Red mist spoils the view in colour co-ordinated clash

Hawick Legion's Callum Hope homes in on goal during a firey match
Hawick Legion's Callum Hope homes in on goal during a firey match
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Despite Wilton Lodge Park being bathed in bright sunshine on Saturday, come late afternoon a red mist fell over its pastures, writes John Slorance.

For this local derby clash conjured up four red cards during the last quarter hour of the game.

The colour yellow also featured highly as the game produced five bookings as well.

Matters don’t quite stop here, however, as two spectators were dismissed from their spots on the touchline by the referee.

You name it, it more or less happened in this encounter.

Watched by a big crowd, a keenly fought first half failed to produce a goal. United pair David Strathdee and Darren Todd were both cautioned though, as was Legion’s Andrew McFarlane.

With a swirling wind at their backs, Legion began the second half well, and after Scott Duncan had fired inches wide, Callum Hope rattled the post with an angled drive.

United then showed what they had to offer – Robbie Kelly and Ross Scott both had efforts kept out by Legion keeper, Euan Reilly.

In the 74th minute, David Strathdee put United ahead when firing a free kick high into the roof of the net. Within two minutes, Strathdee’s great joy in having scored a goal was to turn to great despair.

The United man apparently brought down Hope in the box and Ancrum referee Bruce Crockett awarded a penalty, as well as dismissing the offending Strathdee.

Hope put away the penalty with a shot that went in off the post.

Prior to the match restarting, a member of the crowd was told to leave the touchline area by the referee, signalling the start of a very busy time for Mr Crockett.

Following individual moments of sheer madness, the whistler rightly produced three red cards.

United’s Ross Scott and Legion’s Bryan Tait were first to walk. Tait having retaliated after having been hacked down by Scott.

Following the occurrence of another spectator being sent packing from the side lines, United were brought down to eight men when Kevin Strathdee was ordered off.

Further drama was to come when Andrew McFarlane put victory Legion’s way with a late winner, with a perfectly struck lobbed shot set up by Duncan, before referee Crockett signalled the end of proceedings at what had been an explosive derby match.