Royal Albert push ’Streamers all the way in second-half thriller

Hawick Royal Albert v Coldstream.
Hawick Royal Albert v Coldstream.

Hawick Royal Albert 0

Coldstream 1

EoS FIRST DIVISION

JOHN SLORANCE reports from Albert Park

HAD Hawick Royal Albert started the way they finished there might have been a different outcome in this Friday evening floodlit encounter.

For, after a lukewarm first-half performance, Royalists breathed fire and brimstone for most of the second period.

Coldstream, however, holding onto a one-goal lead, withstood the heat to gain a win for newly-appointed manager Andrew Gibson, taking over the reins from the sacked Lawrie Dunn, who had been dismissed midweek following the ’Streamers’ defeat at the hands of Eyemouth United.

Watched by a big crowd, the game got off to a quiet start and there was not a single goal-scoring chance created until just before the quarter-hour mark, when Coldstream’s Craig Haugh fired wide after having been put in the clear by Michael Allan.

Minutes later, Martyn Tait went close to putting the visitors in front when heading a Phil Johnson lay-off over the bar. Coldstream kept their foot on the pedal and Adam Turner and Chris Taylor both squandered good opportunities within minutes of each other.

In the 34th minute Hawick had their first direct shot at goal. Jody Easdon cut the ball into the path of Sean Owens, who shot narrowly past the post.

Coldstream came rallying back and on being fed by a cross from the right, the unmarked Daniel Cornish should have broken the deadlock, but sliced his shot wide of the target. Just on the interval, Liam Lavery almost edged Royalists in front with a low drive from a neatly-placed Peter Gellaitry cross.

Following the changeover, Hawick came out showing a lot more drive and purpose, and with just minutes gone were denied an opener by a magnificent save from keeper Mark Walters.

Kevin McGaughey slipped a pass to Gellaitry, who unleashed a thundering drive that appeared destined for the top corner of the net. Walters, however, put paid to this by leaping to his left and twisting in midair to tip the ball round the post. Craig Wilson was not far away from getting on the scoresheet when nodding a Steven Sharkey cross over the bar.

With 57 minutes gone, the game eventually produced a goal. A long clearance caught Hawick out at the back and Turner raced in to produce a perfect finish by slotting a shot into the net. The action was now a lot more lively and it got even more so when Coldstream were reduced to 10 men.

Boring in on goal, Hawick’s Jordan Yardley, who had come on as a substitute for Jody Easdon, attempted to round the outcoming Walters, only to be upended by the Coldstream number one just outside the box. Walters was shown a straight red with Stephen Duff taking over in goal. The deputy keeper was brought into immediate action, saving a free kick from Lavery.

Hawick pounded Coldstream from here on and Luke Cooper, Owens and Lavery all went close to netting. Coldstream defended well and withstood the siege.

Hawick’s Bryan Tait told TheSouthern: “We didn’t get into the match in the first half and just couldn’t get going. After the break we started to improve, but then gave away a goal through a mistake. We knuckled down again and got on top, but we just couldn’t score.”

Hawick Royal Albert: C Anderson, S Sharkey, K McGaughey, C Wilson, M Cooper, B Tait, L Lavery, M Deans, (L Cooper), S Owens, J Easdon (J Yardley), P Gellaitry.