Bragging rights in the bag for short-handed Royalists

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DESPITE ending the game with only nine men, Royal Albert gained the bragging rights in this East of Scotland League Cup encounter that had been switched from Hawick to Duns, writes John Slorance.

Showing much-improved form from their past few outings, Albert sailed into the lead in the 12th minute when Paul Brown rattled home a well-flighted Nicky Cairns corner.

Looking sharp and positive, and moving the ball about well, Hawick continued to push forward, and with eight minutes of the first half remaining stretched their lead. A sweeping raid ended in Cairns spraying a pass to the feet of Michael Smith, who polished matters off to perfection.

Lining up with a reshuffled formation in the second half, Duns had a great opportunity to reduce the leeway when trialist Craig Dilworth handled in the box. There was to be no goal joy for the Dingers, though, as Jordan Ainslie’s penalty was superbly saved by Hawick keeper Andy Jack.In the 73rd minute, more drama emerged when, attempting to clear from in front of the goalmouth, Dilworth handled for a second time. Referee Hanlon awarded a second penalty as well as red-carding the Albert debut boy.

Steven Shennan took the spot kick this time around and made no mistake in finding the net with a low shot.

Eight minutes later, Hawick were reduced to nine men when Cairns was given his marching orders, picking up a second yellow card for a rash challenge.