ROWAN BACK THE YEARS
Tomorrow sees Gretna FC 2008 make the journey along the border for the first ever league meeting between the two teams (in whatever guise you consider Gretna). We should of course have met earlier in the season but the summer rain in the west put paid to that fixture (which is yet to be rearranged). This is the start of the second half of the season with us now having played everybody bar tomorrow's opponents. It's reasonable to say the first half of the season has not been what we hoped for - twelfth in the league, 24 points from the top, 8 points from the bottom with only three wins and three draws bringing us points, goalscoring has been a problem with only 7 teams scoring less than us and defensively we are fairly average with only 7 teams conceding less. We go into the game six points and two places above Gretna in the league having played the same number of games. Gretna had a miserable start to the season picking up only one point in their first eight games and suffering a 9 - 1 thumping at Shire and a 10 - 0 mauling at BFKH. Their only win so far this season has been against fellow strugglers Vale of Leithen with the three points from that match being the difference between being third bottom or bottom.
After another thumping at BFKH last week in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup saw manager Chris Humphrey lose his job to be swiftly replaced on Monday by Rowan Alexander in a classic return of the prodigal scenario. Alexander was first manager of the now liquidated Gretna in 2000 when they were still a non-league English side and he remained manager through the switch to Scottish League set-up. He oversaw the rise to the second tier and their Scottish Cup Final appearance. His dismissal was surrounded in controversy, being replaced by Davie Irons before promotion to the top tier was sealed and being refused entry to the main stand at Motherwell for their first game before being eventually sacked in the November. Other than a brief spell at Glenafton in 2010 Alexander has been out of the game until Monday's news.
Dream Teamers will be hoping there's no new manager bounce tomorrow. Team news for Berwick suggests that Healy remains out, several players are trying to shake of knocks while Chalmers is suspended after last week's red card. I would imagine the Smith brothers will be back.
Last week's performance showed some grit and it's to be hoped that we an build on this. It's yet another crucial game and another opportunity to create a bit of daylight between us and the teams in the bottom three and maybe starting looking up a little.