. With time fast running out, Maxwell forced Brennan into an acrobatic save with a 35-yard drive whilst at the other end Barr went close with an angled shot which grazed the crossbar.

24. Berwick Rangers made it two cup wins in a row and progressed to the second round of the South Region Challenge Cup with a convincing 4-0 win over Newtongrange Star at Shielfield Park. In arguably their best performance of the season so far, all the goals were scored in the opening half. An early cross from Barr found Rose in the six-yard box, but he headed over as Rangers attacked from the start. Berwick were awarded a ninth minute penalty after neat link-up work between Euan Smith and Healy saw the latter pass to the inrushing Lumsden, who was brought down in the box from behind by Thomson, and Healy converted from the spot to give Rangers the lead. After two near misses from Barr, Healy headed against the crossbar, but Lumsden followed up to net the rebound on 23 minutes. Two minutes later, Euan Smith made it 3-0 with a downward bouncing header following a corner from the left. The fourth goal came on the half-hour when Barr raced to the by-line on the right and sent a low cross across the goalmouth; the keeper, under pressure from Healy, failed to control the ball, which rebounded off the far post, and Healy scored an easy goal with a simple tap-in. In the second half, Berwick continued to make all the running. Waugh headed just over, and Barr did likewise a few minutes later. Windram also shot narrowly wide as the visitors were forced on the back foot for most of the half and Rangers finished the match comfortable winners.

27. Rangers recorded their first away win of the season with a slender 1-0 win over Edinburgh University at East Peffermill. Berwick could have made matters easier but missed several good scoring chances and just scraped over line. In an even first half, Rangers had the better scoring chances with the students forced to test Brennan with long-range shots. Rangers should have opened the scoring in the third minute when Barr's cross from the right found Rose at the far post, but his header went inches over. Berwick were awarded a ninth minute penalty when Euan Smith's shot was handled by Murray, but Healy's spot kick hit the right-hand post and the rebound was quickly cleared. The Uni went close when Brennan was forced full stretch to push a 25-yard effort from Watters around the post for a corner. Rose should have scored with a free header following Barr's cross into the box, but he headed just wide. Play in the second half was much the same as the first and it took the 59th minute introduction of Osei, on for Healy, to break the deadlock. A high clearance from the centre circle by Rose found Osei midway inside the hosts half and marked by two defenders; however, his pace saw him break free before he ran in and rounded the advancing keeper to coolly slot the ball home. The students then upped their game, winning several corners, without putting Brennan under any real pressure. After a surging run down the right, Purves cut back a low cross past the face of the goal, but Rose could not connect properly and scooped his shot over the bar from close range with only the keeper to beat.

31. Civil Service Strollers picked up all three points with a dominant second half display at Shielfield Park. Manager Ian Little dropped a few surprises with his team selection with several changes. Dropping out were Brian, Forster and Lumsden to make way for Chalmers, Ali Smith and Osei. Conditions were not great with a strong wind blowing, but that had nothing to do with the outcome. Rangers started brightly enough and opened the scoring on 16 minutes. Miller launched a superb cross field pass from just inside the opposition's half picking out Waugh, who cut into the box and drove the ball across the six-yard box for Lewis Barr to slide it into the net at the far post. The lead did not last long as three minutes later the Strollers equalised. A catalogue of defensive errors led to Cunningham slotting the ball into an empty net. A decent passing move saw the ball come out the Berwick left where Waugh completely mistimed his challenge and was overpowered and beaten. What looked like an aimless long ball back into the box was completely messed up by Miller, Chalmers and Brennan allowing Cunningham to nip in and poke it away from Brennan before rounding him and putting it into the empty net from the side of the six-yard box despite Cook and Ali Smith chasing to the line. Barr forced Burnside into making a superb save when he picked up a loose ball on the edge of the 18-yard box and hit a powerful shot goalward. Just before the interval, Hodge raced ahead of the Berwick defence but sent the ball inches wide of the post after a one-on-one with Brennan. There was not much between the sides early in the second half, but the visitors began to press it looked only a matter of time before they would take the lead. Muirhead went close with a shot across the face of the goal which sailed just wide of the far post. However, on 67 minutes a simple passing move cut the Berwick defence apart with ease. Hodge picked up the ball up between Miller and Chalmers, turning and beating Miller before leaving Chalmers on his knees as he slipped the ball through to Muirhead who had timed his run to perfection to pick up it and place it through the advancing Brennan's legs. Strollers' third goal came on 74 minutes when a weak free kick along the ground into the box was easily picked up by a CSS defender who played it to Faye, an attempted challenge on him left him on the ground, but the ball broke to Muirhead just outside the centre circle and he played a lovely lofted ball for Hodge to chase, with Cook isolated he held back from Hodge rather than commit to a challenge and Hodge was able to pick out Muirhead, who had outrun three chasing Berwick defenders, pick the ball up and stroke it home. Strollers could easily have had more goals with Brennan making a couple of decent saves. Overall, it was a very disappointing Berwick performance.

