A January Preview

With 2023 ending in a pulsating 3-3 draw with Gala Fairydean Rovers, attention now turns to the new year for Berwick with three tough Lowland League games to look forward to. 

First, Thomas Scobbie takes his side up the A1 to Foresters Park where Tranent are the hosts. While it certainly has not been a happy hunting ground for the Black & Gold having lost both previous visits, there will be plenty of optimism after the last meeting at Shielfield Park back in November. Berwick were seconds away from taking a well deserved victory in Scobbie’s first league game in charge and many will agree that, arguably, that was the best overall performance of the season so far. 

Tranent sit fourth in the Lowland League at the turn of the year, 11 points off leaders East Kilbride with two games in hand. Ian Little’s side boast the stingiest defence in the competition, conceding just 19 times in their 18 games, while only the three sides above them – East Kilbride, Cumbernauld Colts and Hearts B – have scored more than their 46 goals with top scorer Cameron Ross bagging 16. 

The following Saturday (13th), it’s a return to Shielfield as Civil Service Strollers are the visitors. Strollers have proven to be a tricky opponent for Berwick, winning half of the eight meetings between the sides. Indeed, Berwick’s only victory since relegation to the Lowland League in 2019 was a 3-1 home win in January 2022 while the other win Berwick hold came in a Scottish Cup Second Round tie in 2009 with Fraser McLaren scoring both in a 2-1 win. 

Berwick will be looking to gain a measure of revenge for the 1-0 away defeat back in November, a game where Berwick would feel aggrieved not to take home a point. Civil, though, have proved to be a tough nut to crack for many teams this season as they sit 7th, conceding just 28 times. However, goals have been an issue as they are one of six sides to score fewer than 30 goals with their top scorer Innes Lawson bagging just 5 so far.

Additionally, fans who attended the home game with Gala should have been given a voucher for the game against Civil Service Strollers that will get them a half price ticket. 

Finally, thanks to a two week break due to a fixture clash for a future opponent, Broomhill visit Shielfield on the 27th. Broomhill finished 2023 poorly, picking up just one point from three games in December and slipping to 13th in the table. They currently sit three points above Berwick albeit with two games in hand. Interestingly, their last league win was the November meeting with Berwick at Dumbarton Stadium which was also Thomas Scobbie’s first defeat as Berwick boss.

Two of Berwick’s three victories over Broomhill have been at Shielfield, with the visitors not getting anything from games in Berwick since February 2020. Broomhill have scored 31 times in the Lowland League, seven of which have come from the penalty spot. Paul Kennedy has scored all six of his league goals from penalties this season with only Corey O’Donnell scoring more for Stephen Swift’s side. 

Ticketing and team information will be available closer to each matchday while fans unable to attend those games can keep up to date with the action on those platforms with updates and potential live commentary. All information will be communicated via Facebook and X so be sure to follow to ensure you are up to date.