Fast-improving Royalists hold out till the bitter end

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Eyemouth United 4

Hawick Royal Albert 1

(aet – 1-1 after 90 minutes)

KING CUP FIRST ROUND

JOHN SLORANCE reports from Warner Park

HAWICK Royal Albert are out of the King Cup.

Just as the form book predicted, Royalists fell at the first hurdle in their quest for silverware. What the form book did not point out though, was that it high-flying Eyemouth would take until extra time to gain a winning result.

The Fishermen thoroughly deserved their win, but it was not plain sailing as battling Albert certainly rocked the boat for a while.

Hawick player-manager Lawrie Dunn told TheSouthern: “We lost and defeats are never easy to take, but I was really pleased with how we played for 90 minutes. Had it been a league game I would have been absolutely delighted as it would have meant we had got a point away from home against one of the top teams in the league.

“In extra time, however, we couldn’t cope with Eyemouth. There are a lot of new boys in our side and although they all performed well, they tired.

“They are not quite fit enough yet, but this will come. I don’t normally single out players, but Andy Jack, Craig Beattie and Tam Wyman were just brilliant for us.”

Hawick were hit with a blow just before kick-off when Wullie Corbett had to withdraw after pulling a muscle in the warm-up. New signing Tam Wyman from Civil Service Strollers came off the bench to replace him.

Eyemouth were first to threaten when Kieran Ainslie powered in a header on meeting a James Wilson corner kick, but Albert keeper Jack leapt to the left to punch away.

Minutes later, Jack, deputising for regular stopper Paul Tansey, pulled off another top-notch save, tipping away a Leigh Walker drive from a Stuart Coyle cross.

Eyemouth kept up the pressure, Walker blasting a shot against the bar. Royalists then showed what they had to offer as debut man Kyle McDonald hit a Graham Burnett pass inches wide.

With 32 minutes gone, the Albert took the lead. Andy Noble’s corner was finished off in style by Craig Beattie.

The woodwork then came to Hawick’s aid for the second time when Andrew Hastie headed a Wilson corner on to the bar.

Royalists came bouncing back and Darrell Laing pierced the United defence with a strong run and unleashed a cracking drive that home keeper Jonathan Gall tipped round the post at full stretch.

Just on the interval, Beattie almost got his second goal when heading a Kris O’Neil corner past the post.

Early in the second half, Jack showed up well again, keeping out a Walker shot while, at the other end, Laing was off target with a header on meeting a Burnett cross.

After man of the match Jack thwarted Josh Hebdon, Eyemouth equalised in the 74th minute, Gary Wales driving a Wilson cross home.

The remainder of normal time failed to conjure up anymore goals and the game duly went into extra time.

Royalists were first to threaten during the first period when young substitute Steven Drummond forced Gall into making a save. In the 99th minute, however, United edged ahead when Johnny Simpson tucked away a shot from a Wilson free kick. Three minutes later, Eyemouth sailed further in front. Hawick were caught out by a long ball from the back and United substitute Steven Shennan took full advantage by darting in to score.

With Hawick legs tiring, the game was now as good as over and in the second period following two more Jack stops, super sub Shennan grabbed a fourth for Eyemouth.

Hawick Royal Albert: A. Jack, G. Burnett, S. Chambers, L. Dunn, S. Duff (G. Chadwick), T. Wyman, K. McDonald (S. Drummond), C. Beattie, K. O’Neil, A. Noble, D. Laing.