Peebles Rovers 3
Hawick Royal Albert 2
There wasn’t a lot of attractive, silky football conjured up in this derby encounter, but for thrills and spills, the game took a lot of beating, writes John Slorance.
The pace was fast and furious throughout, there were five goals and seven bookings, and the crowd had certainly plenty to get excited about.
Peebles ended up deserved winners. The Whitestone Park outfit showed that little more hunger and desire.
Rovers manager John O’Hara told The Southern: “Hawick are a much-improved team from last season and it was a very pleasing result to get a win over them today.
“I thought we played the better football and could well have got a few more goals. Our back three coped very well and this was good to see as we have lost a few goals in recent games.”
During a lively opening period, Hawick came close to scoring in the second minute as former Peebles signing Andy Williamson sent a header inches wide from a Nicky Cairns corner kick.
Peter Keenan then had the ball in the net during the Albert’s next raid, but the goal was chalked off due to Michael Smith being offside.
Rovers began to gain the upper hand after this and broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute as Scott Sutherland rattled in a shot that glanced off the grounded Smith before sailing into the net.
But Peebles were sent spinning two minutes from the break when Hawick snatched an equaliser, Keenan dilly-dallying in front of goal before firing home.
At the start of the second period, Andy Noble and Declan Hogg both squandered golden chances to put Hawick ahead after some slack Peebles defending.
The Teries were now having their best spell and Sean Loughlin was just off target with a header on connecting with a Cairns corner kick.
Rovers then showed what they had to offer and Hawick keeper Dean Fry pulled off a superb stop, tipping a net-bound Jason Darling header over the bar.
A goal was only delayed, however, as Frank Arthur floated over the resultant corner kick which was headed home by Dale Richards.
In the 82nd minute, the home men went further ahead as a poor clearance from Fry caused havoc at the back and Anderson took full advantage.
With two minutes remaining, Albert reduced the leeway through Keenan.
Hawick boss Graeme Chadwick said: “I expected us to do a lot better. It was a disappointing show and a bad result.”