Thursday, 28 July 2011

Berwick Rangers - Shielfield Park

22nd January 2000

Berwick Rangers 3-1 Brechin City

There are times, I suppose, when you just have to accept nothing terribly interesting happens on a football trip.  You have an uneventful car journey to the ground, pay to get in, buy a programme, eat a pie and, in my case anyway, suffer heartburn.  Then, for 90 minutes or so you stand or sit and watch 22 hard-working, honest, but ultimately, limited individuals whack a football back and forth.  From time to time a goal is scored although, certainly at this level, such instances tend to be the result of a defender making an arse of things, rather than a consequence of either individual or collective creativity by the scoring side.

In this particular match, myself and 343 other souls witnessed a fairly routine win for Berwick Rangers over a Brechin City side who despite taking a 12th minute lead through Ben HONEYMAN, never really looked confident in their ability to take anything from the encounter.  The home side’s goals came courtesy of Paul PATTERSON (22), Davie WATT (48) and Darren SMITH (89).

No, I guess the only notable fact about this particular Scottish League match was that I had to visit a foreign country to attend it.  There are instances of clubs playing in the “wrong” country in other parts of the world (Andorran and Liechtenstein clubs play in Spanish and Swiss leagues respectively, for example), but there do appear to be a disproportionate number of high profile cases in the UK. 

In addition to the aforementioned Berwick Rangers, Scots club Gretna FC spent much of their lives in the English non-league pyramid, as have a number of Welsh clubs.  And, of course, Swansea City will be plying their trade for season 2011/12 (at least) in England’s top flight.  Whilst across the Irish Sea, for reasons I am not going to go anywhere near, two versions of Derry City (based in Northern Ireland) have participated in the Republic of Ireland football league set-up.

Shielfield Park - January 2000
Shielfield Park - 2016

Inside the stand - January 2000
The same view in November 2016.
The club have replaced the black buckets with yellow ones since 2000,
and the fans now get backs to their seats !

Looking towards the towers of Simpson's Malts (2000)
I am not sure if these towers rise and fall like gas storage tanks.
If not, then clearly Simpson's Malts has been making significant investment since 2000.

The Ducket - January 2000
and in 2016

Panorama of Shielfield Park, Berwick (2000).
The same view in 2016
Since 2000, a couple of low floodlights have been erected and a layer of cushioning
 applied to the boundary wall - both for the benefit of the Speedway riders, I assume.


Berwick Rangers 1-1 Cowdenbeath
Ritherford (19)           Muirhead (90)

5th November 2016

Shielfield turnstiles - November 2016

Shielfield Park, Berwick Rangers - November 2016

Panorama of Shielfield Park, Berwick Rangers - November 2016

The Ducket, Shielfield Park.

Shielfield Park stand.

Attempting these days to prevent my gut from reaching infinite mass, I found this van a huge temptation.
But I resisted.  Goodness knows how....the fish looked delicious.

Cowdenbeath prepare to defend a first-half corner kick

Berwick v Cowdenbeath - Nov 2016

View from The Ducket

Berwick's Brian Martin does a spot of gardening.
Coweden's Craig Johnston takes evasive action.

Battle of the full-backs:Dean Brett meets Kevin McKinlay.

Home No 11 and team captain Jordyn Sheerin somehow clear this 'Beath free kick.

Shielfield Park - 2016

View from the Shielfield Park stand.

Shielfield Park - 2016

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