Berwick Rangers on up after 1-0 win at Gretna but manager Stuart Malcolm calling for drastic improvement
A 37th-minute Liam Buchanan goal, a follow-up after home goalkeeper Jay Kennedy kept out a Bayley Klimionek shot but was unable to keep hold of the ball or get it clear, earned three points for Malcolm’s men in Dumfries and Galloway.
Now on 15 points from ten fixtures, that result saw them move up from 11th place to eighth, but that’s still a way short of where Rangers, seventh-placed finishers in the league last time round, want to be, according to their gaffer.
“There are a lot of hard weeks to come and there are a lot of big, big games for the club, especially in the Scottish Cup, so our performance levels need to rise drastically,” the 44-year-old told the club’s Facebook page.
“If we look at where we were from December last year to the end of the season compared to where we are now, we are a good bit off where we were.”
Rangers aren’t in league action again until the end of the month, being due to play seventh-placed Linlithgow Rose away on saturday, September 30, with kick-off at 3pm.
They’ve got a couple of cup ties in the meantime, however, both 3pm kick-offs too
The Northumbrians are away to league rivals Edinburgh University in the South Region Challenge Cup’s second round at Peffermill playing fields this coming Saturday and on the road to take on the Scottish Highland Football League’s Brora Rangers in the Scottish Cup’s first round seven days later.
Looking back over Saturday’s win, Malcolm added: “It’s three points and that’s what we came here for, so that’s a positive.
“It’s a great result. It’s away from home, so it’s a good result, but in terms of performance, once again it probably wasn’t up to the mark.
“Our performance in the first half was all right but our second-half performance was pedestrian.
“It was far from the performance we were looking for.
“There wasn’t really anyone in that game, in terms of performance, that was a total standout.”