'It was very dubious' - Hawick Royal Albert boss Kenny Aitchison disputes penalty award in cup defeat to Blackburn United

Hawick Royal Albert manager Kenny AitchisonHawick Royal Albert manager Kenny Aitchison
Hawick Royal Albert manager Kenny Aitchison
After battling well in a goalless first half, Hawick Royal Albert conceded a controversial penalty within one minute of the restart in Saturday’s 2-0 home East of Scotland Qualifying Cup second round defeat against Blackburn United.

Devine duly scored from the spot after a foul by Tom Fowler and the same player doubled the visitors’ advantage with his head on the hour mark to seal Albert’s fate.

Albert manager Kenny Aitchison told The Southern Reporter: “It was a really close game. We did all right against a team that’s two divisions above us.

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"We had chances throughout the whole game to score but just weren’t as clinical I guess.

Robbie McPherson for Hawick RA v Balackburn UnitedRobbie McPherson for Hawick RA v Balackburn United
Robbie McPherson for Hawick RA v Balackburn United

"Young Harry Fowler had a terrific first half effort which produced a great save from their goalie.

"We came in at half-time very confident that we could go on and try and win the game.

"We have a bad habit of conceding early in the second half and it was just ironic that one of the things we said to them was: ‘Let’s get through the first 10 minures without conceding’.

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"We knew with them being stronger opposition, the longer we could still be in the game the more they would get anxious about making changes and opening up a little bit.

"Then we conceded a penalty within a minute. It was very dubious as our guys were claiming that their boy just dived.

"Tom is in a bad habit of giving penalties away because the nature of his game is quite aggressive and tends to dive in a lot so it’s something that we can work on with him.

"Goals change games and seeing that penalty go in kind of stifled us a bit in our play.

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"Then they got their second and as soon as that happened you could see the relief of their coach. All of a sudden they made four or five changes and I guess they saw that as the game being over.”

Albert visit Carnoustie Panmure of the Scottish Junior Football Association East Region Midlands League in a Scottish Cup first preliminary round tie this Saturday with KO at 3pm.

"It’s a hard one,” Aitchison said. “They’re a very strong team. Last season they finished with over 85 points and won the league.

"It’s their first ever Scottish Cup tie as a club and we know we’re going to be up against it.

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"You can imagine that it will be a really big occasion for them. But I fancy our team.

"What they’ve shown me recently – and the results don’t paint that picture – is that we’re getting a little bit better defensively.

"We’re getting more organised and structured. I’m hoping with another good week in training the luck might be on our side a little bit.

"Anything can happen in the Scottish Cup.”

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