September

7. Berwick Rangers had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw in a Lowland League match away to Gala Fairydean Rovers at Netherdale, with all the goals coming in the first half. Healy netted with two headers for Berwick with Gala's counters coming from the penalty spot. Rangers also had the ball in the net twice more, but they were ruled out by the referee, denying them what would have been a deserved win on the run of play. Healy gave Berwick the lead after just four minutes, but Gala were awarded a penalty on 19 minutes and Mackenzie brought the sides level from the spot. Gala were then awarded a second penalty on 28 minutes, but this time Brennan made a good save from Mackenzie, only for the loose ball to fall for Cowan, who hit the rebound home. However, Berwick pressed and were back on level terms just three minutes later. Euan Smith went close for Berwick before Healy equalised with another header. Barr then had a goal disallowed just before half-time. Brennan made a good save early in the second half to keep Berwick in the match, but Rangers looked the more dangerous of the two sides and created several good opportunities. They only once found the net, but the effort was again ruled out and the teams had to settle for a draw.

14. Berwick Rangers were beaten 2-1 by Tranent in the second round of the South Challenge Cup at Forrester Park in a rather feisty affair both on and off the park. Rangers controlled the first half without cutting out any clear chances. The home side took the lead through McDonald from the penalty spot in the 12th minute. However, Berwick were level just before the half-hour mark when Rose scored from the penalty spot at the other end. It was much the same in the second half with Rangers pressing without result. It was a defensive mistake which gave Tranent their second goal when Watters failed to hold a cross from his left and Jones took full advantage to put the hosts ahead after 54 minutes. Berwick had a great opportunity to level from a superbly delivered corner from Lumsden, but a simple header from Osei was headed off the line before Waugh saw his well-taken free kick saved by Inglis, Tranent's substitute keeper, in the closing minute.

21. Two goals from Daryl Healy failed to net Berwick Rangers a win at East Kilbride. Rangers put up a battling performance but went down 3-2. Healy's two goals were sandwiched between three goals either side of half-time from the home side which ultimately gave them victory. Berwick got off to a perfect start when straight from the kick-off they played the ball back to the defence where Miller punted the ball high upfield which bounced awkwardly for Reid to control midway inside the home half and Healy took full advantage of the situation by running in on goal and beating Martin with a low shot from just inside the box. East Kilbride responded with Brownlie beating the Berwick defence for pace and unleashing a fast rising shot just past the post. Healy then forced Martin into make a save with a 20-yard drive, but the keeper could not hold onto the ball and Purves was unlucky not to prod the loose ball home with the goal gaping. Healy was causing the home defence no end of trouble and he forced Martin into making fine save with a shot on the break. At the other end, Brennan completely missed a low shot from Paton, but luckily Waugh cleared on the line. However, a minute before the interval, East Kilbride levelled when a high looping cross from the left wing found Winter inside the six-yard box, and he scored with the easiest of headers. The second half was just a minute old when the home side went in front. A 20-yard effort from Woods took a wicked deflection of Miller which wrong-footed Brennan and entered the net at the near post. Just four minutes later East Kilbride were 3-1 up when a deep cross from the right was only partially cleared by Brennan and Paton, at the back post, hit the loose ball home into the far corner with a low shot across the face of the goal. Rangers replied on 56 minutes when Healy ran in to head home his second of the game from 12 yards following Waugh's well-placed corner as Berwick fought their way back into the game. Healy continued to trouble the home side with some surging runs, but he could not find the target. A header from Purves then scraped the post and a 25-yard free kick from Waugh brought out a good save from the home keeper, but Berwick were unable to force an equaliser. A late move by East Kilbride saw Paton, with only Brennan to beat, unleash a powerful 20-yard low drive, but the keeper got down well to push the ball away for an unproductive corner.

Joao Balde in action v Cumberbauld Colts 28 Sep 2019.

28. At late injury-time equaliser denied Berwick Rangers a much-needed win when they met Cumbernauld Colts at Shielfield Park. Rangers had led 2-0 and looked set to take all three points until Bonar struck twice to earn the visitors a share of the points. Rangers started brightest but it took until the 32nd minute to open the scoring when Waugh sent over a high cross from near the left touchline and Purves headed it home from the far corner of the six-yard box. It was the only goal of the first half, although the Colts had a chance to draw level just before half-time when Barr was judged to have fouled Kirwin in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Kavanagh stepped up to take the kick but blasted over the crossbar. The second half was only a minute old when Waugh curled a brilliant 25-yard free kick into the net to make it 2-0. A few minutes later, Miller saw his header cleared of the line following a corner as Berwick kept up the pressure. However, against the run of play, the Colts pulled a goal back when Bonar scored with a close-range header following a corner from Holmes on 67 minutes. The visitors went close to levelling shortly after when Bonar found himself in a good position but headed just over. Berwick were being forced on the back foot by some sustained pressure by the Colts, but Rangers looked as if they would hold on. However, with the final whistle beckoning, and into injury time, Bonar netted the equaliser with another close-range header following a run and cross from the by-line by Kerwin.

