HAWICK ROYAL ALBERT made an inglorious exit from the Scottish Cup in September, being demolished 8-1 by Gala Fairydean, writes John Slorance.
A lot has happened since then, though. Hawick team boss Mick Murphy and his second man Stuart Sharkey quit their posts and there has been an exodus of players.
A new managerial team of Lawrie Dunn and Graeme Chadwick has been brought in, as well as a sea of fresh faces. And tomorrow evening, new-look Albert take on the Fairydean at Albert Park in a First Division clash.
The Teries are looking to turn the tables on their old rivals and assistant manager Chadwick told TheSouthern: “It’s a massive game for us as Hawick have a lot to prove. There are still a few players in the Hawick team that played in the first game, but there are a few new ones as well and everybody wants to do something against Gala.
“Fairydean will be favourites to win, but, fingers crossed, if we can play the same as we have in our last three games we might cause an upset”.
Chris Batten and Andrew Maltman return to the Hawick squad.
Gala boss Fraser Lothian said: “Hawick have a new managerial set up and new players so everybody will be wanting to prove themselves – it will be a difficult game for us.
“It’s always difficult at Hawick, for although the Albert have been struggling for a while, they give us a hard time at Albert Park. We can be a bit Jekyll and Hyde, but we will have to be at our best to beat Hawick.
“Being a Friday night and especially it being Hawick and Gala, the game should attract a big crowd and this brings about a good atmosphere.”
Geri Rossi, Ross Glass and Andrew Brown are all back for Gala.
Kelso United host Ormiston at Woodside Park, while Peebles Rovers are also at home in facing Coldstream.
Following the cancellation of their South of Scotland Challenge Cup encounter because of ground conditions at Victoria Park, Vale of Leithen and Selkirk are set to meet in a rescheduled match.
Vale manager Robbie Horn told us: “Both sides were very disappointed in last Saturday’s game being put off.
“The pitch appeared playable and everyone was wanting to play. Everyone, that is, apart from the referee – and unfortunately it is his decision that counts.
“It’s very frustrating when a game is cancelled in this way, but hopefully it will go ahead on Saturday. We are a mile behind in league games and have a lot catching up to do, but we are wanting to do well in cups and will be looking for a win over Selkirk.”
Vale are without Ricky Miller, while Selkirk will have new blood in their squad.