We’re heading back to the Mozzaverse with the latest instalment of Mozza Manages BSC Glasgow… it’s the SPFL Playoff finals… Berwick Rangers stand in our way, but can the mysterious Mozza take us to the promised land?
A good few updates ago, I lamented that not reaching this stage would see me losing the BSC Glasgow hotseat. 10 months later, we find ourselves at the point I dearly hoped to reach, but with a very different mentality – it feels like this is our time to shine, having grown as a group over the season and found form at the perfect time. Standing in our way are Berwick Rangers…
Coming off a successful tie against Forres, we were keen to maintain our momentum as much as possible. With this in mind, and the starting XI buzzing around in training, it was an easy decision to keep the faith with the same team and 4-4-2 tactics. We had the advantage in my mind, welcoming the borderers to Alloa in the first of our two fixtures – if we played to our full potential, our coaching staff were confident of taking a couple of goal cushion down south for the return leg.
Walking around a busy Indodrill stadium during warm-ups, it felt like everything was in our favour; spectators clad in blue and yellow appeared to be happy and confident, while our visitors in black and gold carried weary expressions from a stressful season. With these attitudes seemingly carrying over to those on the pitch, we took the lead with barely 60 seconds played and didn’t look back!
The final scoreline of 5-1 certainly flattered us looking at the stats, but it also reflected our much greater confidence and potency up front (helped along by a calamitous own goal at the death).
Watching the match film back with a well deserved tipple, it was easy to see that we had enjoyed the rub of the green. Outstanding performances from Armstrong and Burbridge on the wings, coupled with a lethal front two in Hendry and Moore, proved to be the big difference between the sides – on another day, it could easily have been a high scoring draw. Berwick now found themselves wounded and fighting for their SPFL lives, meaning we had to prepare for an onslaught at Sheilfield Park. Our position couldn’t have been much stronger, but things were far from over.
580 hardy fans crammed into the old stadium, expecting to see BSC reach the “big time”. I spotted a few friendly faces in the crowd from our fellow Lowland League clubs, keen to support the champions in our quest to follow Edinburgh City as the second promoted side from the league.
There was a very different atmosphere: tension combined among both sets of fans, with the nervous anticipation of our supporters meeting some obvious concern from the Wee Rangers. We changed very little, trusting the guys to do their job while trying not to sit too deep… and at half-time, the same old story of good finishing matched with poor defending saw us 3-1 to the good. A late throw of the kitchen sink saw the final score reach stalemate status, but we did our job – with an impressive 8-4 aggregate win, we had achieved our goal of gaining promotion!
All the goals!
What happened next is a blur… celebrations, drinks and all sorts of high jinx occurred as the relentless pressure finally dissipated. Almost immediately I had microphones thrust in my face, asking about our hopes and dreams for next season; this was not the time for planning ahead, however, and I’ll allow myself a day or two to soak up the feeling before we think about going again.
Finally, some more good news to end the 2018/19 campaign on; Mr Prince confirmed that our stadium move back to Glasgow was making progress, and a new community facility should be ready to welcome us home in a little over a year’s time! Not a bad season for us in the end…
This entry brings to an end my Football Manager 2018 save with the club, and if everyone will have me back you’ll find me starting all over again in FM19.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the couple of seasons we’ve played through – it’s all about to start again, and I’d love it if you join me in giving the Lowland League a go! Let me see your save updates @MozzaPlays on twitter, where you’ll also find the link to my extended database as soon as it’s ready.