IN A game that was even more one-sided than the scoreline suggests, Hawick Royal Albert crashed out of the cup in the first round.
Lining up against premier league outfit Tynecastle, first division Royalists were completely outclassed by their Edinburgh opposition who ruled the roost and won hands down.
Giving his thoughts on his side’s day, Albert manager Mick Murphy told the Hawick News: “We were never at the races. Our plan was to try and stop Tynecastle from knocking the ball about through spoiling play. This was the only way I felt we had a chance of getting a result as Tynecastle are a league above and are a good footballing team.
“However, this didn’t work for us simply because Tynecastle showed their class on the day. We had early chances but after we went a goal behind our heads went down a bit.
“Tynecastle scored a couple more goals before half-time and it was just a massive uphill task for us after that.”
Showing several changes from the side that gained a memorable win over Ormiston the previous Saturday, Royalists started brightly enough. And with two minutes gone Tynecastle keeper Ross McMullen was brought into action in saving a Chris Batten header from a long Ross Wallace throw-in.
Royalists continued to show early enterprise and on receiving a Liam Lavery pass, Alan Campbell wriggled his way out of two tackles before shooting wide.
Tynecastle hit back to open the scoring in the eighth minute when a swift passing move ended in Wayne Sproulle stabbing a shot past Albert keeper Willie Turner.
From here on the pattern of the game was to change completely, with the visitors starting to move up a gear or two. Wayne McIntosh and Steven McCormack both fluffing good chances in a matter of minutes which got Albert off the hook.
It appeared only a matter of time before Tynecastle scored again and in the 33rd minute another goal arrived. Latching onto a Darren Aird cross, McIntosh shrugged off two challenges with ease before calmly shooting into the back of the net for a fine individual goal.
In the 40th minute, the visitors did it all again when Paul Devlin headed a McIntosh cross out of Turner’s reach.
Tynecastle opened with a flurry at the start of the second half and in an astonishing four-minute spell, McIntosh hit the woodwork on three occasions in seeing two shots cannon off the post and a header rebound from the bar.
After 53 minutes Tynecastle got a fourth. Devlin producing the goods with a sweetly-struck drive. The game certainly wasn’t going Royalists’ way to say the least and on the hour mark matters got worse. Sean Owens, who had been booked earlier by Edinburgh referee Paul Hanlon, picked up a second yellow card which led to a red. On leaving the pitch Owens is alleged to have shouted a remark in the direction of the referee which was picked up by the linesman on the stand side who immediately informed the official in charge.
It was revealed after the game that the Albert striker’s outburst would be on the referee’s report, which could land Owens in further hot water.
Six minutes after going down to ten men, Royalists fell further behind when Sproulle made it a nap hand for Tynecastle.