October

5. Berwick Rangers suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Kelty Hearts in a game played end-to-end throughout. Berwick keeper Mark Walters saved a penalty and Rangers played the final twenty minutes with ten men after Jack Cook was dismissed after being shown two yellow cards. The only goal of the game was scored by Linton who netted with a superb 30-yard strike from a free kick just three minutes into the second half. In a goalless first half, there was little between the sides, although Berwick did have a penalty claim turned down when Purves went over in the box and Miller saw a header bounce off both post and crossbar before bouncing down onto the line and back into play. From the clearance, Kelty cleared upfield and Philip went agonising close with a shot just past the upright. Ashe shot just over for Kelty whilst Philip also went close, but at the break it remained 0-0. In the 48th minute, Kelty were awarded a free kick 30 yards out, which Linton smashed past Walters into the top right-hand corner of the net to give the visitors the lead. Two minutes later, Healy hit the post for Berwick as they tried to claw their way back into the match, but on 72 minutes Cook brought down Ashe just inside the box and was sent off for a second bookable offence. Ashe stepped up to take the spot kick, which was saved by Walters, but Kelty saw out the match to take all three points and keep them on course for top spot in the table.

Ricky Miller heads against the woodwork v Kelty Hearts 5 Oct 2019.

19. Berwick Rangers exited the Scottish FA Cup at the second-round stage when they were beaten 3-1 by League 2 outfit Elgin City at Borough Briggs. Berwick gave Joao Blade, signed on loan from Rangers U21, his debut in the match. Elgin scored four minutes into each half with Berwick equalising after half an hour, but the home side looked the stronger side throughout and after hitting the woodwork twice in the second half they secured their victory with a third. Cameron set City on their way when the ball fell kindly to him after Hester's chip into the box had deflected off Waugh. A fine one-two between Sutherland and Hester split the Berwick defence wide open, but Hester could not beat Walters with the return ball. Rangers picked themselves up and after 32 minutes they were back on level terms. A superb left-wing move saw Balde cut inside and play the ball to Rose who flicked it forward into the path of Barr and he finished off the move with a low shot 12-yard shot under the keeper and into the centre of the net. Elgin no doubt had the better of the chances in the opening half but at half-time it remained 1-1. As in the first half, the home side looked to get in the early advantage at the start of the second and again just four minutes in they scored, this time through Hester. Lumsden failed to stop Hester's run on the edge of the 18-yard box and he hit a powerful rising shot past substitute keeper Brennan and into the top left-hand corner. As the home side tried to turn the screw, they hit the woodwork twice in quick succession. First McHardy hit the crossbar from just six yards out, then Omar hit the outside of the post with a shot from 30 yards. However, the all-important third goal came when a swift move down the right saw Hester hit a crossfield pass to Omar and he played Sutherland through to net low past the diving Brennan with 12 minutes remaining.

26. Berwick Rangers picked up three much-needed points when they recorded their first home league victory of the season by beating Dalbeattie Star 3-0 at Shielfield Park with goals from Forster, Purves and Balde. Prior to the match, Rangers confirmed the signing of full back Gregor Donald on loan from Livingston until the end of January, and he went straight into the team for his debut. There was not much between the sides in the first half, with Dalbeattie suffering a setback when Green was stretchered off on 30 minutes following a lengthy delay for treatment. Barr went close when he had a volley well saved by the visiting keeper whilst Balde was unlucky when he saw a great shot from the edge of the box cannon back off the crossbar. Berwick eventually took the lead just before half time with a goal from Forster. A cross from Purves was headed goalward by Rose; the ball beat the keeper but bounced down and out on the goal-line; however, Forster was on hand to tap the ball home despite and attempted goal-line clearance by Tremble. It was after the break that Rangers started to assert their authority. On 53 minutes, Berwick doubled their lead when Balde crossed from the left; Barr volleyed goalward, but the keeper palmed the ball out only for Purves to head it back and into the net from the right-hand corner of the six-yard box. A swift move down the right on the hour saw Barr race into the box; he passed to Rose, who marked by two defenders, selflessly played the ball to Balde at the far post, to score with a simple tap in. Rose saw his rising shot 30-yarder tipped over the bar and later grazed the woodwork with a header as Berwick continued to press. Dalbeattie seldom bothered Walters despite plenty of possession. Late in the game, a 30-yard free kick from Smith went close to adding a fourth but in the end, Rangers settled for three goals and three points.

29. In the held-over semi-final of 2018/19 East of Scotland Qualifying Cup, Berwick Rangers were beaten 2-1 in a midweek fixture by The Spartans at Shielfield Park. Murrell put the Edinburgh side ahead in the 11th minute. A super strike from Forster three minutes into the second half saw Berwick draw level, but Forster then picked up two yellow cards and was sent off. The Spartans eventually sealed their victory when Scott let fly from 30 yards after 74 minutes and his deflected shot found a way into the net.

