Match Report

By Paul Smith

Scottish Cup Round Three
Shielfield Park, Berwick-upon-Tweed




Saturday, January 27, 2001

THE PLAYERS CELEBRATE- (L to R) Marc Anthony, Dale Gray, Grant McMartin, Alan Neill, Gordon Forrest, Gary Wood, Barry Elliot, Darren Smith, Martin Neil, Craig FindlayIt's 34 years to the day since that historic win over Rangers- and we so nearly recorded another cup shock. A bit of luck and composure in front of goal would have seen us progress into the next round at the expense of the 'super-stars' of Hearts. Instead, a money spinning replay will just have to do. But who's complaining.

EVERY player did Berwick Rangers Football Club proud, to be disappointed with a draw against and SPL outfit is something Berwick fans could have only dreamed about a few years ago.

Hearts failed to sell all their tickets, so sections of the Ducket were a bit sparse. However the Berwick section was full to bursting, infact about 100 fans were forced to stand in front of the stand and behind the goal because there was no room in the stand.

Referee John Rowbotham kicked the game off in glorious sunshine. After two minutes Gary Wood fired a warning shot to Hearts with a 20 yard shot which was held by Niemi.

Andy Kirk looked lively on the left, but Grant McMartin had no real difficulty in dealing with him. This was in evidence when Kirk tried to outsmart McMartin with clever foot work but Grant quickly knocked Kirk off the ball and cleared the danger.

Berwick were looking very dangerous on the break and weren't surrendering the ball easily. A long ball from Alan Neill was chased by Gary Wood eventually got to the ball only to slice his shot wide.

A jinxing run from Darren Smith saw him beat a couple of Hearts defenders before laying the ball off to Marc Anthony who shot inches wide with Niemi beaten all ends up.

Our best chance of the game came about five minutes before the break. Barry Elliot chased and harried Murray, as Murray tried to clear up field Elliot jumped and the ball rebounded off his backside, Murray slipped and Elliot took possession of the ball and moved in on goal- he shot from a narrow angle and Niemi gathered.

At half time there was an air of disbelief amongst the home fans. We were actually getting the better of Hearts and we were perhaps unlucky not to be 1-0 up at half time.

A ten minute period in the second half saw Hearts exert some pressure on Berwick, but the visitors were reduced to long range shots- most of which sailed over the bar and into the car park. Mark McLean pulled off an outstanding save to deny Gordon Durie and he also did well to save an Andy Kirk close range effort with his feet.

A sweeping counter attack on the hour mark saw some great link-up play between Anthony and Wood. Unfortunately Wood lacked the required poise in front of goal and fired wide.

Mark Duthie was introduce to the action with about 20 minutes to go. Craig Findlay also came on in place of Elliot.

With only a few minutes remaining Gary Wood released Martin Neil who burst into the area and unleashed a flashing shot which hit the stanchion. And in the final minute Gary Wood and Craig Findlay broke forward in a two-on-two situation, but Gary Wood waited just a little bit too long before trying to release Craig Findlay and his pass was cut out.

Referee Rowbotham added two minutes injury time and blew his whistle. Jeers from the Hearts fans was drowned out by cheers from the home supporters.

The replay is a week on Wednesday at Tynecastle. This match won't be all ticket, you just pay at the gate. Can we possibly put up another magnificent fight? You just never know...

Managers' Comments
Paul Smith
"I thought the back four and Alan Neill were outstanding but it was a fantastic team performance. All the players were brilliant.

"We gave them no time on the ball which was our plan. You can't give Steve Fulton and Colin Cameron time to play or they will pass you to death.

"We were looking tired towards the end but we battled on and finished OK.

"It's a great day for the players and we will enjoy it tonight. I'm delighted for the chairman (Jamie Curle) because he has put a lot of effort into the club."

Craig Levien
"It was a banana skin but we've survived. Sometimes you don't play well and that was the case today. But at least we've got the chance to go through.

"All credit to Berwick - they played very well. Andy Kirk had a chance which could have gone in but really we've no complaints about a draw."

How They Lined Up
McMartin Gray Ritchie Neill (c)
Kirk Durie
Forrest Neil Anthony Smith
Fulton Cameron (c) Tonaschek Boyack
Wood Elliot
Flogal Petric Pressley Murray

DTO Man of the Match- Alan Neill 10
Alan Neill had the game of his life. Won everything he went for, in the air as well as on the ground. His distribution was excellent and kept to his marking job well.

Match Stats

9 Shots


5 Shots On Target 5
1 Corners 5
4 Off-Sides 7
12 Fouls 13
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

Related Links
League Table
Top Scorers
Refereeing Performance Table
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More Reports @ Planet Ducket,
Prediction League Table


Berwick Rangers
McLean 9
Forrest 9
Gray 9
 Ritchie 9
Neill 10
Anthony 9
Neil 9
Elliot 9
Smith 9
McMartin 9
Wood 9

Whelan (Wood)
Duthie (Smith)
Findlay (Elliot)


Juanjo (Fulton)
McSwegan (Durie)
Makel (Tomaschek)

Mr. John Rowbotham
Good overall performance from a good, class one referee. Makes a refreshing change.
Overall: 8/10
Referee's Table



League Position:

Next Match:
(A) Feb 2
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