Hawick Royal Albert 0
EOS LEAGUE CUP
JOHN SLORANCE reports from Albert Park
FIFTY miles separate Hawick from Edinburgh.
There was however a much bigger gulf between these two sides on Saturday – Royal Albert and Tynecastle were many miles apart.
Had the men from the capital made the most of the many chances that fell their way the gap in the scoreline would have been much wider as well.
Thankfully for the Albert, though, Tynecastle’s finishing was not what it might have been.
Summing up his side’s day, Hawick assistant manager Stuart Sharkey told TheSouthern: “Apart from the early part of the game we just never turned up.
“We have been doing quite well in our last few matches, but we sure didn’t today. Tynecastle are in the Premier Division and we are in the First, and the difference was unbelievable as they were a class above us.
“Tynecastle deserved their win without any doubt and we will just have to take it on the chin and fight back in our next game.”
Although ending up completely outgunned at the finish, Hawick fired the early ammunition.
Chris Batten came close to breaking the deadlock, forcing Tynecastle keeper Ross McMullen into making a save with a header on meeting a Ross Wallace throw-in, and Alan Campbell fired wide from a Liam Lavery pass.
Tynecastle hit back to open the scoring in the eighth minute when Wayne Sproull polished off a move by tucking a shot out of the reach of Hawick keeper Willie Turner. Following the booking of Albert’s Sean Owens, Wayne McIntosh and Steven McCormack both squandered opportunities to put Tynecastle further ahead.
In the 31st minute, though, the visitors did add to their tally. After latching on to a Darren Aird cross, McIntosh waltzed his way out of two challenges before firing home.
With 40 minutes gone Hawick fell into further arrears. Switching from goal scorer to goal provider McIntosh floated over a cross which Paul Devlin bulleted into the net with his head.
In a remarkable spell at the beginning of the second half, McIntosh amazingly hit the woodwork three times, the big striker rattling the post with a pair of shots before seeing his header cannon off the upright.
Tynecastle kept their foot on the gas and in the 53rd minute, Devlin got his name on the scoresheet, beating Turner all the way with a glorious 30-yard drive.
On the hour mark, Owens was given his marching orders by Edinburgh referee Paul Hanlon for a second bookable offence and in the 66th minute Sproull made it a nap hand for Tynecastle when latching on to a long ball from the back and racing forward to drill away a shot.
The game had been over as a contest for a while, but now it was dead.
Tynecastle dominated what was left, only to fluff their many chances.
Hawick Royal Albert: W. Turner, C. Sharkey, R. Shepherd, C. Wilson, C. Batten, S. Drysdale (K. Clamp), A. Campbell, D. Prowse (J. Robertson), S. Owens, R. Wallace and L. Lavery.