Berwick host Cowdenbeath in what promises to be a fiesty clash tomorrow afternoon, with the lowly Cowden out for revenge after a Steven Thomson brace sank them at Central Park earlier this season.
After emphasising the importance to start turning hard-fought draws into wins, manager John Coughlin would no doubt be more than happy with a repeat performance of the ‘Gers 2-0 win earlier this season, but will know Cowden will be coming to Shielfield Park prepared for a fight.
“It’s another opportunity for us to try and improve our home form. For me, our success will depend on how we do at home.
“Picking up points away is a great bonus, but games like tomorrow are of great importance for our season, and of course it’s what our fans pay their money to see as well.”
“We know we’ve got a responsibility to turn performances like last week’s into wins. We did our best to make that happen and but for some impressive goalkeeping and questionable finishing we might have turned one point into three, but we know it’s an area we have to do better in.”
Berwick Rangers Team News:
Coughlin’s task is made no easier by the fact that he will be missing all three players which he currently has on loan with the club, with Sean Mackie still sidelined through injury, Greg Hurst having played for St Johnstone Under 20’s last nigh and Ben Stirling being kept fresh for Hibernian’s Scottish Youth Cup tie with Dundee on Sunday.
Michael McKenna was due to return from suspension but will face a late fitness test having missed training this week with an ankle problem, and he will be joined in being put through his paces prior to the match by Robert Wilson who has struggled with a knee problem this week. Kevin McKinlay, who was also set to return from a ban is likely to miss out.
Coughlin admitted that the injuries and suspensions is taking its toll on the ‘Gers squad, saying: “Playing the same guys every week is tough on the guys, and especially those who are in that 27+ age bracket, as it limits our management of their game time.
“The demands of playing part-time football, training and having a full-time job can be a lot to balance. We’re doing our best to do that, but it’s a situation we’re struggling with at the minute due to those problems.
“Hopefully we can get the majority of those who are doubts for tomorrow fit. We’ve been bolstered by the return of the likes of Lee Hamilton, who has struggled a little with injury in his short career but he’s back now and trained well over the last couple of weeks.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what the guys like these can offer. I strongly believe Lee can add a bit of power and pace in our full back area and I think we’ve maybe lacked that for a little while.”
Cowdenbeath Team News:
Boss John Coughlin will take confidence from Cowdenbeath’s record on the road, which has seen them record just one win so far this season. The Blue Brazil haven’t enjoyed the best opening quarter to the season, currently occupying 9th position in Ladbrokes League Two.
However, as defeats to the likes of Hawick Royal Albert have proven, his ‘Gers side have let complacency get the better of them this season and after offering his resignation as a result of his side’s inability to see off a side with nothing to lose, Coughlin will demand a major improvement from his side in this one.
Liam Fox has been boosted by the news of a successful appeal on a card awarded to Craig Sives. In a case of mistaken identity, an SPFL panel overturned the decision.
With the game our last before Remembrance weekend, the club along with Cowdenbeath FC will host a minutes silence to honour those who have gave their lives for their country.
Those serving, or who have served the forces will enjoy entry completely free of charge for this weekend’s clash.
There will also be a ‘Lest We Forget’ poppy appeal, with the club being joined by Platoon Commander, Lt Debra Jerdan and Sgt Natalie Spence, as well as Cadets of Berwick Detachment Army Cadets who will all be collectting in aid of the appeal.
The detachment is well-known locally for its fundraising efforts both for local andmilitary charities. The Cadets hope to beat their Appeal collection total for last year which was an impressive £4000.
Adults – £12
Concessions – £6
Under 16’s can collect a free season voucher from the club’s main office prior to the match.
SPFL title sponsors Ladbrokes price the ‘Gers as favourites in this one, with the ‘Gers expected to strengthen their play-off hopes.
Berwick Rangers – 4/5
Draw – 11/4
Cowdenbeath – 11/4
Kevin Graham is the man tasked with taking control of this one, and he will be assisted by both Stuart Hodge and Mark Ainslie.
Enjoy the game!