November

2. Berwick Rangers had to settle for a point in a Lowland League clash away to Caledonian Braves after twice taking the lead. Goals from Waugh and Barr twice put Rangers ahead, but twice the home side came back to level and claim a share of the spoils. After a goalless and uneventful first half for either side, Berwick took the lead on 57 minutes when Waugh fired in a stunning free kick into the top right-hand corner which gave the home keeper no chance. The Braves fought back and levelled matters through McLaughlin on 75 minutes when Guthrie's cross found McLaughlin in acres of space, and he took one touch before rifling the ball into the back of the net. Barr was then on hand to tap into an empty net from close range as Berwick retook the lead with eight minutes remaining after a communication error between Krissian and Hogarth had played him in. It looked as if Rangers might hang on for a win and three valuable points, but right at the death in injury time the Braves levelled for a second time through Krissian when he met a first time cross from McLaughlin was headed on into the path of Krissian and his downwards header crossed the line to make it 2-2.

8. Berwick Rangers met The Spartans for the third time this season when the teams played a Friday night Lowland League fixture at Ainslie Park. There was not much between the teams in a closely fought encounter and a simple mistake in the 39th minute by the Berwick defence let Murrell through to score the only goal of the game to claim all three points for the Edinburgh side.

16. Berwick Rangers picked up their third Lowland League win of the season with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Vale of Leithen at Shielfield Park. Vale went close early on when a 30-yard free kick was headed just past the post by Rossi. Rangers lost striker Daryl Healy to injury after just six minutes and was replaced by Osei. Balde was making some surging runs into the visitors' half and on one occasion he disposed the keeper on the by-line and cross to Waugh on the edge of the box, but his parting shot went wide. Osei went close with a shot across the goalmouth after being played through by Balde before Smith sent in powerful 20-yarder just past the post. The only goal in the opening period came a minute before the interval when Miller converted from the penalty spot after Balde, facing away from goal, was fouled from behind just inside the box after latching onto a headed clearance. Berwick doubled their lead six minutes into the second half when Osei headed in at the far post following a lofted centre by Forster. Rangers began to press, and Rossi cleared off the line before Purves hit the crossbar with a fast-rising shot. Purves went close twice more before Chalmers made it three on 65 minutes, netting on the rebound after Balde's shot had been blocked following a corner. A fourth Berwick goal came from a second penalty. Miller had been impeded as he ran into box following a corner and he stepped up to the mark to score with his second spot kick of the match.

19. Berwick Rangers gave a poor performance at Kelty Hearts in the second round of the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup in a 4-0 defeat and ended the match with only ten men after Greg Donald was sent off. Brennan did well to prevent Easton from scoring early on when palmed the ball away and Miller cleared. However, the home side took the lead on 18 minutes when a long upfield clearance by Linton was headed on by Austin to Russell, who chipped the ball over Brennan at the near post with the Berwick defence slow to react. Two minutes into the second half, Kelty extended their lead when a 20-yard shot from Linton cruelly deflected off Miller and totally wrong-footed Brennan before entering the net. Rangers then had their only real chance of the match when Waugh curled a well-struck 25-yard free kick just over. Linton paved the way for Kelty's third ten minutes later when a corner was played into his path; his shot hit Barr, who could not control the ball, inside the box and Austin beat Brennan to the loose ball and tapped it home from six yards. Shortly after, Brennan got down well to deny Russell from close range. Kelty made it 4-0 when a low cross from the left was driven home by Reilly, who ran into the box unmarked. Berwick were then reduced to ten men when Donald was shown a second yellow for a foul on McKirdy.

23. Back to Lowland League business, Berwick Rangers suffered a 3-1 defeat against East Stirlingshire at the Falkirk Stadium. The home side took the lead on 10 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Barr, who ran onto a Flynn ball over the top and was caught between Brian and Walters, and Low converted from the spot. Rangers responded and forced an equaliser seven minutes later when Miller ran in and headed into the net at the back post following a corner. Miller was lucky to stay on the pitch when he looked to have brought down Flynn who was through on goal, but the referee showed only a yellow. Shire went close when Murray floated in a cross from the right and Orr took a touch before curling 18-yarder just wide of the far post. Orr then played Brown in in front of goal, but his shot was saved by the legs of Walters before hitting the inside of the post and rebounding along the goal-line and into the keeper's hands. Berwick started the second half brightest and forced a free kick on the edge of the box from which Waugh took and Barclay saved superbly. However, East Stirlingshire who retook the lead on 56 minutes when Orr played in a superb delivery for Brown score with a diving header past Walters at the near post for 2-1. McDonald missed badly with a shot across the goal and only Walters to beat as Shire continued to press. Waugh again forced Barclay into making a fine save from a 20-yard free kick as Berwick pressed for an equaliser, but to no avail. With all most the last kick of the game Shire broke from within their own half and Dishington crossed for MacDonald to score from close range and secure all three points.

