Improved Albert leak goals after being cut to 10 men

Hawick Royal Albert 0

Berwick Rangers Reserves 5

EOS FIRST DIVISION

JOHN SLORANCE reports from Albert Park

THERE may have been a big improvement from Albert’s woeful showing in a friendly match the previous Saturday, but there was no progress by way of a result in their latest encounter.

Playing most of the game with only 10 men, due to the early first half red-carding of Ryan Shepherd, Hawick contributed to their own downfall by leaking goals through errors – something of a regular occurrence this season.

A well-organised, quick-passing Berwick side sailed into the lead in the 14th minute. Nick Rendall was brought down by Ryan Shepherd in the box. Edinburgh referee Paul Hanlon awarded a penalty and then dismissed Shepherd. The resultant spot kick was tucked away by Kenny O’Brien.

After Albert keeper Ross Taylor had put up the shutters by pulling off excellent saves from Rendall and Jamie Doris, the seasiders stretched their lead in the 22nd minute. Ross Brady swung in a free kick and, taking advantage of slack covering, Josh Morris hit the ball into the net.

The Teries rallied and, after denting the Berwick rearguard with a jinking run, Craig Beattie drove in a shot that visiting keeper Asher Tufail did well to turn round the post. Tufail thwarted the homesters again by tipping a net-bound Declan Hogg drive round the post at full stretch.

With four minutes of the second period gone, Berwick added to their tally. A careless Greg Young pass was intercepted by O’Brien who raced in to place a shot past the helpless Taylor.

Following a fine stop by Tufail at the other end from Ronald Fleming, Berwick added goal number four in the 65th minute after Young upended Morris. A second penalty was awarded and O’Brien duly completed his hat-trick.

The Black and Golds were in the driving seat and Taylor excelled again by saving from Greig Smith and Sam Todd. But with a minute of the game remaining, Morris put Hawick into further arrears when he tucked away a Smith cut-back.

Albert manager Graeme Chadwick told TheSouthern: “We started off with a 4-5-1 formation, which was working for us until Ryan Shepherd’s sending off. This disrupted things and we had to change things around, and we were never quite the 
same.

“Individual mistakes cost us goals, but I can’t fault the players for effort, as everybody battled really hard”.

Berwick team boss and former Peebles Rovers manager Mark Lamb, who has a good young side under his wing, commented: “We played well on a heavy pitch and should have won by more, but the Hawick keeper kept the score down with some good saves and we missed chances”.

Hawick Royal Albert: R. Taylor, I. Zenati, R. Shepherd, G. Young, Raymond Fleming, Ronald Fleming, K. McCulloch (S. Drummond), C. Beattie, B. Nwanze (P. Keenan), D. Hogg, J. Paterek (R. Brand).