Eyemouth United 5
Hawick Royal Albert 2
EOS FIRST DIVISION
JOHN SLORANCE reports from Warner Park
WINTRY conditions had savagely bitten into the footballing programme – and games were off left, right and centre.
Although it was cold, however, all was well at Eyemouth. Warner Park was free of snow and frost, there was surprisingly little wind and even the sun was out. And both sides took advantage of what was on offer in serving up some good football that produced seven goals, as well as many near misses.
United merged worthy winners in the end and their performance justified their high league position.
The Fishermen know how to cast their nets on their own ground – and it was playing to these strengths that earned Eyemouth their full catch. Hawick looked the part at times, but had their ragged moments as well and suffered for this.
Hawick assistant manager Graeme Chadwick told TheSouthern: “I was a bit disappointed with our performance.”
He explained: “We started the game really well and it was exactly the same at the beginning of the second half, so we showed we could play. But we didn’t do it for the full game.
“Some of the players’ attitudes were not right and if you don’t respond you will not win games. Our back four wasn’t what it should have been and we conceded some bad goals.
“Eyemouth are a good side and we played well at times, but I felt we could have done better.”
The Teries opened the scoring in the fifth minute. Andy Jack threaded a pass to the feet of Andy Noble and the Albert striker produced a spot-on finish to beat Eyemouth keeper Jonathan Gall with a drive high into the net.
United came rallying back and, after breaking clear, Steven Shennan hit the upright with a lobbed shot, the rebound sailing into the hands of Hawick number one Paul Tansey. But on the quarter-hour mark Shennan did get among the goals, taking advantage of a misunderstanding in the Albert defence to score easily.
With both outfits pushing forward at every opportunity there was no shortage of action. With six minutes of the first half remaining, Eyemouth edged in front when Johnny Simpson netted from the penalty spot after Steven Duff had tripped Stuart Coyle.
Hawick began the second half in sprightly fashion and Jack squandered a chance to level the score in the first minute. The Albert kept up the good work and, moving upfield for a set piece, Malcolm Cooper met a Maltman free kick at the far post with his head. The Albert defender’s effort appeared a goal all the way until Gall dived to his left to tip the ball round the post.
Eyemouth stretched their lead when Josh Hebdon polished off a breakaway raid by rifling home a cross from the right.
The visitors lost their shape for a while following this, but in the 73rd minute jumped right back into the picture. Substitute Liam Rogers, who had come on as a replacement for Maltman, was downed in the box by a Hastie challenge. Referee Paul Hanlon awarded his second penalty of the day and Craig Beattie took the spot kick with great precision in drilling the ball low and hard into the bottom corner of the net.
Any hopes of Hawick salvaging something from the game, however, were wiped out six minutes later when Johnny Simpson rattled home a cross from Shennan. Minutes later the homesters did it all again. On being set up by a Sean Simpson pass, Shennan did the business, placing a shot out of the reach of the helpless Tansey.
Hawick Royal Albert: P. Tansey, M. Cooper, C. Wilson, L. Dunn, S. Duff (S. Drummond), B. Tait, A. Maltman (L. Rogers), C. Beattie, A. Jack (D. Knox), A. Noble, L. Cooper.