30. Berwick Rangers suffered another League defeat but were praise by many for restricting BSC Glasgow to a single goal after playing 76 minutes of the match with ten men at Shielfield Park. BSC also had a player red carded as the game itself was decided by a second half penalty. Berwick knew the visitors would be full of confidence after knocking SPFL 1 side East Fife out of the Scottish Cup in a seven-goal thriller at Methil. However, the main talking point was Chalmers being sent off on 14 minutes after a challenge in the centre circle on Collins. Most thought it would be a yellow, but the referee brandished a straight red. Berwick keeper Walters made a fine block in the 23rd minute as Orr managed to turn and shoot after a long-range ball from McNab took a deflection into his path. Five minutes later, Hamilton went close for BSC after some fine play. The move turned into a Berwick counterattack and Rangers had a penalty claim turned down. On 42 minutes, Barr made a superb save for the visitors after Osei managed to ghost behind the defence in a one-on-one. Early in the second half, Orr missed a great chance for BSC by scooping a shot over the bar from the six-yard box, before the deadlock was broken. Walters brought down Graham in the box on 51 minutes and Collins fired the penalty kick high to the keeper's right. McMillan made a goal-saving intervention on 57 minutes after Osei broke through the visiting defence. Orr had a great opportunity to put BSC further ahead after one-on-one with Walters, but the ball spun wide. Berwick received a free kick after an off-the-ball incident. Hughes received a yellow card for his protest but continued to argue and earned a second yellow followed by a red. Rangers pressed hard for the equaliser in the closing minutes. A long ball from Forster found Lewis Barr, but the visiting keeper made a very good save from his attempt.

Yaw Osei in action v BSC Glasgow 30 Nov 2019.

December

7. A sublime Darren Smith strike sealed a morale-boosting victory over Gretna 2008 at Shielfield Park as Rangers came from behind to win 2-1. Darren Smith, on his return to Berwick, came on as a half-time substitute and scored a beautiful goal nine minutes later. The opening minutes were even with both goals visited in turn. However, supporters could have been forgiven for thinking it might be a familiar story when Gretna went ahead on 13 minutes. A defensive mix-up midway up the Berwick half saw the ball ricocheted goalward; Connolly beat Donald in a race for the ball and Brennan failed to hold his shot with the ball bouncing over the keeper and into the net to put the visitors ahead. Rangers thought they may have found an equaliser when a Rose shot cannoned off the crossbar and was knocked home by Barr, but the linesman ruled it offside. However, the leveller came just past the half-hour from the penalty spot after Gretna's Smith handled cross by Purves on the edge of the box. Miller stepped up and sent Taylor the wrong way to make it 1-1. Berwick tried to make a claim for a second penalty a little later, but the referee was having none of it. Rangers made the chance which would prove pivotal at half-time with Darren Smith replacing Lumsden. Berwick had a great chance when Purves played an excellent pass through to Osei who spun on the spot before hitting a fast shot just inches wide of the post. On 55 minutes, Darren Smith made a weaving run down the left before unleashing a superbly hit angled shot which sailed into the net. Euan Smith then sent in a low cross, but Barr just failed to connect at the far post with the keeper beaten. Osei again went close when he latched onto the end of a long clearance, but he could not beat the advancing keeper, who slid out of the 18-yard box to save. A few minutes later, Osei was again close to scoring when he controlled a high cross from in front of goal, but his parting shot rebounded off Taylor at point-blank range. However, Rangers comfortable controlled the latter stages and Darren Smith's wonder goal was enough to take the points.

14. Berwick Rangers lost to a late goal by the University of Stirling in a Lowland League match at Forthbank. The students had the better of the early play and Brennan had to make several good saves to prevent the home side from scoring. As Berwick grew into the game, Osei dragged a shot wide whilst Purves, after good work by Barr, beat his marker but fired just over. Rose shot over from distance, while Stirling did likewise from 30-yards, and at the interval the match remained. A strong wind and heavy rain made conditions difficult at the start of the second half and neither side looked capable of commanding the game. Rangers went close to breaking the deadlock when Euan Smith's left-footed shot from the edge of the box struck a post. Rose was denied by a two good saves from the home keeper and Osei, who beat three defenders before shooting past the keeper, had an effort cleared off the line. Berwick were in the ascendancy, but they were undone and left frustrated on 81 minutes when a well worked free kick on the edge of the box allowed Brown to knock the ball into the goalmouth; it was headed back across the face of the goal and Hall reacted quickest to head home from close range for the only goal of the game.

Daryl Healy and Ricky Miller had transfer requests granted by the club after both players were offered contracts with fellow Lowland League side East Kilbride. Healy who was previously with Selkirk and Miller who joined in August from BSC Glasgow were both targeted by the South Lanarkshire side and left for an undisclosed fee, Berwick said both players would have been out of contract at the end of the season, and they had reluctantly agreed to their departure. It had been hoped that they would have formed a key part of the team for next season but having recognised their wish to move on to new challenges Rangers secured the best possible outcome for the club.

