IN A carbon copy of the recent Scottish Cup defeat to Golspie Sutherland, Royal Albert again had a man sent off in a game they were giving as good as they got, this time against Coldstream, and again it proved a pitoval moment was it as all downhill from this point for Royalists.
With the home side very much in the game, Jack McGhie handled the ball on the goal-line to give the visitors a penalty. He was red carded and Coldstream netted the spot-kick. I was indeed the Golspie story all over again.
Commenting on matters, Albert striker Kris O’Neil, who was skippering the side as well as being Lawrie Dunn’s number two for the day due to the departure of Graeme Chadwick, told the Hawick News: “The sending off was a huge turning point in the game. Up to then I was pleased how we had been playing as we had had most of the match.
“We became a bit deflated after Coldstream scored with their penalty and going down to ten men.
“Coldstream used their extra man well, got right on top and could well have scored more goals.”
With last season regulars Jack McGhie and Andy Noble back in the squad after having been playing elsewhere this term, Royalists were first to look like scoring when Kyle McCulloch forced Coldstream keeper Mark Walters into making an early save.
In the 16th minute Coldstream took the lead. Latching onto a cross-field ball, the unmarked Sean Simpson took advantage of the acres of space he had been give by driving an unsavable shot past Albert keeer Matt Liddle.
Back came Royalists and following a Kris O’Neil corner, Lawrie Cannon had an effort kept out by Walters.
Minutes later and Walters was in action again when saving from Danny May who had been set up by a Ronald Fleming pass.
The Albert Park men were having the better of the play and after Martin Patton had failed to make the most of a scoring opportunity, O’Neil rattled the upright with a powerful shot that has Walters well beaten,
Early in the second period Simpson found himself in the clear but his chipped shot was plucked from the air by Liddle.
At the other end, Walters held a Peter Keenan header from an O’Neil free-kick.
With 59 minutes gone Coldstream extended their lead.
After having seen a header reboundf off the bar, Kieran Ainslie sent in a shot that hit Jack McGhie and then spun onto his hand.
The referee decided it was a clear hand ball, pointed to the spot and showed the Albert man a straight red card.
It appeared a harsh decision. However, Coldstream were not complaining and Martyn Tait put away the resultant penalty.
This was to be the beginning of the end for Royalists.
Two minutes later, Lee Lambert put the Streamers further ahead with a gem of a goal in beating Liddle with a beauty of a shot that raged into the net.
In the 65th minute Coyle got his name on the scoresheet with collecting an Ainslie pass and firing home.
The floodgates had now opened and in the 71st minute Walters notched a fifth.
The big keeper made a massive clearance, the ball was caught by the wind, took a bounce and soared over the head of Liddle.
This was the visitors’ fourth goal in 12 minutes.
More, however, was to come. Tait notching his second penalty of the match in the 83rd minute.
Following the upending of O’Neil, the Albert were awarded a penalty within two minutes – and Jason Wood made no mistake with the spot-kick.
Seconds from time Coyle netted again for Coldstream.
Royalists trooped off the park looking bemused as they left to cheers. For although having seen their side hit for seven, the Hawick Ultras in the stand were chanting “There’s only one Hawick Royal Albert.” Amazing.