Newton Stewart 2
Hawick Royal Albert 2
The Scottish Cup is known for conjuring up drama and excitement, writes John Slorance.
And this was certainly the case in this preliminary round clash at Blairmount Park, deep in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway on Saturday, which saw a last-gasp equalising goal, three red cards and plenty of thrills and spills.
What’s more, Hawick came away with a draw, resulting in an intriguing replay at Albert Park this Saturday.
Playing in unknown territory, the Albert gave an excellent account of themselves throughout and emerged with a lot of credit.
They created chances during the early stages of the match, but it was the home side who broke the deadlock through Adam Jordan, who beat Albert keeper Craig Dunsmore with a chipped shot.
A splendid Dunsmore save then prevented the home men from stretching their led.
Towards the break, Newton Stewart were reduced to 10 men as Dean Black was given his marching orders for a foul on Michael McKenzie.
Knocking the ball about well, the Teries started to get into the driving seat and soon got on level pegging with a top-notch goal from midfielder Greg Summers – a rasping drive from all of 30 yards.
The Albert kept up the good work and after rising well to meet a Nicky Cairns corner kick, Gordon Ramsay bulleted the ball into the net with his head to take the lead.
Within minutes, Ramsay came close to putting Hawick further ahead with a raging shot that hit the underside of the bar.
Hawick were looking the part, but three minutes into injury time, Newton Stewart equalised when Dean Richardson headed home a free kick.
Within seconds, Richardson turned from hero to villain in being red-carded, apparently for gesturing. Before the match restarted Richardson’s team-mate Robert Middleton was also dismissed for making remarks towards the referee.
Hawick coach Alan McKenzie said: “Our players were just devastated in the dressing room after the game as it was just so disappointing to have conceded a goal in injury time.
“It was just so sickening after all the hard work they had put in.
“Keeping to the positives though, Hawick played really well. The boys fought and battled hard and played some good football.
“I would like to think we have a good chance in the replay following this performance.”