Borders derbies lined up for Hawick Royal Albert and Peebles Rovers in September and on Hogmanay

The new East of Scotland Football League second division’s inaugural fixture list is out now and it kicks off with a home game against Stirling University for Hawick Royal Albert and a trip to Fife’s Lochgelly Albert for Peebles Rovers.

By Darin Hutson
Friday, 15th July 2022, 12:35 pm
Updated Friday, 15th July 2022, 12:50 pm
Peebles Rovers beating Hawick Royal Albert 6-0 at home at Whitestone Park last September (Photo: Kenny and Joshua Holt)
Peebles Rovers beating Hawick Royal Albert 6-0 at home at Whitestone Park last September (Photo: Kenny and Joshua Holt)

Albert, now managed by Kenny Aitchison, lost the equivalent fixture 4-0 last season, back in August, and were beaten 4-1 away by the students in October.

Rovers won the matching fixture 3-1 in October but lost 2-1 at home to the Fifers in April.

Those games take place on Saturday, July 30, with kick-off at 2.30pm, and they’re followed by a trip to East Lothian’s Ormiston Primrose for Albert on Tuesday, August 2, and a visit from Midlothian’s Easthouses Lily the day after for player-manager Ger Rossi’s Rovers side, both at 7.30pm, with Hawick heading up to Grangemouth’s Syngenta the following Saturday, August 6, for a 3pm kick-off.

John Shankie challenging for possession for Hawick Royal Albert during their 3-0 victory over Peebles Rovers in January (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

The rest of next month sees Hawick at home to Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University and Peebles away to Stirling Uni on Saturday the 13th, both at 2.30pm, then Peebles away to Midlothian’s Arniston Rangers on Wednesday the 17th at 7pm and at home to Fife’s St Andrews United at 2.30pm on Saturday the 20th.

September starts with both Albert and Rovers away on Saturday the 3rd at 2.30pm, the former at St Andrews and the latter at Whitburn in West Lothian.

The season’s first Borders derby follows on Saturday the 24th, with Rovers hosting Albert at Whitestone Park at 2.30pm, the reverse fixture at Albert Park following on Hogmanay at 2.30pm.

Albert round off the month with a visit from Edinburgh’s Craigroyston on Wednesday the 28th at 7.30pm.

October begins, on Saturday the 1st at 2.30pm, with Albert hosting Midlothian’s Dalkeith Thistle and Rovers away to Craigroyston.

That’s followed by Peebles visiting Heriot-Watt Uni on Tuesday the 4th and the Royalists hosting Whitburn on Wednesday the 5th, both at 7.30pm, then, on Saturday the 8th at 2.30pm, the former hosting Edinburgh United and the latter hitting the road to Fife to take on Newburgh Juniors and, on Saturday the 29th, also at 2.30pm, Rovers playing Edinburgh South at home and Albert travelling to Arniston.

November sees Albert hosting Tweedmouth Rangers and Rovers away to Syngenta on Wednesday the 2nd, at 7.30pm and 7.45pm respectively; the former at Edinburgh United and the latter at Newburgh on Saturday the 5th, both at 2pm; and both at home on Saturday the 12th, Hawick to Lochgelly Albert at 2.30pm and Peebles to Ormiston at 2pm.

Albert and Rovers both start off December at home, to Fife’s Thornton Hibs at 2.30pm and Dalkeith at 1.30pm respectively, on Saturday the 3rd, then they’re both away the Saturday after, the former at Easthouses Lily at 2.30pm and the latter at Tweedmouth at 1.30pm, and Saturday the 17th sees Albert at Edinburgh South and Rovers hosting Thornton, both at 1.30pm.

Royal start 2023 at Stirling Uni at 2.30pm and Rovers at home to Syngenta at 2pm on Saturday, January 7, and the Saturday after sees the former at home to Edinburgh South at 2.30pm and the latter away to another capital side, Edinburgh United, half an hour previously. Royal end the month on Saturday the 28th at home to St Andrews at 2.30pm and Rovers host Heriot-Watt Uni that afternoon at 2pm.

February sees Albert away to Tweedmouth at 2pm and Rovers at Dalkeith at 2.30pm on Saturday the 11th and both at home on Saturday the 18th at 2.30pm, Albert to Easthouses Lily and Rovers to Tweedmouth.

Albert are on the road to Dalkeith and Rovers at home to Craigroyston on Saturday, March 18, both 2.30pm kick-offs.

April’s fixtures, all 2.30pm Saturday kick-offs, see Albert at home to Edinburgh United and Rovers on the road at Thornton on the 8th, Albert at Whitburn and Rovers at home to another Albert, Lochgelly’s, on the 15th and the Royalists hosting Ormiston and Rovers at Easthouses Lily on the 29th.

Next season is due to wrap up in May, postponements and potential cup runs permitting, with Albert away to Lochgelly and Peebles hosting Arniston on Saturday the 6th, Albert hosting Newburgh and Rovers at Edinburgh South on Saturday the 20th and, lastly, Albert at Craigroyston and Rovers hosting Stirling Uni, all May’s matches being 2.30pm kick-offs.

The two sides’ eight remaining fixtures in their 18-team division will be scheduled later in the season.

Rovers finished last season 12th in the old 15-team first division conference B with 20 points from 28 games, basement side Albert ending up three places and 19 points worse off.

Going head to head, the Borderers emerged with honours even, Rovers beating an Albert team reduced to 10 men by full-back Ryan Shepherd’s 51st-minute sending-off 6-0 at home last September but losing 3-0 away in January.

On the scoresheet for then gaffer Michael Wilson’s Rovers side against Albert, managed by Jordan Gracie at the time, first time round were Liam Andrew, Ross Lamb, Jamie Mackay, Brandon Blair and Grant Doyle at the double.

Lewis Swaney, Euan Gray and Kieran Crawford netted for Albert in the reverse fixture.