Hawick Royal Albert 1
EoS FIRST DIVISION
JOHN SLORANCE reports from Albert Park
Although producing some good quality football at times, Hawick Royal Albert ended up on the wrong end of this result.
In the first half in particular, the Teries were a force to be reckoned with and appeared to be heading in the right direction.
However, following the interval, Craigroyston hit the road and knocked Hawick off course to emerge worthy winners.
Craigie almost scored in the second minute of the game when David McNeil rifled a Chris Gordon shot against the post.
Having survived this early let-off, Paul Power forced Craigroyston keeper Stuart Burnside into making a fine save with a well-struck shot. After Declan Hogg went close for the homesters, shooting wide following a good build-up move, Hawick broke the deadlock in the 26th minute.
Kris O’Neil sprayed a pass into the path of Bobby Nwanze, who surged forward to tuck the ball out of the reach of the helpless Burnside.
Minutes later Burnside prevented the Royalists from going further ahead with a save right out of the top drawer when tipping an O’Neil drive, that had looked a goal all the way, on to the upright.
Craigroyston replied with a sweeping move down the right which ended in Chris Inglis thundering a McNeil cross against the bar.
Hawick lost keeper Matt Liddle through an arm injury in the second half, and schoolboy Kerr Brown came on as a replacement.
He was put into immediate action, pulling off a great stop in pushing a Gordon shot round the post after the Craigroyston striker had found himself in the clear following some slack Albert defending.
Craigroyston now had the upper hand and, in the 63rd minute, levelled the score through sub Errol Douglas.
With Craigie now in control, Kyle McCulloch fired wide from a Scott Watson cut back and Brown emerged Hawick’s saviour in keeping out a Liam Jack effort.
A goal was only delayed, however, as Jack got himself on the scoresheet, putting away a John Dunn cross.
After Graham Clee had headed a Jack shot off the goal line, Craigroyston added to their tally in the 88th minute – Dunn’s free kick being slotted away by Gordon.
Hawick manager Lawrie Dunn told TheSouthern: “I thought we were excellent in the first half.
“We moved the ball about well, defended well and created chances, and we went into the dressing room at half-time pretty pleased with ourselves.
“In the second half, though things didn’t go so well. We were forced to make substitutions which didn’t help, but I am not using this an excuse. Craigroyston ended up the better side.”
Hawick Royal Albert: M. Liddle (K. Brown), G. Johnstone, J. Wood, L. Cannon, G. Clee, P. Power (P. Keenan), S. Watson, D. Hogg (K. McCulloch), K. O’Neil, B. Nwanze, M. Patton.