Matchday 23 | Berwick Rangers v Gala Fairydean Rovers

Match Preview / Team News

As things stand, our home matches against Gala Fairydean Rovers on Boxing Day and Bonnyrigg Rose on New Year’s Day remain unaffected and will go ahead as planned with payment for attendance made upon entry to the ground (no requirement for online tickets). Please note that this fixture is scheduled for a 3pm kick-off.

The Lowland League confirmed yesterday that a daily testing regime is being introduced for playing staff, team staff and club board members. We’d also ask any guests who are in hospitality for these games to take a lateral flow test ahead on the morning of the fixture.

The club continues to monitor the situation closely and will offer a further update if necessary. As things stand, Stuart Malcolm is looking for his to side to make it three wins on the trot on Sunday afternoon.

Boosting chances of doing just that is the arrival of goalkeeper Ali Adams, who could be in line to make his second ‘Gers debut after joining last week. Adams will fight it out with Andy McNeil and Ben Swinton for the #1 jersey.

Ciaran Heeps is a doubt after a recent Covid bout, which would have kept him out of last weekend’s tie with Dalbeattie Star had the game not been called off.

To add another three points to their tally, Berwick will have to beat a Gala side that defeated them 2-1 earlier this season. Former ‘Ger Daryl Healy caused problems that day, but Zander Murray has since emerged as the Borders side’s main threat, and the forward has netted 9 goals so far this season – as many as ‘Gers top scorer, Graham Taylor.

All at the club would like our Club 1881 members many happy returns this Christmas, and we hope you have a lovely festive season. We look forward to welcoming you at Shielfield Park soon – and hopefully as quickly as Boxing Day!

BRFC 4 – 2 Gala Fairydean Rovers

A four-goal blitz in 16 minutes either side of half time saw the ‘Gers respond from two goals down to beat Gala Fairydean Rovers in the border derby.

In dreadful Boxing Day conditions, the visitors took the lead inside six minutes when Arron Darge scored direct from a corner.

Less than ten minutes later, it was two – again, from a corner. The cross came in and hit the midriff of Zander Murray before trickling over the line in what was a poor goal to concede from a defensive point of view.

As the game edged towards the break, it became a feisty and fraught affair, with Liam Campbell lucky to stay on the pitch after kicking out at Michael Travis on the deck after a strong challenge from the ‘Gers right back. After a short deliberation with his assistant, the referee decided that a booking apiece was suitable punishment.

It also became increasingly apparent that the next goal would be crucial. Thankfully, that went the way of the ‘Gers on 41 minutes when a corner was cleared to Grant Nelson on the halfway line. The midfielder sprayed the ball right to Sean Stewart and the forward took on his man before crossing for Travis, who headed past the keeper.

With that momentum and a rollocking from boss Stuart Malcolm at the break, the ‘Gers came out of the blocks firing with three goals in ten minutes.

In the 47th minute, David Ferguson lashed home from close range after the keeper had failed to gather from a corner.

Five minutes later, the ‘Gers were awarded a penalty when Stewart beat the offside trap and was taken down by the keeper. Alex Harris stepped up and sent him the wrong way from the spot.

Graham Taylor then made it four. Following a well worked move in midfield, the winger cut in from the left hand side and tried his luck, with his effort finding the back of the net via a big deflection.

With a two-goal lead, the ‘Gers went in to ‘game management’ mode, dropping the intensity but also limiting Gala to very few chances. The only real opportunity the visitors had in the second half came less than 15 minutes from time, when Murray unleashed a fierce shot that Ali Adams did well to turn past the post.

All in all, it was a pleasing result and comeback from the ‘Gers, who are now up to seventh in the Lowland League table with leaders Bonnyrigg Rose visiting Shielfield Park on New Year’s Day.

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