HAWICK ROYAL ALBERT FC were hit with a £1,000 fine by the Scottish FA last week following a complaint by Selkirk FC concerning the conduct of their players, writes Fiona Scott.
Representatives of both clubs travelled to Hampden last Thursday night to give evidence at a disciplinary hearing at which Selkirk coach Mike McKinnon told of instances of verbal and physical abuse towards him and his team during an East of Scotland First Division clash at Albert Park in November. And, after hearing both versions of events, the governing body handed the Hawick outfit an immediate fine of £500 and a £500 12-month suspended fine.
McKinnon told TheSouthern this week that he was disappointed that the matter had to be taken as far, but that he had felt like he had been left with no choice.
He said: “I never wanted to be having to give evidence at a hearing. We tried to sort it out there and then at the game, but when approached at half-time, the Hawick coach and committee did not want to know about it, so we felt forced to make it official.
“I take absolutely no pleasure in making a complaint against another team, but at the end of the day if I walked up to someone on the street and punched them I would be taken to court and be made to pay for my actions.
“It should be no different in football.”
McKinnon claims that his side were subject to verbal abuse by the opposition players and that one of them attempted to punch him in the face while another “took his studs down the back of my shin”.
The former Cowdenbeath player also denies a counter complaint that he had been gesticulating to the home supporters.
“The Hawick supporters were tremendous throughout the game,” he added.
“I totally deny taunting them in any way. They are only 11 and 12-year-olds for goodness sake!
“They were high-fiving us at the end and behaved admirably. It’s a pity some of the players couldn’t set a better example.
“I have been involved in the sport all over Scotland and have never been involved in anything like this before and I hope we can all draw a line under it now.”
Royal Albert refused to comment on the matter.
This weekend, Selkirk face Premier Division opposition when making a trip to Edinburgh to square up with Civil Service Strollers in the second round of the King Cup.
Albert are in First Division action, welcoming Gala Fairydean to Hawick.
The Teries will include a trialist in their squad and Greg Young returns from his ban.
Raymond Fleming remains suspended.
Fairydean have Gary Lothian back from suspension.
Peebles Rovers bid to get further points on board, taking on bottom-of-the-table Ormiston at home. Rovers are hoping to have signed Hawick Royal Albert forward Bobby Nwanze, who has been released.
In much need of a victory to haul themselves from their lowly spot in the Premier Division, Vale of Leithen entertain Lothian Thistle/Hutchison Vale at Victoria Park, while Kelso United are at full strength for their meeting with Whitehill Welfare in the King Cup first round at Woodside Park.