Eight-goal blast leaves Albert reeling

Spartans 8

Hawick Royal Albert 0


JOHN SLORANCE reports from Ainslie Park

THERE had been a nine-year gap since the Albert had last faced Spartans – and there was an eight-goal chasm separating the two sides at the end of this cup clash.

And it could well have been more, for had the vastly superior Premier Division side made the most of the enormous amount of possession they had, double figures could easily have been reached.

Albert coach Owen Murphy said: “We got off to a sloppy start by conceding two early goals and after this it was just a matter of trying to keep the score down. Our commitment was good throughout the game, but a lack of concentration let us down more than anything, and Spartans punished us for this”.

The city outfit sailed into the lead with just six minutes gone. Finding space down the right, Kevin Motion whipped over a cross which was headed home by John Ferguson. Two minutes later the Edinburgh men edged further ahead. Keith McLeod was tripped in the box by Kevin Fettes and referee Paul Crosby pointed to the spot. McLeod was on target with the spot kick.

Spartans kept their foot on the gas and, after Albert keeper Ross Taylor had pulled off a magnificent save from Willis Bremner, added to their tally in the 23rd minute when McLeod netted following a corner kick.

Within two minutes, Hawick fell further behind. After intercepting an Andy Whitson pass, Donal Henretty raced forward unchallenged to score easily.

Ferguson made it a nap hand for the top flight leaders six minutes from the break and John Grant got his name on the scoresheet with a raging drive from an acute angle in the dying seconds of the half.

The hosts continued their scoring ways within four minutes of the resumption when Hanratty touched a Grant free kick into the path of Sean Wringe who drove a shot past Taylor.

Hawick showed what they had to offer with a well-struck Declan Hogg effort that forced Spartans keeper Chris Flockhart into making a top-notch save.

Minutes later, Bobby Nwanze almost reduced the leeway when shooting inches wide after running on to a through ball.

The Teries introduced substitute keeper Stevie West for Taylor and the new face was soon in action, denying McLeod his hat-trick with a splendid save.

After a Wringe shot had cannoned off the post, Fettes came to Hawick’s rescue by clearing an Andy Martin effort off the line.

Henretty completed the scoring as well as notching his 100th goal for Spartans in the 84th minute.

Hawick Royal Albert: R. Taylor (S. West), K. Fettes, A. Whitson, K. McCulloch, I. Zenati, C. Beattie, J. Paterek, D. Hogg, M. King (S. Drummond), B. Nwanze, G. Ramsay.