Hawick Royal Albert1
At a first glance this game may have seemed a meaningless affair, the last outing of two sides holding up the East of Scotland first division league table.
Take a second look however and there was a lot to play for in this Woodside Park clash.
The losers would end up bottom dogs of the league and this is a label no club wants to be tagged with, at any level.
There was a bit of pride at stake and at the end of it all it was Kelso United who gained the bragging rights.
Talking of his side’s victory Kelso manager Prof Blaikie told The Southern: “I might not be shouting from the roof tops but I am thrilled with our win.
“It was a very important game for us. We didn’t want to finish bottom of the league. It was a match we had to win, it was our cup final.”
And it was a result that the Tweedsiders certainly deserved. In the first period in particular, they ruled the roost and were by far the hungrier outfit.
Hawick came more into the picture in the second half but United still had plenty to offer and duly got the win they were searching for.
Showing bite and purpose Kelso set the pace from the start and Albert keeper Bruce Callan was put to the test in pulling off two saves from Jack Logan in rapid succession.
Troubling Hawick with some probing raids the home men continued to push forward and with 24 minutes gone, opened their account. A Callan clearance from a throw-in landed at the feet of Darren Bowie and the United defender produced the scoring touch with a 40 yard shot that sailed into the roof of the net for a dandy of a goal.
Minutes later Scott Turnbull came near to increasing Kelso’s lead with a header on meeting a cross from Steven Tait, who had came out of retirement due to a player shortage.
After Callan had pulled off a splendid stop in pushing a net bound Scott Turnbull shot round the post at full stretch, United struck again in the 41st minute. Ryan Beveridge ghosted past three Albert defenders in a mazy angled run before tucking home a shot.
Following the changeover, Hawick began to show a little more purpose and could well have got a penalty when Calvin Muttit was knocked off the ball in the box but the referee waved play on. Greg Summers then darted through on his own but United number one Elliot Turnbull read the danger by coming quickly off his line to save at the Albert midfield man’s feet.
In the 75th minute Hawick reduced the leeway. Summers rattled in a free kick which was parried away by Turnbull before a hectic goalmouth stramash took place which ended in Ronald Fleming stabbing away a shot.
In the closing stages Scott Turnbull was denied a goal by a save from Callan.
“In the first half I thought we were by far the better team. Hawick pinned us back a bit in the second half but overall we were on top and deserved the three points,” added Blaikie.