Peebles Rovers 3
Hawick Royal Albert 1
KING CUP FIRST ROUND
MAURICE GORDON reports from Whitestone Park
PEEBLES progressed to the next round of the King Cup after finally overcoming a battling Hawick side who certainly more than held their own in the second half.
It was the Albert men who made a dream start when they opened the scoring after nine minutes.
From a Jory Robertson corner kick on the left, Dale Urey blocked an angular shot from Greg Shiel on the home goal line before ex-Peebles Rovers player Ross Wallace slammed the loose ball home from close range.
Peebles equalised 10 minutes later when, after Hawick ‘keeper Steven Walker had failed to punch the ball clear from a Nicky Cairns free-kick on the right, it dropped down kindly to James Innes who found the roof of the Albert net with a sweet shot on the volley.
The hosts added a second goal after 27 minutes when an Urey right-wing cross picked out Kevin Martin, who coolly drilled the ball past a diving Walker.
Fired-up Peebles continued on the attack and scored a third goal just three minutes later when, from a Lewis Montgomery cross, Elliot Black gave Walker no chance with a glancing header.
Play continued to rage from end to end as Walker foiled Montgomery and Fraser Henderson with fine saves while, following a Steven Shields free-kick, Rio Rashrash was narrowly off-target with a spectacular shot from 20 yards.
Hawick missed a golden opportunity to reduce the leeway just 50 seconds after half-time when, from an inviting Shields left-wing cross, both James Parker and Shiel somehow failed to make contact with the ball from right in front of the Rovers goal.
Peebles replied with Urey, Craig Edgar and Cairns all coming close with their scoring attempts, while at the other end, a 30-yard pile-driver from Rashrash brought out the best from Peebles keeper Bruce Callan.
Hawick began to come much more into the game with Peebles having to work hard to preserve their two-goal lead.
But it was the Rovers who came very close to scoring again with 12 minutes remaining.
After collecting an Edgar pass, Cairns set off on an electrifying run and seemed almost certain to score with a low, crisp shot, but the ball came rebounding back off the Hawick right-hand post and away to safety, with Walker well beaten.
Peebles found their second wind and from an Innes through-ball, Edgar went racing into the Albert box before he was foiled by a splendid save from Walker.
Then just before full-time, from a Montgomery defence-splitting pass, Edgar sent the ball just wide of the Hawick post.
Peebles Rovers: B. Callan, D. Urey, K. Martin, J. Howe, K. Harper, E. Black, J. Innes, N. Cairns, C. Edgar, L. Montgomery, F. Henderson (P. Hunter 85 mins).
Hawick Royal Albert: S. Walker, R. Rashrash, S. Shields, R. Wallace, A. Campbell, G. Shiel (C. Brown 54 mins), S. Drysdale (S. Nightingale 54 mins), D. Prowse, J. Robertson, S. Fraser, J. Parker.