Berwick head into tomorrow’s clash with Annan Athletic on the back of two away victories at East Stirlingshire and Queen’s Park, and will be looking to build on two impressive performances by recording their fourth home win of the season.
Around 10 fans helped fork the pitch on New Year’s Eve to help prepare it for the game, so the club are confident the pitch will be ready for Saturday barring any extreme weather, and would like to express their gratitude to those who volunteered.
Berwick Rangers Team News:
The ‘Gers have already clashed with their Dumfries-based opposition on three occasions this season, but have yet to taste victory against the visitors despite a battling 1-0 defeat last time out in November in John Coughlin’s first game as Berwick manager since his return.
Coughlin will be forced into at least two changes, both through suspension. Captain Jonny Fairbairn is out after accumulating one too many bookings, whilst midfielder Finn Graham’s red card in midweek friendly action against Newcastle United U21’s earns him a seat in the stands.
But with the addition of Allan Walker from East Fife who featured in that friendly, alongside Dylan Stevenson who made an impressive impact off the bench at Hampden Park last weekend, the manager will be confident he has the depth to replace Graham.
One man who’ll be looking forward to the occasion is Darren Lavery, the striker set for his 150th appearance in Black & Gold, only seven days after recording his 50th league goal for the club and eighth of the season.
Euan Bauld remains sidelined alongside Calum Helm, the pair still recovering from long-term injuries.
Annan Athletic Team News:
Annan currently sit top of the league and would have been thankful for the ‘Gers Boxing Day efforts at Hampden Park which prevented the Spiders from going top, the Galabankies slipping to a 3-2 defeat at home to the now 2nd placed Clyde.
No matter the result, the away side will no doubt be looking to finish the game in slightly less bizarre circumstances than on their last trip to Shielfield, which saw Annan manager Jim Chapman opt to play out the final few minutes with 10 men, removing one of his players in the dying moments of the match despite having used his quota of substitutions.
One man who won’t be making the trip is Steven Sloan, the midfielder ruled out for a few weeks with a rib issue. Manager Jim Chapman says he expects to have a full squad available despite one or two suffering from illness in his side. Peter Weatherson had been expected to miss out, but will be available after Chapman opted to appeal a red card in the aforementioned Clyde match.
Normal admission applies. Fans are reminded that half-season tickets will be available from the club’s main office prior to the game, and are priced at £70 Adults & £35 Concessions.
Adults – £12
Concessions – £6
SPFL sponsors Ladbrokes price the table-topping away side as slight favourites going in to the game, though both sides are available above evens.
Berwick Rangers – 31/20
Draw – 3/1
Annan Athletic – 6/5
Scott Millar will take charge of the ‘Border Derby’, and will be assisted by both Duncan Smith & Craig Wilson.
Enjoy the game!