Hawick Royal Albert 1
Berwick Rangers Reserves 6
EoS QUALIFYING LEAGUE
JOHN SLORANCE reports from Albert Park
IT HAD been a turbulent seven days for Royal Albert.
Manager Lawrie Dunn resigned before he was pushed.
Four committee members, including chairman Graeme Paxton, had quit the club, as well as three players – Kris O’Neil, Lawrie Cannon and Jay Paterek.
A new team boss had been brought in – Graeme Chadwick who, a few weeks earlier, had been Dunn’s assistant, only to be sacked.
And in the sunshine of Albert Park on Saturday, the turbulence continued for Hawick.
Indeed, had it not been for the heroics of home keeper Matt Liddle, who pulled off a string of excellent saves, Berwick could well have reached double figures.
Liddle told TheSouthern afterwards: “It was disappointing to lose six goals, but I had some decent saves, so I was quite pleased about that.
“Berwick were a very good team and we were well beaten, but I thought our boys played really well.
“We were playing different tactics and mistakes might have been made. However, everybody battled really hard and the game was a learning curve for us”.
Hawick got off to a flying start. In the third minute Kyle McCulloch polished off a passing move with a sublime finish, chipping a shot over the head of Berwick keeper Grant Sanderson.
The visitors equalised in the 14th minute when Greig Smith swung over a cross which was slotted away by Josh Morris.
The seasiders kept their foot on the gas and Liddle twice thwarted Smith with finger-tip saves within a minute. In the 39th minute, however, Berwick edged ahead with Fife-based Morris once again producing the goods by tucking home another cross from Smith.
With seven minutes of the second half gone, Dean Carsie put the Albert into further arrears, beating Liddle with an angled shot which entered the net via the post.
The Albert then showed what they had to offer when Scott Watson sent a header wide of the target.
In the 61st minute, Berwick were awarded a penalty after Morris had been brought down in the box by Greg Young.
Morris took the resultant spot kick from which he scored to complete his hat-trick.
Taking advantage of some slack defensive play, Todd then made it a nap hand for Berwick in the 70th minute. Three minutes later, Ross Brady got his name on the scoresheet with a glorious shot on the volley from a Jamie Doris cross.
After Steven Drummond went close to reducing the leeway by nodding a McCulloch cross past the post, Berwick were robbed of a seventh by the woodwork when a Doris shot cannoned off an upright.
Michael Robinson rattled home the rebound, only for the goal to be ruled offside.
Royal Albert: M. Liddle, G. Young, M. Patton, P. Power, I. Zenati, D. Hogg, A. Noble, K. McCulloch, P. Keenan (G. Clee), C. Beattie (S. Watson), D. May (S. Drummond).