Easthouses Lily 3
Hawick Royal Albert 0
EoS FIRST DIVISION
JOHN SLORANCE reports from Newbattle
It was Hawick Royal Albert’s opening game of 2012.
However, there was to be no New Year cheer for the Royalists. Indeed, the Teries’ first foot to Easthouses turned out to be a step backwards as, after a run of promising displays, they gave an altogether disappointing performance.
With three trialists in their line-up and with outfield man Andy Jack deputising in goal for the injured Paul Tansey, Hawick more than held their own in the first half and finished well in the second.
In between, however, Albert failed to nail their colours to the mast and suffered for it. Player/manager Lawrie Dunn told TheSouthern: “The result flattered Easthouses as there was never three goals between the two sides. I thought we were the better team in the first half and it was the same for the last 20 minutes, but we just couldn’t score.
“I was not happy with the way we lost goals as every one we conceded was a bad one. Considering we had three trialists playing I felt we did okay overall, and hopefully we will have the three new boys out again.”
Apart from the bookings of Easthouses trio Ryan McQueenie, James Currie and Scott Borthwick during the opening quarter hour of the match, there was no drama or excitement.
The first scoring opportunity fell the way of Easthouses when Currie was put in the clear by a Ross Gaylor pass, only to fire wide. Although facing a swirling wind, the Albert were looking the more adventurous outfit, but failed to create chances and Lily keeper Bryan Young was not tested.
In the 41st minute Easthouses took the lead.
Stuart Love floated a corner kick high into a crowded goalmouth and, in an attempt to clear the danger, Albert’s Craig Beattie turned the ball into his own net.
The remainder of an uninspiring first period conjured up nothing, but following the changeover the pace began to hot up a little and within two minutes Lily were robbed of a second strike by the woodwork.
After Albert’s Graham Clee had been dispossessed the homesters swept into an attack that ended in Love racing forward to drive a shot against the foot of the post.
A goal was only delayed. Three minutes later, Easthouses did find the net. Currie blasted in a fierce drive that Albert number one Jack did well to push away, but the ball bounced into the path of the lurking Borthwick, who slotted away the rebound from close range.
In the next five minutes, Jack twice came to Royalists’ aid – first tipping a thundering Love free kick over the bar and then spreading himself to block an angled shot from Gaylor who had been put in the clear by McQueenie.
Hawick then showed what they could do when, following good play by Paul Power, Liam Rogers forced Young into making a fine save with a low drive. After substitute Luke Cooper had been introduced for Rogers, Hawick began to pick up their game and Andy Noble cracked a shot inches over the bar from a Cooper pass. Following further slick play by Cooper, Clee was thwarted by a Young save.
With three minutes remaining, Paul Hunter added to Lily’s tally, taking advantage of some poor marking to head home a Love corner kick at the back post.
Seconds from time, Luke Cooper almost reduced the leeway with a shot on the run that sailed just wide.
Hawick Royal Albert: A. Jack, A. Noble, D. Laing, L. Dunn, M. Cooper (S. Drummond), B. Tait, G. Clee, C. Beattie, L. Rogers (L. Cooper), P. Power, W. Corbett.