Hawick Royal Albert United start cup run with 3-2 away win at St Andrews
Saints began the game strongly on a bright but cold day at Clayton Caravan Park Recreation Ground but their forward Jack Healy wasted a glorious chance by firing a shot straight at Dean Fry.
The visiting team then upped the pace as the first half progressed and a couple of balls were blasted over Connor Shaw’s bar before Taylor Hope opened the scoring in the 20th minute.
The Hawick midfielder bundled his way through a disorganised defence and created more than enough space to calmly pick his spot and shoot past a helpless Shaw.
The keeper then did well to smother the ball at the feet of Jordan Yardley and made a good save to prevent Hope from claiming a brace on the half-hour mark.
He was beaten for a second time when Yardley converted a cross from the left in the 42nd minute.
St Andrews United hit back at the start of the second period as Healy pulled a goal back with a solo effort involving beating a couple of defenders prior to lashing a long-range shot past Fry in the 46th minute.
Saints subsequently earned a penalty less than two minutes later when Owen Andrew was upended in the box and the striker made no mistake from 12 yards to make the score 2-2.
Yardley was next to try his luck as Shaw made a second brave block at his feet, then Andrew forced Fry into producing a decent save from a free-kick.
Substitute Graeme Hart also came close to scoring as the action swung from end to end, and the visitors looked to be in trouble when Davis Hope was red-carded for making too many foul tackles with 20 minutes of the match remaining.
That decision did not impress the away side’s coaching staff, and referee Keith Maskell then went on to infuriate the occupants of the other dugout by awarding a controversial penalty in the 80th minute.
Shaw made another good block from a Yardley break as his defence again went missing but the Hawick player tumbled over the goalie’s outstretched leg thereafter.
Lewis Swaney subsequently found the net from the spot despite Shaw getting a hand to his penalty.
The hosts didn’t give up, though.
Hart curled his next shot past Fry’s right-hand post prior to forcing the goalkeeper into making a diving save at full length, then a couple of crosses from Ross Cunningham and Ryan McInnes were cleared.
United’s last chance of the afternoon fell to McInnes as he fired the ball high over the bar.
Next up for Hawick is a trip to Midlothian’s Easthouses Lily Miners’ Welfare on Wednesday, November 25, at 7.30pm, followed by a visit from Heriot-Watt University on Saturday, November 28, at 2.30pm.
The Borderers are second from bottom of the East of Scotland Football League’s first division conference B with two points after five games.
Easthouses Lily are in sixth place with 10 points from seven games, and the Teries’ visitors from Edinburgh next weekend are 11 places above them, in third, with 15 points after seven games.