Hawick Royal Albert 0, Oakley United 2
Two weeks previously, Hawick Royal Albert returned from the Kingdom of Fife with full points, having toppled Oakley United in convincing fashion.
It was the Albert’s third win in five games and there were signs that, following a poor start to the season, they were taking strides in the right direction.
In this meeting, however, it was a case of taking steps backwards for the Royalists, who were never in the hunt through a disappointing show.
Oakley not only gained sweet revenge but emerged by far the better side.
The Albert, however, came near to breaking the deadlock during the opening exchanges when Milos Pajak put visiting keeper Sean Robertson to the test with a free kick.
This was to be one of the few occasions that the hosts looked like scoring.
Paying their first ever visit to Albert Park, former junior outfit Oakley, in turn, started to run the show and Stewart Love squandered a good chance when heading a James McAteer cross wide.
Derek Murray then dented the home rearguard with a mazy run before rattling in a shot which Albert number one Craig Saunders did well to keep out.
Looking the hungrier and more adventurous side, Oakley had the better of the rest of the first half but failed to make the most of the opportunities that fell their way.
Early in the second period, Dawson was denied a strike by a fine Saunders stop and, within minutes of this, a Cormac O’Brien goal line clearance prevented Richard Carrol from putting the Fifers ahead.
Royalists replied with a sweeping raid from out of the blue which ended in a well struck O’Brien drive being tipped round the post by the diving Robertson.
In the 67 th minute, Oakley deservedly went ahead when McAteer polished off a good move by tucking a Dawson pass past Saunders.
After Saunders had put up the shutters, with superb saves from Dawson and Mark Allan in rapid succession, Oakley well and truly killed the game off by notching a second in the 81st minute.
McAteer again was the marksman as he drove the ball into the net on meeting a Love free kick.
Albert coach Scott Dowie said afterwards: “I was glad to hear the final whistle, as we just didn’t turn up and were very disappointing, to say the least.”