28. Berwick Rangers picked up three welcomed points with a 1-0 home win over Caledonian Braves. The only goal of the game was scored by Yaw Osei, who netted midway through the first half. There was not a lot between the sides in the early exchanges. Osei shot just over the bar after a neat shot on the turn. Brennan made a good save from a Krissian volley as the Braves replied. Blade then dragged a 35-yard shot just wide of the post before a Waugh free kick from the same range tested the keeper. The breakthrough came on 36 minutes when Osei ran on to a headed flick-on by Rose following a long upfield clearance and his shot was parried into the net by the keeper. The Braves responded and almost drew level when McLaughlin broke up the left and crossed into the box where the inrushing Daley hit a first-time volley from point-blank range straight at Brennan, who knew very little about it as Berwick held on to lead 1-0 at the interval. The second half resulted in few chances for either side, but the visitors made a late push and Quinn headed just over before Brennan made a good save to keep Rangers in front.

January

A statement from the club announced the agreement with Berwick Bandits to help secure their future residence at Shielfield Park and improve the quality of racing for speedway fans by widening the straights by one metre which meant the narrowing of the football pitch from 64 to 62 metres, two metres wider than that required for a Bronze Club Licence and six wider than Entry Level. The Bandits made a formal request and after having that request considered by the Lowland League and the SFA, the club decided to support the proposal. Whilst moving the football action further away from the terraces was not ideal, the positioning of the floodlights and stanchions limited other options and sacrificing a small area of the pitch would ensure the continuation of the Bandits, who contributed to the significant costs involved in running Shielfield Park through renting the stadium for track meetings.

4. A late injury time equaliser from substitute Euan Smith earned Berwick Rangers a point in a 2-2 draw with Gala Fairydean Rovers in the Border derby at Shielfield Park. Two goals from Galbraith, one in each half, had put the visitors 0-1 and 1-2 up with Rangers equalising through Osei, but it was Smith who salvaged a point with a second leveller in time added on. Early in the game, Brennan made a good save from a close-range Aitchison header following a well-placed free kick by Mackenzie. Purves forced Morton into saving a well-struck low shot as Berwick attacked, but Gala took the lead after 29 minutes when Darren Smith failed to control a deflected shot by Kelly off Waugh and Galbraith disposed him before shooting low into the net. Darren Smith was then replaced by Euan Smith after sustaining a head injury. Osei headed narrowly over as Berwick attacked but the visitors were having the better of the exchanges and Brennan was forced to several good saves. Aitchison nearly doubled Gala's lead when Brennan made a hash of punching the ball clear, but with the net empty he skied the ball over when it was easier to score and at the break Rovers led by a solitary goal. There was not a lot between the sides at the start of the second half and it took until the 79th minute before Berwick got back on level terms when Osesi equalised with a good finish after dispossessing Rodger on the right touchline and running in on goal and scoring with an oblique shot under the keeper. Gala responded with a header and shot over the bar in quick succession, whilst Brennan made another good save. On 85 minutes the visitors took the lead for a second time. Brennan made a superb diving save to push a powerful shot from Kelly out for a corner and Galbraith fired home with a low shot after the flag kick was cleared into his path. Purves almost levelled when Osei worked his way into the six-yard box and cut the ball back for him to shoot but Morton got down well to save. Barr scooped the ball over from a good scoring position as Berwick kept up the pressure. Gala were then reduced to ten men when Mackenzie was shown red after receiving his second yellow for a bad foul on Barr. Berwick had a couple of half chances, but it looked as if the visitors would hang on to take the points until Euan Smith struck almost at the death. Smith picked up a pass on the centre circle and ran through the middle until 25 yards from goal when he fired in a low bouncing shot which totally deceived Morton, who thought it was going wide, and it entered the net between the keeper and the post.

Ciaran Chalmers in action v Gala Fairydean Rovers 4 Jan 2020.

6. Dissatisfaction with the club's finances and direction led to a fiery annual general meeting, where major shareholders tabled a vote of no confidence on the current board of directors, who then resigned their positions. An extraordinary general meeting was duly called to appoint a new board of directors and a fresh approach.

18. New signing Hamish Thomson made an immediate impact when he scored on his debut against Gretna 2008. Thomson was only confirmed as a loan signing from Livingston 24 hours earlier and went straight into the team for the match at Ryedale Park. He gave Rangers the lead with a header from a corner midway through the second half, but Berwick were unable to hang on for the victory as the home side battled back for a share of the points with an equaliser from Watson just six minutes later. The first half produced little by the way of goalmouth chances with a Barr effort bringing out a save from the home keeper and Brennan making a good save at the other end the only action of note, but generally the defences were on top and at the break it remained 0-0. In the second half, Brennan was quick to make another good early save from close range. The deadlock was finally broken on 68 minutes when Berwick won a corner and Thomson found space in the box to mark his first game with a headed goal. However, Gretna fought their way back and levelled after 74 minutes when Watson found the net with a shot from the edge of the box. Purves fired wide and substitute Rose had a shot straight at the keeper, but neither side could find a winner and in the end they both had to settle for a point.

