Share of the points for nine-man Hawick RAU

Liam Lavery, in blue, goes in for a challenge against Stirling University. The Hawick man was later one of two home players to see red (picture by Brian Sutherland).
Liam Lavery, in blue, goes in for a challenge against Stirling University. The Hawick man was later one of two home players to see red (picture by Brian Sutherland).

Hawick Royal Albert United 1, Stirling University 1

The vast majority of this windswept encounter did not bring about much in the way of thrills and spills.

Apart from the home support getting hot under the collar while voicing their opinions towards Broxburn referee Tommi Kerr, who turned down four more than reasonable HRAU penalty claims, there was little to shout about until the last 12 minutes.

During this period, bedlam broke out, in which the hosts had two men red-carded.

But, on going down to nine players, Hawick produced more drive, heart and purpose than they had done in the rest of the game with 11 on the park.

Raymond Fleming was first to walk. The left back, who had been booked in the first half for handball, picked up another caution for a foul on Adam Davison.

Three minutes later, Liam Lavery received a straight red following an off-the-ball clash.

From here on, however, Hawick ruled in pushing forward in the quest for what would have been a second goal – and came close to achieving their aim.

Kevin Strathdee hit the bar with a free kick, while Ross Scott had a netbound effort blocked by Finlay Goodlad.

A goal, however, failed to arrive.

With the wind swirling at their backs during the opening 45 minutes, HRAU had the upper hand but, despite having all the play, made little use of it.

University keeper Murray Bushell pulled off saves from Liam Lavery and a couple of half-chances went astray but, otherwise, there was no threat, apart from a great goal in the 24th minute.

Louis Swaney, who has shown up well since signing from Gala Hotspur, was the marksman, finding the net with a raging drive on being set up by a Kevin Strathdee flick-on.

Stirling, however, grabbed an equaliser in the 39th minute.

Latching on to a Jonathan Yeo cross, Adam Davidson fired in a shot that home number one Dean Fry did extremely well to parry.

The ball rebounded into the path of Davidson, who shot home.

In the second period, the visitors, with the wind now at their backs, had the edge until Hawick’s late finishing burst and came near to scoring through Aaron Chia, Goodlad and Mark Shields.

HRAU assistant manager John Paul Drysdale said: “Had we played the same way we did late on in the game, we would have got a win.”