Rivals equal in goals and red cards

HAWICK UNITED 4

GALA HOTSPUR4

This free-scoring Division B encounter ended up even in more ways than one, writes John Slorance.

Apart from sharing the points, both sides ended the game with just nine men due to four sendings-off. Hotspur broke the deadlock just past the quarter-hour mark when Stewart Robertson broke through the middle and rounded United keeper Bruce Connelly before shooting home.

With 23 minutes gone, United equalised after Aaron Swailes was pulled down in the box by Gala keeper Michael Sanderson, David Strathdee slotting home the spot kick.

In the 34th minute, the Teries edged ahead. Steven Shields found Andrew McFarlane with a low cross and McFarlane, a recent capture from Hawick Legion, fired the ball home.

A minute from the interval Hotspur drew level when Simon Fairburn produced a spot-on finish.

Six minutes into the second period, United edged in front again through a second penalty, Strathdee again scoring from the spot after Swailes had been sent tumbling by a David Arrig challenge.

Hotspur equalised through a Robertson header, but Hawick were soon ahead again, McFarlane chipping over the head of Sanderson.

But battling Hotspur levelled matters through Derek Watson’s sweetly-struck shot, and would have nicked all the points were it not for Connelly’s two superb late saves.