Albert look for the mother of all turnrounds

THE last time they met, seven goals separated the two sides, writes John Slorance.

Selkirk was the venue, the Scottish Cup was the occasion and Gala Fairydean demolished Hawick Royal Albert 8-1.

On Saturday, the old rivals are set to clash in an East of Scotland First Division league match at Albert Park.

Glancing ahead to the game, Hawick assistant manager Graeme Chadwick told TheSouthern: “For all of our players it will be their first taste of a Hawick v Gala game. Apart from one, none of our boys come from Hawick, but they are all well aware of the great rivalry between the teams and how important the game is. They are all taking a great pride in playing for Hawick and want to do well for the town, so fingers crossed we can get a result.

“We got a great support from a lot of youngsters in our last game at Albert Park when we beat Easthouses Lily. This gave the players a real lift and hopefully these boys will be back to cheer us on this Saturday.”

Paul McAllion and Craig Beattie return from suspension to join a Hawick squad that also includes new signing Jason Wood. Kyle McCulloch misses out due to injury.

Fairydean boss Fraser Lothian said: “It’s a different Hawick side than we played in the Scottish Cup and I don’t know much about them. Hawick have been getting better results lately, so they must be improving. We are toiling for bodies as we have a few players injured and that’s the way it has been for a while.

“Young players have been pulled in from our under-19 side and they have all done well, especially last Saturday against Ormiston. It will be a test for these boys against Hawick as it is always difficult at Albert Park, but we are capable of getting a win.”

Craig McBride, Alan Jackson, Bruce Hunter, Aaron Brunton and possibly Craig Tyson are all out for Gala. Jack Hay, however, is back from a ban.

Meanwhile, Hawick have a great offer on for the game in a bid to attract youngsters to their matches. Under 16s get free admission, plus a free can of cola and a Mars bar.

Elsewhere in the First Division, Kelso United travel to Edinburgh to tackle Craigroyston.

Peebles Rovers will attempt once more to host Coldstream in a rescheduled King Cup tie, although drainage problems at Whitestone Park are still causing problems for the club.

Selkirk are at full strength for their trip to play Leith Athletic in a Premier Division tie and Vale of Leithen meet Whitehill Welfare in the first round of the League Cup at Rosewell.