Eyemouth United 2
Hawick Royal Albert 3
EoS FIRST DIVISION
JOHN SLORANCE reports from Warner Park
THE game had five minutes to go. Hawick Royal Albert were trailing by a goal and appeared to be heading for their seventh league defeat of the season.
However, the Teries took the chill out of a freezing day by turning up the heat with a red-hot finish – a finish in which they scored twice as well as hitting the woodwork to gain a dramatic win that had looked well beyond their reach just minutes earlier.
Albert manager Graeme Chadwick told TheSouthern: “Eyemouth have been going well, so to beat them on their own ground was a great result for us.
“We played particularly well in the first half when playing into the wind and coped with the conditions really well.
“In the second half we didn’t play as well, simply because the players didn’t do what they had been told to do in the way I wanted us to play.
“I got great commitment from them though, as the spirit they showed was just brilliant.
“With five minutes remaining, we were chasing a draw, but, through their battling, ended up getting a win and you can’t ask for any more that that”.
With the blustery wind at their backs, the Fishermen set the early pace with some probing attacks, but it was the Albert who drew first blood in the sixth minute.
Declan Hogg caught United napping at the back by cutting in from the left and driving a low angular shot into the far corner of the net.
Eyemouth hit back and Albert keeper Ross Taylor pulled off an excellent save by tipping a rasping Steven Shennan drive round the post. Minutes later, Shennan found the net with a header on meeting a Connor Lough cross, but was ruled offside.
United continued to push forward and the woodwork came to Hawick’s rescue when Lough fired a Leigh Walker cut-back against the bar.
Although having their backs against the wall, Hawick showed they could be a threat on the break and a slick move sparked off by Ross Brand ended in Kyle McCulloch seeing a well-struck effort pushed round the post by home goalie Adam Mutch.
Following the resultant corner kick, Mutch put up the shutters again with a fine stop from Bobby Nwanze.
At the start of the second period, Eyemouth had a golden chance to get on level terms after Andy Whitson had brought down James Wilson and a penalty was awarded.
But Lough’s spot kick was pushed to safety by the diving Taylor.
In the 61st minute, though, United did draw level when Wilson steered a cross from the right into the net with his head.
After Mutch had kept out a Hogg free kick, United took the lead in the 79th minute, Lough making amends for his penalty miss by tucking away a Shennan cross.
But visiting heads refused to drop and Chadwick’s troops started to battle for an equaliser – and in the 85th minute it arrived. Latching on to an Eyemouth clearance, McCulloch threaded the ball to the feet of Hogg and the teenage midfielder produced a superb finish to beat Mutch.
The Albert were far from finished and two minutes later edged ahead, Hogg whipping a free kick into a crowded goalmouth which was headed home by Nwanze.
Within a minute of this, Hogg almost notched his hat-trick with a cracking drive that rebounded off the upright.
Hawick Royal Albert: R. Taylor, I. Zenati (S. Drummond), A. Whitson, G. Young, P. Russell, D. Hogg, K. McCulloch, R. Brand (Raymond Fleming), J. Paterek, B. Nwanze, C. Beattie.