20. At an extraordinary general meeting, a new board of directors was appointed, who said that their main aim was to bring stability to the club. Former chairman Brian Porteous returned to the club role and new directors in the shape of former director Craig Forsyth, who took on the role of vice-chairman, Dave Buglass and Douglas Younger. After thanking the shareholders for appointing them, in a joint statement they said: "We are delighted that we can now progress with a short-term recovery plan until the end of the season and establish a longer-term business plan for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons. After an initial review, we were aware of several challenges we were facing to get the club onto a more stable footing. We have no interest in pointing the finger backwards, although we feel as though we need to provide transparency to shareholders, supporters, people of the town and the wider business community. Every business needs a baseline, and we want to share that with you. We will need everyone's support in our recovery and recognise that we must give something back to the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed and the surrounding area. We must become a true community club. As we work to stabilise the club, we will provide regular, transparent and honest communications. We will hide nothing; we will share all that we can and in return we hope we can rely on your support as we gain your confidence. We will re-evaluate what the club means to the town and put plans in place to work out how we can re-establish it as a centre for aspiring boys and girls who want to play football. While every young footballer's dream is of making it to the top, there is no reason why Berwick Rangers FC cannot be the first step on the ladder. We hope that you, the fans, will be enthused by our plans for the future of the football club and join us on that journey." To put matters simply, it was a case of "New Decade, New Goals, New Berwick Rangers.

25. Berwick Rangers went down to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of East Kilbride, who handed debuts to two Rangers' old boys in the shape of Daryl Healy and Ricky Miller. Rangers signed striker Calum Smith from Dundonald Bluebell 24 hours earlier, and he made his debut in the match. Rangers started brightly and Waugh curled a 20-yard free kick just over after Rose had been fouled. Brennan made a hash of a back pass when he kicked the ball straight to Miller, who promptly returned a shot on goal with the keeper well out of position and the goal empty, but luckily for Berwick the ball went high and over. Calum Smith headed over from just six yards out after being played through by Purves. Malcolm had a good chance to put the visitors ahead when a cross from the right outwitted two Berwick defenders, but he shot straight into Brennan's hands. Miller brought down Rose with a hefty challenge near the centre circle as Berwick attacked before Calum Smith again tested McGinley with a shot on the turn from inside the box. It was Malcolm who put the visitors ahead on 25 minutes with a low shot following a free kick played into the box, although there was a claim that the ball had struck a hand in the build-up. Rangers had plenty of possession but could not find a way through the visitors' defence. The last action of the half saw a Brady shot go inches over the crossbar after Miller had played a back pass to him on the edge of the box. Three minutes into the second half, East Kilbride doubled their lead. From a Berwick free kick into the box Miller cleared with a long upfield pass to Healy who played through McGrath to beat Brennan with a low 12-yard shot. As the game progressed both keepers made good saves, but neither side could find a way through. Windram headed a deep cross from the right goalward from near the back post, but the ball was headed off the line with Calum Smith in close attendance. Late in the game, Miller made another hefty challenge, this time on Barr in midfield, but the free kick came to nothing as East Kilbride held the Berwick attack back and a goal in each half was enough to give East Kilbride the points.

Jack Wright in action v East Kilbride 25 Jan 2020.

February

1. Berwick Rangers slipped to a 4-1 away defeat when BSC Glasgow came from behind to take the points. Despite the opening minutes being dominated by BSC Berwick had taken a first-half lead when Gary Windram scored with a superbly struck free kick from the edge of the box after 13 minutes. A Calum Smith volley was then well saved by the home keeper. However, as the half progressed, BSC started to ramp up the pressure and after Ross Smith volleyed over. On 26 minutes, a low pass from Orr found Grehan at the face of goal and he tapped home from close range to level the score. Almost straight from the restart the home side found themselves 2-1 up when Hamilton had all the time in the world to position a shot from 30 yards out and he gave Brennan no chance to save with a powerful shot. Three minutes later it was 3-1 when Grehan headed in from a central position following a cross from the right from McCormack. Despite Brennan's best efforts, he had no chance of keeping it out. Orr headed just over a few minutes later as the Glasgow side threatened to run riot. Calum Smith went close for Berwick when he found himself in a one-on-one with Marshall, who got down quick to blocked from only a few yards from goal. BSC continued to press with Collins and Grehan both going close before the changed of ends. There were fewer chances in the second half as both defences dominated, and the game became rather scrappy. However, BSC stretched their lead to 4-1 on 69 minutes when Orr stole the ball off a Berwick defender on the edge of the box and strolled into the box before beating Brennan from a tight angle. Late in the game, Berwick were reduced to ten men when Brian was red carded for a heavy two-footed tackle on Anderson.

