'We didn't adapt to very windy conditions' - Vale of Leithen boss Grant Sandison explains his team's failings in 9-0 loss
In wild, windy conditions, Vale went down to a resounding loss which leaves them six points adrift of Gretna 2008 at the foot of the Lowland League.
“We just never adapted to the conditions,” Sandison told the Southern Reporter. “The weather was terrible, the pitch was terrible and we just never dealt with it.
"We have a young, inexperienced side and I think that showed on Saturday. We sometimes just have to adapt to the surroundings and conditions on the pitch.
"We never did that, Berwick did and we paid for it.
"A lot of our guys are used to playing on astroturf so it was a bit of a wake up call for them.
"You’re not going to play in sunshine and warm weather every week so you have to learn to adapt to it when it’s not nice so it’s something we’ll definitely look at going forward.
"We were impressed with Berwick. They were one of the better sides we’ve played.
"They played some good football considering the weather. They were well coached, well drilled and miles better than us and it showed on the day.”
With Vale six points adrift of Gretna with seven games to play – one match less than Gretna have left – the prospect of Sandison’s team avoiding the drop looks bleak but they will keep fighting.
It doesn’t get any easier though, as the Innerleithen side are away to Celtic B in the league this Sunday.
"We’ve lifted the boys before and we’ll try and do it again,” Sandison said. “We recently lost 8-0 to Spartans then got a 0-0 draw against East Kilbride.
"We’ll have a game plan for Sunday and hopefully we go there and take something from the game.
"Catching Gretna will obviously be difficult but until it’s mathematically impossible we’ll keep trying our best and see where it takes us.”
Sandison said he expects to make “a few changes” for the trip to Celtic’s second string, who are currently sitting fourth in the table.
"There’s guys that are ready to come into the side,” he added. "So I would imagine that I probably will change two or three just to freshen things up a bit.”