Match Day 14 | BRFC vs Rangers B

Match Preview / Team News

Berwick Rangers v Rangers B

It’s a return to home action for the Dream Team as they look to get their league campaign back on track following consecutive away league defeats. High flying Rangers B are in town aiming to get back to winning ways in the league themselves, following last week’s surprise defeat to Gala Fairydean Rovers, in what was only the second time that they’ve dropped points so far this season.

Since then, Rangers B have been in European action, with a dominant 3-0 win against Hammarby of Sweden at home in the youth version of the Champions League. Hammarby, part owned by Zlatan Imbrahimovic, are the current Sweden Youth League Champions and reportedly haven’t been beaten in the last two years. Goals from Robbie Ure and a brace from Ross McCausland have put Rangers in the driving seat ahead of the second leg in Sweden.

Co-manager David McCallum spoke to the press following the game, reminding his team that it’s only half time in the tie despite the impressive result. McCallum took over the role of Co-manager in the summer, joining Brian Gilmour who remained in his post after Kevin Thomson departed for Kelty Hearts, replacing former Rangers legend Barry Ferguson in the process. Thomson brought in ex Berwick midfielder Kevin McDonald as his assistant manager as Ferguson departed for Alloa Athletic, who Rangers B will face in the SPFL Trust Trophy a week on Tuesday. Rangers B had been reinstated to the competition this week due to Ayr United fielding two ineligible players during their 3-0 victory in the previous round.

The SPFL Trust Trophy or Challenge Cup as it’s more commonly known was also the last time Berwick and Rangers B met, back in August 2019. Dapo Mebude grabbed the opener for Rangers that day and, following his release in the summer, was snapped up by English Premier League side Watford. Watford sent Mebude out on loan to AFC Wimbledon at the start of the season and he’s scored twice in eleven appearances so far. Josh McPake doubled the away side’s lead on the day and the highly rated wide man joined Morecambe on loan this summer. Dan Purves got one back for the Wee ‘Gers in the second half but the game finished 2-1.

Rangers B come to Shielfield Park this weekend hoping for the same result and will likely be relying on Tony Weston to provide the firepower to do so. The former Blackpool youth player is currently second top goalscorer in the league with nine goals so far this term. Charlie McCann signed from Manchester United in the summer in a big money move and he’ll be looking to pull the strings in midfield. McCann has impressed so far this season and trained with the first team this week ahead of their European fixture with Sparta Prague following an impressive string of performances in the Lowland League. Robbie Ure has also grabbed five league goals so far this term and has been pivotal to his side’s strong start to the season. Rangers B sit second in the league, four points off leaders Bonnyrigg Rose but with two games in hand.

Berwick, on the other hand, will be looking to climb up the leaderboard having dropped to ninth due to recent results. Manager Stuart Malcolm lamented his side’s lack of conviction in front of goal and will be boosted by the return of two strikers this weekend. Lewis Allan has recovered from a knee injury to take his place in the squad alongside Calum Smith who has trained this week following a shoulder problem keeping him out in recent weeks. Jack Cook has also returned to training following his hamstring injury but is a doubt for Saturday’s game due to illness. Kieran Somerville left the club this week for Tranent Juniors, whilst Lewis Barr remains sidelined alongside long term absentees Jack Wright and Craig Reid.

Scott-Taylor MacKenzie serves the first of a five game ban, with an additional two games suspended, following a disciplinary hearing this week in relation to his red card against Bo’ness United. Having already served an automatic two game ban, the adjudicators found that Scott’s actions in the aftermath of the sending off were unsportsmanlike and therefore sanctioned a further punishment on the 25 year old.

Hopefully, we’ll see a good crowd at Shielfield Park following the excellent turn out against Gretna 2008 in the Scottish Cup ahead of two very winnable games next week against Edinburgh University and Vale of Leithen. 

BRFC vs Rangers B

A positive Berwick team were ultimately outclassed by a youthful Rangers side,  despite having many chances to net more than the single goal they’d net against the Ibrox side.

In a match played at lightening pace Rangers would assume control early, zipping the ball around and creating early chances. Tony Weston was first to go close, but sponsor’s Man of the Match David Ferguson was on hand to deny him with a fantastic challenge just three minutes in.

It was the Wee ‘Gers who’d go close next, Ryan Finnie’s delivery being met by Lewis Baker only for his effort to be stopped well by Jay Hogarth in the Rangers goal.

It took only 8 minutes for the Colts side to take the lead, Robbie Fraser sending the ball past McNeil. Ten minutes later, Leon King added a second when he was found unmarked in the box, heading home a corner.

Berwick offered hope just a minute later as Baker skipped past an oncoming defender on the byline to pull back for Sean Stewart to tap into an empty net.

However, when Aidan Denholm cynically brought down a counter-attacking Lowry, the impressive youngster stepped up to bend a 25 yard free-kick into the top corner.

The away side’s dominance continued and in the 40th minute, they netted a fourth through Ross McCausland who leathered a strike into the top left corner from 20 yards.

Things would calm a little for the ‘Gers in the second half, with Rangers more content to play keep-ball, however this didn’t stop them adding a fifth in the 50th minute when McClelland headed another corner in.

Graham Taylor set Sean Stewart up with another glorious chance to tap-in, but the forward could only watch on as his effort flew over the bar.

And in the 75th minute, Weston would add a sixth after some fine Rangers build-up play between himself and Adam Devine.

The final chance of note went to social media Man of the Match Denholm, whose free-kick hit the top of the post before cannoning out for a goal-kick, leaving Rangers 6-1 winners on the day.

Post Match Reaction

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