3. At an open forum the new-look Board of Directors told those supporters who attend that tough but optimistic times lay ahead. Their main aim was to consolidate the club by the end of the current season. They forecast a financial loss of £55,000 at the end of this year, which they admitted was not ideal, and with a reduction next season of £60,000 in SFA and SPFL money, combined with a possible increase in fees set for the ground by Northumberland County Council, they said the picture was concerning. On a positive note, local businesses had got behind the new Board and all sponsorship packages for the remaining home games this season had been sold. The new Board also revealed that one of their main aims was to re-establish links with the community, the town and the surrounding area by setting up a Sports Foundation, with the Speedway and other local clubs by the end of the year. New director Dave Buglass said at the heart of the recovery was the proposed transformation of Shielfield Park and its surrounding pitches at Ivinson and Old Shielfield. He said not many clubs in Scotland have access to three grass parks in such a small area, but the facilities needed to be active seven days a week and become a sports hub for the town and wider areas. The creation of a Berwick Sports Foundation was imperative and the ability to access English funding for wages of employees who would run football and social projects locally had to be achieved. The town and wider community had to fall back in love with the club. Chairman Brian Porteous, ended the meeting, said: "What happened in the past is in the past. We are looking to the future, and we are more optimistic, although we are are under no illusion that times will be tough and everyone at the Football Club had to work together."

8. Berwick Rangers suffered a disappointing 5-1 defeat against East Stirlingshire at Shielfield Park. Rangers included two new faces in the team with signing of Sam Daniel from USA College Football and Alassan Jones on loan from Dundee United. Rangers took the lead first when Euan Smith fired them in front with a deflected shot on 22 minutes. Purves, on the edge of the 18-yard box, got on the end of a cross from near the right corner flag and tapped it back for Smith to hit a shot which took a wicked deflection off Bar and beat the keeper at the near post. Walters did well to tip a Dishington effort over the bar before Brown equalised for the visitors after 32 minutes. A free kick was floated into the box and headed on to Brown who hit a first-time volley into the net from close range. The rest of the half was generally scrappy, and the sides swapped ends level at 1-1. In the second half, East Stirlingshire started to turn the screw and on 51 minutes they deservedly took the lead when Murray forced the ball home in a goal-line scramble following a corner. Shire had the ball in the net a few minutes later but the goal was disallowed by the referee for a push in build-up. Dishington added a third on 69 minutes as the game started to slip away from Berwick. Walters flapped at a Brown header and the ball fell for Dishington to head down a drive home from 12 yards out. To make matters worse, Low made it 4-1 with a looping header from outside the box, over the advancing Walters and into an empty net just two minutes later. Shire had numerous chances to extend their lead further with Berwick never getting anywhere near Barclay in the visitors' goal. Tapping then completed the scoring with a powerful header following a corner with ten minutes remaining. After the game, a statement from the club said: "The match with East Stirlingshire was hard for all to take including the fans, players, management and board. However, after an initial feeling of disappointment, anger and even rage what followed the match was a 45-minute two-way discussion between the directors and management team. The overriding message was one of how we stick together, work towards the end of the season to improve and continue to make changes we need on and off the park."

Jack Wright in action v East Stirlingshire 8 Feb 2020.

Supporters of Berwick Rangers rallied to show their support for the club when several fresh initiatives were introduced up to boost income and generate more interest in the local community. The 1881 Fund was just one but just two days after being launched it had raised £2000 and after a cash collection at the match versus East Stirlingshire and further donations the fund stood at £4500 at the end of the first week.

15. Berwick Rangers took a point in a goal-less but entertaining draw against Cumbernauld Colts at the Broadwood Stadium. Play swung from end-to-end for the entire 90 minutes with both teams having chances, but the keepers at either end were in top form. Manager Ian Little was happy with the overall performance in what were difficult conditions for both sides as the match took place amid a storm. It was Berwick's first clean sheet of 2020. They also had a good shout for a penalty turned down by the referee and left Broadwood disappointed not to take all three points.

20. Berwick Rangers picked up their first win of 2020 when they beat Edinburgh University 2-0 at a very wind Shielfield Park. Goals from Calum Smith and Hamish Thomson gave Berwick all three points which helped consolidate their mid-table position. The game was played in far from ideal conditions and in the early exchanges Purves headed straight at the visiting keeper whilst Dick fired over at the other end. Berwick applied pressure on the students' goal but were unable to find a way through and at half-time the score remained goal-less. Play continued to be scrappy in the second half and Barr fired over from a good position. However, after making three substitutions Berwick finally managed to break the deadlock with just over ten minutes remaining when a cross from the right from Forster was headed into the corner of the net by Calum Smith. Five minutes later the second goal came when Thomson got the final touch on a corner and poked it home past the keeper at the near post. It was not a classic encounter by any chance with play very scrappy and few scoring chance for either team, but for once Berwick managed to take advantage of those that came their way and got the right result in the end.

The victory over Edinburgh University coincided with a successful Community Day at Shielfield Park with 556 supporters being admitted with free admission to the game, the gate receipts having been covered by both Supporters' organisations. A pay-what-you-like bucket collection at the gate raised over £1300 meaning that in just three weeks after launching the 1881 Fund had raised £6500 of their £10,000 target.

The match against Edinburgh University was also Berwick's last of the 2019/20 season as the Lowland League was abandoned due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. No matches were played after March 11th. Kelty Hearts were declared champions but there was to be no promotion or relegation from the Lowland League. The season might have ended but the fund raising, and the rebuilding of the club, continued.