Hawick Royal Albert 2
Golspie Sutherland 4
SCOTTISH CUP FIRST ROUND
JOHN SLORANCE reports from Albert Park
THE draw had been kind to Hawick Royal Albert, who were pitted against one of the lesser-known clubs in the first round of the William Hill Scottish Cup at home.
It was a golden opportunity for the Teries to progress further in Scotland’s biggest cup competition.
But instead, it was a flash of red in the 16th minute of the game which dominated post-match. Albert’s Ronald Fleming was given his marching orders by referee James Campbell for a handball offence which led to a penalty from which Golspie Sutherland scored.
Gutted Fleming said: “It might have looked like a natural reaction when I handled, but it wasn’t.
“The ball had already crossed the line and I knocked it away through frustration as Golspie had scored.
“The referee and the linesman got it wrong as it should have been a goal and not a penalty and I would have stayed on the park.”
It was a poor first half which failed completely to match the glamour of the occasion.
Golspie were first to look like scoring when Ronnie Jones fired in an angled shot that forced Albert keeper Matt Liddle into making a fine save.
Jones was then just off-target with a header on meeting an Aaron Christie free kick.
With 16 minutes gone, however, Golspie did take the lead, when Shane Sutherland scored from the spot.
Ten-man Albert were at sixes and sevens for the remainder of a ragged first half. Golspie also failed to impress, but did at least come near to scoring again when Jones hit a Shaun Kerr pass against the post.
Urged on throughout the game by their tremendous young supporters, the Hawick Ultras, Royalists came out firing on all cylinders after the break, and with 54 minutes gone, snatched an equaliser.
Paul Power produced the scoring touch, finishing a good build-up move by rifling a shot past Golspie keeper Gordon McCrae.
The Albert were back in the game, but not for long, as Golspie regained their lead on the hour mark.
Taking advantage of some slipshod defending, Jones broke forward to shoot home.
After Bobby Nwanze had squandered a great chance to put the home men on level terms, Golspie struck again in the 79th minute through Shaun Kerr, who broke through the middle and tucked a shot into the net.
McRae then denied Hawick a second with a superb save from a powerful Nwanze header.
With 83 minutes gone, Golspie added to their tally. Substitute Sean Henstridge whipped over a cross that should have been cleared by Laurie Dunn, but the ball broke to Jones, who slotted in his second.
In the closing stages, Hawick’s Jason Wood produced a spot-on finish to reduce the leeway with a well-struck drive.
Albert midfield ace Power told TheSouthern: “We started well enough, but then had Ronald Fleming sent off, as well as losing a goal.
“For the rest of the first half we were sloppy.
“In the second half we started to push forward more and played a lot better.
“After we had equalised I felt we were in with a real chance, but we then lost stupid goals.”
Hawick Royal Albert: M. Liddle, L. Cannon, J. Wood, L. Dunn, I. Zenati (D. Hogg), Ronald Fleming, P. Power, K. O’Neil, B. Nwanze, D. May (Raymond Fleming).