Rangers kick off friendlies with defeat at Blyth

BERWICK Rangers kicked off their programme of pre-season friendlies when they went down to a 3-0 away defeat at the hands of Blyth Spartans on Saturday.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 14th July 2010, 10:59 am

Manager Jimmy Crease will now be looking for a marked improvement from his players when they continue away against Stenhousemuir (on Tuesday), before they take on Raith Rovers in their first home fixture on Saturday (July 17), and a Sunderland XI, who are due to visit Shielfield on Monday (July 19). Those matches kick off at 3pm and 7.30pm respectively.

Crease said he had been disappointed by the performance against Blyth. "Our general fitness was okay," he said, "but we gave the ball away too easily, so in that respect there weren't too many positives to take out of the game.

"But it was our first match, and we have another four friendlies to get it right before the competitive action begins."

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Crease confirmed that Berwick have added to their squad with the signing of 6ft 3in striker Craig O'Reilly, who has had spells with Dundee, Arbroath and East Fife in the past.

"We tried to get him in the January window," said Crease, "but he went to Bonnyrigg because he was thinking about going to America.

"However, that has now fallen through and he should hopefully give us a few options up front, as he is big and strong, and I think we will benefit from having him in the side."

But as one player arrives through the entrance door at Shielfield another leaves through the exit.

Damon Gray, who was last season's leading scorer, was still being considered for a possible team place, but has been touting himself around Scandinavia recently and has now won a contract to play full-time in Sweden.

Crease, who wishes Gray well for the future, says he now has 17 players signed for the start of the season, but hopes to increase that to 19 by next weekend.