Royalists rue opportunities missed at Newbattle Park

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THERE could well have been a dozen goals in this top of the table clash as both sides squandered scoring opportunities, writes John Slorance.

Royal Albert were the biggest sinners by far, for in the first half in particular, the Hawick outfit fluffed a barrow-load of chances, a factor that did not please coach Graeme Chadwick who told TheSouthern: “We were well on top in the first half and could well have scored six goals, but we just could not put the ball in the back of the net and this came back to haunt us.

“The guys are really deflated about the result as this is a game we should have won.”

The first chance came in the opening seconds, when Michael Smith found himself in the clear after intercepting a passback, only to shoot tamely at Lily keeper John Falconer. Many more opportunities came the Albert’s way before the break, but try as they might, the Teries just could not score.

In the second period, Easthouses began to show more purpose and in the 69th minute the deadlock at long last was broken when defender Steven Campbell emerged the marksman through a speculative angled shot that sailed high into the net.

Within minutes of this, both sides were reduced to 10 men – Hawick’s Ronald Fleming and Lily’s Liam Grant both being red-carded following a clash. Easthouses saw red again when McQueenie was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

From here on Hawick pushed hard for an equaliser that just did not arrive.