Horn hopes players are up for the cup

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BERWICK manager Ian Little missed last weekend’s excellent cup tie against Queen’s Park because he was at his brother’s wedding in America.

He will also miss this Saturday’s League Cup clash with Raith Rovers at Kirkcaldy.

After watching his side put up a battling performance in their penalty shoot-out defeat to the Glasgow club, assistant Robbie Horn, who is taking charge of team affairs until Little’s return, said he was naturally disappointed at the loss.

But he is hoping the team can show the same character they displayed during Saturday’s Ramsden’s Cup exit and put up another gritty performance against the first division full-timers.

“It will be a difficult game for us, there is no question about that,” said Horn. “But taking the positives out of the game against Queen’s Park, and if we can draw on the same levels of resourcefulness after twice coming from behind, hopefully we should be able to give a good account of ourselves.”

Saturday’s game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes, and 2-2 after extra-time.

Berwick eventually went out of the competition 3-2 on penalties, but after seeing seven spot kicks missed in the shoot-out Horn admitted the quality of the conversions did not live up to the levels of excitement generated by the tie.

“I think it would have been a great game for the neutral to watch,” he said, “but the quality of penalty taking was not the best.

“Penalties are always a lottery and we can’t have any excuses for going out like that.”

Ironically, the winning goal was scored by Spiders’ keeper Neil Parry, who had earlier saved three of Berwick’s spot kicks.

Berwick created the lion’s share of the chances throughout the game, but it wasn’t until Fraser McLaren was played through the middle that they looked a real threat.

After spurning a number of first half chances Horn said the misses definitely came back to haunt them.

Queens’ manager Gardner Spiers added: “It was a good cup tie and I’m just pleased we have gone through to the next round by whatever means, because we had a very young side out.”

After the game Berwick confirmed the signings of Devon Jacobs, who had an outstanding match at right back, and midfielder/ striker Phil Addison, whose introduction as a second half substitute helped Rangers regain a foothold in the tie.

Jacobs is ex-Stirling Albion, whilst Addison was previously with Hibernian.

They join Damien Gielty, Dean Droudge and Craig Stevenson who all signed late last week.

Gielty, who is the cousin of Manchester United player Darren Fletcher, made his debut at left-back and looked a class above in the first half in particular following his move from Avenir Beggen in Luxembourg, the club having obtained international clearance for the deal to go through.

Stevenson is ex-Lothian Thistle whilst Droudge, who was unavailable at the weekend hopes to be back in contention for a place this weekend, as does Chris Townsley, back from his honeymoon, and Stevie Notman.

Rangers are also keeping an eye on striker Stuart Noble, who has failed to make a start so far because of a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, another of the new signings, Duns-based defender Dougie Brydon said after Saturday’s game that despite being disappointed with the result, and the fact that he conceded a penalty which enabled QP to take a 2-1 lead in extra-time, he was pleased with his overall performance.

“I thought we defended quite well,” he said, “it’s just a pity we didn’t take advantage of some of the chances we created, especially in the first half.

“It was a soft penalty to give away, but it shows we have to remain fully concentrated for the whole match.

“Raith will be a tough game for us, but we are looking forward to it and we will go there and give it our best shot.”