The February Preview

Berwick look to continue their fantastic January form into February with four challenging games to look forward to in all competitions for the Dream Team. 

Thomas Scobbie’s side completed a perfect opening month of 2024, scoring six goals and conceding none, rising to 11th in the Lowland League as well as welcoming back last season’s Lowland League top scorer Liam Buchanan. 

Up first for the resurgent Berwick is a difficult Tuesday night (6th) trip to Alliance Park to face Caledonian Braves in the opening round of the Lowland League Cup. This game was supposed to be played on January 20th but Braves’ planned participation in the Southern Counties Challenge Cup put paid to that. That was the second postponement between the two teams after the league game in early December was called off due to bad weather in Berwick. 

Braves in January also went unbeaten although they drew all three of their Lowland League games which included two very tough trips to East Kilbride and Tranent. Braves will also have the confidence of knowing that they have three wins over Berwick at Alliance Park, including an opening day win back in July. The winners of this tie will travel to the winner of the game between Cumbernauld Colts and Edinburgh University in the next round. 

Then, it is right back to the action the following Saturday (10th) as Berwick travel to Forthbank to take on 9th place Stirling University in league action. Uni have not quite scaled the same heights as last season but they are still one of the most dangerous and difficult teams to beat in the Lowland League, evidenced by their comeback from two down to grab a point at Shielfield back in August. 

Uni come into this on the back of an inconsistent January where, despite knocking Cowdenbeath out of the Lowland League Cup, a draw at second-bottom Gretna and defeat at league leaders East Kilbride leave them just two points ahead of Berwick. One of Chris Geddes’ sides’ downfalls this season has been goals with only five sides scoring fewer than their 35, although only Mackenzie Kirk and Cameron Ross have scored more than Uni’s Cameron McKinlay’s 13 this season. 

The following week (17th), Berwick return to Shielfield to face off against a familiar foe in East Stirlingshire. The return game at Falkirk Stadium back in August was Berwick’s first win this season, thanks to a Liam Buchanan brace and Pat Scullion’s Shire have been competitive since without picking up too many victories to go with it, leaving them 16th but well clear of the bottom two. 

Shire did end January with two consecutive victories at home and do have some statistics that indicate they are certainly no pushovers. Six of their fourteen defeats have been by a single goal and they have not lost a league game by more than three goals all season while their 36 goals scored is more than every side above them until Cowdenbeath in 10th. Keeping goals out has been an issue though, with only Edinburgh University (100), Gretna (96) and Gala Fairydean (64) conceding more than Shire (47). 

Our final game of February (24th) sees one more difficult road trip as Berwick make the trip to the Penny Cars Stadium in Airdrie to face Celtic B. Darren O’Dea’s young side sit 8th in the Lowland League and would have been bitterly disappointed to see his side concede a late Jamie McCormack winner when the sides met at Shielfield in August. 

The young Celts have been amongst the top scorers in the Lowland League (51), led by the impressive Rocco Vata – generating strong interest from Serie A and beyond – and Corey Thomson, although they will look back on a number of games this year and bemoan their inexperience. January saw them throw away leads in draws against Gretna and Linlithgow Rose while they haven’t defeated Berwick since November 2021. 

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.