League leaders in Albert Park scare

Leith Athletic 2

Hawick Royal Albert 1

EoS FIRST DIVISION

IT DIDN’T quite happen, but Hawick Royal Albert came pretty close to pulling off what would have been the shock result of the season, writes John Slorance.

For bottom-of-the-league Albert gave table topping Leith a real run for their money in a game in which Hawick were rank outsiders.

Albert team boss Mick Murphy was delighted with his side’s showing and said: “Leith have only been beaten once in the league this season and are a very good side.

“Obviously the game was going to be a real challenge for us and I decided to treat Leith with respect by playing a defensive line-up to close them down.

“I told the players in the dressing room before the game, though, to show Leith no respect when they got out on the park and just go out and do a job. And they sure did.

“The boys hustled and bustled Leith and never let them settle in. I was really chuffed with the way we played and with a bit of luck we could well have got a draw.”

With three newcomers in their line-up, who all came from Edinburgh, the Albert scored the only goal of the first half when the livewire Sean Owens pounced on slack defensive play to race in and shoot home.

In the second period, Ross Wallace went near to increasing Hawick’s lead with a rasping free kick that hit the post.

Leith grabbed an equaliser through Darren Moonie not long after this, and with 10 minutes remaining Jack Combe slotted away what was to be the winner for the hosts.

Hawick Royal Albert: W. Turner, M. Cooper, R. Shepherd, C. Wilson, C. Batten, F. Martinez (C Sharkey), A. Campbell (J. Robertson), R. Wallace, S. Owens, L. Lavery, Trialist, (K. Clamp).