Make-or-break time nearing in Hawick Royal Albert’s bid to avoid drop to East of Scotland Football League’s division three
Albert are currently four points adrift at the bottom of the East of Scotland Football League’s second division, on five points from 16 games, and still awaiting their first win of the campaign.
If that elusive initial victory is forthcoming in Midlothian against Lily – only five league places and a dozen points better off than them, having played three games more – this Saturday, with kick-off at 2.30pm, and they can repeat that feat at home at Albert Park two weeks later, however, survival would be within their grasp.
“They’re a very physical team and it’ll be a battle but I’m confident we can get something out of the game,” said Aitchison. “A win would be really important because if we don’t get a win, I think that would probably distance Easthouses from ourselves by too high a margin.
“It’ll be tough one but we still fancy our chances of getting our first win, and if we win our games in hand, we’d be out of the relegation zone.
Albert go into their fixtures against Lily – sandwiching a trip to Tweedmouth Rangers on Saturday, February 11 – with their confidence, if not their points total, boosted by getting within five minutes of holding third-placed St Andrews United to a draw at home on Saturday, an 85th-minute match-winner from Lewis Sawers knocked past home goalkeeper Ross Wallace during a goalmouth scramble being the only difference between the two teams.
“I was obviously disappointed but I was also pleased that we did so well,” said Aitchison.
“I’d consider that performance a reaction to our last display in losing 2-0 to Edinburgh South.
“I was happy with the performance but disappointed with the end result. That’s all we can really control as a team – how much effort we put in.
“Towards the end, they went for all-out attack and we dealt with that fine and there came a point where we were getting a few counter-attacks and I thought we could maybe nick a win. It was one of those games. It was end-to-end at the end and they got their goal from a set-play.
“It seemed against the run of play. It was unexpected from them at that point.”