Royalists lording it up in cup again

Hawick Royal Albert proved too good for Whitehill Welfare at the weekend
Hawick Royal Albert proved too good for Whitehill Welfare at the weekend

Whitehill Welfare 2 
Hawick Royal Albert 3

Hawick Royal Albert booked a place in the semi-final of the Football Nation East of Scotland Qualifying Cup with a creditable win.

Royalists got off to a flying start by opening the scoring in the fifth minute when Josh Morris beat Welfare keeper Bryan Young with a chipped shot from a Ryan Stevenson cross.

Twelve minutes later the Albert went further ahead following another Stevenson cross, Kris Mitchell this time finding the net with a looping header.

No further goals arrived during the first half.

With five minutes of the second period gone, Whitehill reduced the leeway, Michael Osbourne emerging the Ferguson Park side’s marksman in heading home a Connor McGregor corner.

In the 70th minute, Mitchell restored the Royalists’ two-goal lead as he tucked away a loose ball after Morris and Jon McInally shots had been blocked.

Welfare notched a second with 11 minutes of the match remaining through John Williams, who beat Hawick keeper Kyle Rankin with a header on meeting a well-flighted Charlie Denton corner kick.

Albert manager Dean Shanks said of his side’s triumph: “Following a promising start we switched off for a while but we got back on course again. It was a great result for us but we could well have won by more.”

Royalists meet Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale in the semi-final at Albert Park on Wednesday, February 8.

A victory would earn the Albert their first cup final outing for some considerable time.