Play-offs will be biggest games in recent times

Berwick Rangers are preparing for what is arguable the two most important games in their history, and they will do so with a new management team in charge.

Monday, 6th May 2019, 11:01 am
Updated Monday, 6th May 2019, 11:10 am
John Brownlie

Former players John Brownlie and Ian Little were both appointed into the roles of manager and assistant by the Board last week, after taking the decision to part company with former boss Johnny Harvey.

Harvey had been in charge since October, but a string of poor results had seen the club sink to the bottom of Scottish League 2, with their future due to be determined by the upcoming play-offs against Cove Rangers.

Highland champions Cove won the right to face Berwick by beating Lowland League winners East Kilbride in their own play-offs over two legs at the weekend, Cove winning 5-1 on aggregate.

Brownlie and Little took control of team affairs for the first time when Rangers played their final league game at Elgin on Saturday, their place as wooden spoonists in SPFL 2 having already been confirmed.

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Rangers lost 2-0 at Elgin, with Brian Cameron scoring in the 69th minute and Kane Hester adding an 88th minute header, meaning they finished the season with a record of only five wins out of 36,only one in their last 22, and an incredible goals difference of -64.

Rangers will now travel to Cove this coming a Saturday (May 11) for the first leg, with the decider at Shielfield on May 18.

In a bid to boost their league survival hopes Berwick took the step to sack Harvey on Wednesday. Chairman Len Eyre, in a statement said: “We’d like to thank Johnny for his absolute commitment to Berwick Rangers and his tireless work to improve matters.

“He inherited a difficult situation and unfortunately has been unable to get the results we needed to stay clear of the foot of League Two. We sincerely wish him every success for the future.”

Harvey was naturally disappointed at the decision, claiming he was ‘gutted,’ but he urged everyone connected with the club to get behind the team and the new management to ensure they come through the play-offs.

Brownlie, who is 67, is a former Scotland full-back and played for Berwick at the tail end of his career, whilst Little, 45, managed the club from October 2011 to January 2014, having previously been assistant to John Coughlin.

Following his appointment, Little said: “I have strong connections with the club as a player and manager. I won the league here as a player so it has been sad to see how badly the team has struggled this season. John and I only have a short time to work with the players, but the aim is to win through the play-offs. There is a lot at stake and hopefully we can instil some confidence in the players for what are going to be two vital games.”