Albert go down but can take positives

East Kilbride 2 '¨Hawick Royal Albert 1

Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, 12:10 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:45 am
Josh Morris netted again for Albert

Hawick Royal Albert showed real fight before East Kilbride came from behind to move within one win of the Lowland League title in their midweek clash in Lanarkshire.

And the home side now have the added incentive of being able to pip Celtic to become the first Scottish club to win the league this season.

Things were looking good for Albert after Josh Morris’s 27th goal of the season gave them the advantage.

But second-half strikes from Sean Winter and Russell McLean means a win for Kilby at Civil Service Strollers on Saturday will deliver the title.

The home side almost got off to the perfect start when Winter’s cross found David Proctor inside five minutes, but his flick cannoned back off the crossbar.

Hamish Hunter almost silenced the home support six minutes later when he was allowed too much space on the edge of the box and nearly found the bottom corner with a powerful low drive. It had McGinley scrambling across goal and he was relieved to see it flash wide.

And with 19 minutes on the clock Hawick took the lead. Spence’s cross from the left found Morris in space at the back post and he volleyed the ball past McGinley.

Paul Woods was denied what would have been a wonderful solo goal in 28 minutes when his strike was cleared off the line after he weaved past four defenders and rounded the keeper.

But six minutes into the second half the league leaders pulled level. Adam Strachan found Woods in space and he threaded a delightful through ball for Winter, who slid the ball under the keeper.

On the hour mark Russell McLean replaced Joao Victoria up front for Kilby and the big striker took just two minutes to make his mark, firing the hosts in front.

Hawick pushed for an equaliser and almost found it but McGinley made an outstanding save to turn Morris’ thumping drive behind.

In stoppage time Hawick were reduced to 10 men after Sean Conaghan was shown a second yellow card following a foul on Gibbons.