Easthouses Lily 4
Hawick Royal Albert 4 (aet – 3-3 at ft, Easthouses won 4-3 on penalties)
IMAGE PRINTERS QUALIFYING CUP
JOHN SLORANCE reports from Newbattle
ONE hundred and twenty minutes of football, goals galore, incidents aplenty and a mass of red and yellow cards ... everything was in abundance in this tie.
And Hawick Royal Albert, who ended the game with only nine men, tumbled to defeat despite scoring four times away from home.
It was a loss that left the Teries’ recently-appointed manager Graeme Chadwick gutted.
He told TheSouthern: “We played well but our discipline let us down as we had two guys sent off and this proved to be costly.
“I am really disappointed with the result, for during extra time we were just two minutes away from winning the game. Had it been a league game we would have got a point as we were level after 90 minutes and that would have been good progress for us. I can take some positives out of the game, but unfortunately it was another defeat for us.”
Hawick got off to a perfect start by sailing into the lead with just two minutes gone when teenager Declan Hogg notched his first goal for the club with a sweetly-struck free kick.
Easthouses then showed what they had to offer and Albert keeper Matt Liddle had to be at his best to keep out efforts from Craig Stupart and Jason Young.
With 38 minutes gone, Lily were reduced to 10 men – Craig Stupart being shown a straight red for a lunging challenge on Ross Brand.
A minute from the interval, however, they drew level, as a harmless looking Jason Young shot found the target after slipping through the hands of Liddle.
Easthouses made the running at the beginning of the second half and went in front when Jason Young floated over a free kick and, taking advantage of some poor marking, Ross Cameron rose to bullet the ball into the net with his head.
Albert came bouncing back and, on being fed by Brand, new signing Steven Clee, whose previous clubs include Whitehill Welfare and Edinburgh City, tucked away a shot.
Within minutes, Albert’s Jay Paterek, who was on the sidelines after having been earlier replaced by Steven Noble, was red-carded and sent to the dressing room for speaking out of turn.
The action continued to flow and John Hunter put the homesters in front in nodding a Jamie Shields free kick past Liddle.
Hawick still had plenty to offer, though, and on being set up by a Peter Keenan cut back, Clee slotted away a shot to put the cup tie into extra time.
A minute from the end of the first period the Albert scored the goal of the match. Collecting the ball in midfield Hogg unleashed a thundering drive that beat Lily keeper Bryan Young all the way.
It was looking good for the Teries at this stage, but then it all went wrong. Brand was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
More dramatics however were to follow. Ronald Fleming directed remarks towards the linesman, who immediately consulted the referee. And it was a red card for the Hawick man at a vital stage.
Nine-man Hawick were then sent reeling even further when McQueenie emerged Easthouses’ saviour with an equaliser two minutes from time.
It was now left to penalties to decide the outcome and it was Lily who blossomed. Hunter, Craig Downie, McQueenie and Shields all netted spot kicks for the home side, while Clee, Andy Whitson and Andy Noble did likewise for the Albert. Keenan and Greg Young had their efforts saved by Young.
Hawick Royal Albert: M. Liddell, R. Fleming, A. Whitson, G. Young, I. Zenati, J. Paterek (S. Noble), A. Noble, D. Hogg, R. Brand, S. Clee, K. McCulloch (P. Keenan).