Hawick Royal Albert United celebrating first league win and first clean sheet since July

Hawick Royal Albert United have ended a winless streak stretching back over five months, raising hopes of a revival in their fortunes prior to the end of the current East of Scotland Football League first division conference B season in six games’ time.

By Darin Hutson
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 8:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 10:04 am
John Shankie and Lewis Swaney in action for Hawick Royal Albert United against Peebles Rovers (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
John Shankie and Lewis Swaney in action for Hawick Royal Albert United against Peebles Rovers (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Saturday’s 3-0 home win against Peebles Rovers was not only United’s first victory since they edged out Newburgh Juniors 1-0 away at the end of July – and just their second this campaign – but it was also their first clean sheet since then.

That tally of three goals – scored by Lewis Swaney, Euan Gray and Kieran Crawford – was also their highest since a 5-4 defeat away to another Fife side, Lochgelly Albert, back in mid-August and accounts for almost a fifth of their total of 16 for the season so far.

Club chairman Jim Borthwick was delighted to see his side pick up three points at last, telling us: “I’m really pleased. The boys played particularly well and they deserved the win.

Sign up to our daily The Southern Reporter Today newsletter

Hawick Royal Albert United beating Peebles Rovers 3-0 on Saturday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

“It was a hard game on a sticky pitch and the conditions weren’t ideal, but it was the same for both teams.

“Our boys certainly looked to be trying a lot harder than they have done.

“They certainly played a lot better and I’m pleased with that result.

“Having said that, there’ve been a fair few games this season that we’ve lost by goals we shouldn’t have conceded.”

Hawick Royal Albert United captain Billy Miller on the ball against Peebles Rovers (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Manager Jordan Gracie’s side are still propping up conference B but they’re now level on eight points with second-bottom Newburgh, though the Fifers have three games in hand on them and a goal difference 21 better.

Newburgh are their next league opposition, however, at Albert Park on Saturday, February 12, with kick-off at 2.30pm, so that bottom-of-the-table six-pointer offers United a chance to leapfrog them and get within two points of third-bottom Lochgelly and also close the gap on fourth-bottom Peebles, now on 19 points from eight games, depending how this weekend’s games go.

United have got this coming Saturday off and aren’t back in action until they face either Edinburgh United or Leith Athletic away in the King Cup’s second round on Saturday, February 5.

Peebles have got a game this weekend, though, in the league at home to eighth-placed Burntisland Shipyard, with kick-off at 2pm.