New line-up, new Albert

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Hawick Royal Albert 1

Ormiston 1

EoS FIRST DIVISION

JOHN SLORANCE reports from Albert Park

A NEW dawn broke down Albert Park way on Saturday.

Hawick Royal Albert had the recently appointed managerial team of Mick Murphy and Stuart Sharkey in charge for the first time.

The Teries paraded six fresh faces in their line-up and there was a larger than normal crowd in attendance.

All this was not enough to earn Hawick their first home win for two years, but it did see Royalists pick up their second point of the season.

However, new-look Albert got off to a nightmare start by falling behind with just two minutes of the game gone.

Ormiston’s Brian McEwan hit a cross over the face of the goalmouth and Craig Downie rifled a shot into the net.

Hawick then showed their mettle when Chris Batten laid off a long Ross Wallace throw-in to the feet of Sean Owens, who rattled in a shot that forced Ormiston keeper Paul Cadger to make a save.

Minutes later Ormiston had a great chance to add to their tally on being awarded a penalty, but Hawick keeper Gavin Watson brilliantly stopped Graham Nisbet’s spot-kick.

Ormiston had the upper hand at this stage and, pouncing on a defensive mistake, Jason Young shot goalwards, only to see his effort cleared by Batten.

At the other end, substitute Stewart Fraser – who had come on as a replacement for Alan Campbell – was robbed of an equaliser by the woodwork, his angled shot hitting the bar. In the 66th minute, however, Albert did draw level.

Ormiston only partially cleared a Simon Philbin corner kick. Owens volleyed in a loose bouncing ball which was turned past Cadger by new signing Craig Wilson to the great delight of the home support.

Playing with much more confidence, Royalists began to make their presence felt.

Trialist Malcolm Cooper troubled Ormiston with a run down the flank before sending over a cross that was met by the head of Mark Deans, but Cadger made the save.

Cadger then proved his worth again in coming smartly off his line to save at the feet of Owens.

Urged on by the crowd, Hawick pushed up in a bid for a winning goal, but try as they might it never arrived.

Captain and penalty hero Gavin Watson – who flies to Australia this weekend for an indefinite working period – said: “For the first quarter of an hour we were all over the place.

“This wasn’t surprising, though, as we were an almost completely new team.

“However, the boys got sorted out and we ended up playing very well.

“I thought new signings Chris Batten and Craig Wilson both had brilliant games in defence and it was just great having them playing in front of me.

“Before the match I would have taken a draw, but the way things went we could have got a win at the finish.”

Hawick: G. Watson, M. Cooper, A. Campbell (S. Fraser), C. Wilson, C. Batten, S. Philbin (S. Drysdale), R. Shepherd, M. Deans, S. Owens, R. Wallace and L. Lavery.