Albert win, but red mist descends

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Hawick Royal Albert 2

Easthouses Lily 1

EoS FIRST DIVISION

JOHN SLORANCE reports from Albert Park

It may have been a clear day, but a red and yellow mist shrouded Albert Park on Saturday afternoon.

This remarkable game produced five red cards as well as eight yellows – and a colourful affair it certainly was.

What’s more, Hawick recorded their second win of the season, to the delight of a surprisingly large home support.

With little hint of the drama and excitement that was to unfold, the match got off to a quiet start and there was no goalmouth action until Albert’s Kris O’Neil tested Lily keeper Bryan Young with a low shot.

Minutes later, Young showed his mettle again, doing well to keep out an Andy Noble shot, following good play by O’Neil.

New signing Martin Patton then went close to putting the Albert Park men in front by heading a Jack McGhie cross over the bar.

With 36 minutes gone, the Albert took the lead through a well-worked goal. After latching on to an O’Neil pass, Patton hit a cross over the face of the goalmouth and Noble did the rest by slotting his shot out of the reach of Young.

Two minutes later, Noble produced the scoring touch again with another precise finish.

Easthouses launched an attack from the resultant kick-off and on breaking down the right, Ryan McQueenie was upended by Albert’s Paul McAllion. On jumping to his feet, McQueenie pushed the Hawick defender which was followed by a jostling match between the pair.

After calming matters down, referee Colin Whyte, who had already brandished a few yellow cards, had a change of colour scheme by dishing out two reds.

Hawick made the early running at the beginning of the second period and O’Neil twice came near to netting before Craig Beattie had a net-bound drive blocked by James Currie.

Lily swept back into an attack that saw Paul Hunter break through on his own, but Albert keeper Andy Jack read the danger well by coming quickly off his line to block his shot.

Within minutes of this, both sides were reduced to nine men when Albert’s Craig Beattie and Lily’s Neil Ferrie both got their marching orders following a clash.

Further drama was soon to unfold. Listed as trialist, an Easthouses substitute, who had only been on the park for a short period of time, was sent off for a rash challenge.

But four minutes from time, Lily reduced the leeway when John Baigrie steered a Smith cross into the net with his head.

Seconds from the finish, Albert youngster Steven Drummond almost notched his first goal for the club with a well-hit effort that brought the best out of Young.

Hawick player/manager Lawrie Dunn told TheSouthern: “We really deserved our win. In the first half in particular we were excellent and Easthouses just couldn’t cope with us.

“Because of sending-offs and players getting injuries we had to reshape the side in the second half and sit back a bit more, but we were still in control.

“Hawick have been due a win for a while and I am delighted for the players, as well as the coaching staff, the committee and our supporters.”

Hawick Royal Albert: A. Jack, G. Burnett, P. McCallion, L. Dunn, J. McGhie, D. Laing, K. McCulloch (L. Rodgers), C. Beattie, K. O’Neil, A Noble, M. Patton (S. Drummond).