Royalists slip to defeat in opening friendly

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East Linton2

Hawick Royal Albert0

A typically scrappy pre-season match saw an experimental Hawick Royal Albert team lose out to a well-organised East Linton.

The Teries boasted a clutch of new signings in their ranks, and the Lothian side took full advantage of the bedding-in process to grab themselves a win.

Scarcely five minutes of the match had elapsed when the home side fired themselves into the lead.

A long ball out of defence perfectly dissected the Albert defence, and although the East Linton striker had much to do on receiving the ball, he did it well, rounding Davie Duncan in the away goal and slotting home from a tight angle.

Worse could easily have followed, as a questionable offside call in the 10th minute denied East Linton what looked to have been a perfectly legitimate goal.

The shaky start over, the Albert started to haul themselves back into the game, and a sharp move in the 19th minute saw the Royalists denied twice in quick succession.

First, Paul Power’s set-up for Jamie Paterek saw the Albert striker’s shot well saved, before Kris O’Neil’s shot from the rebound seemed to be turned away by the hand of an East Linton defender. No penalty was given, and the next attack saw a long-ranger from Power well held by the home goalkeeper.

A moment of magic from East Linton nearly saw them double their lead on the half-hour, a superb turn and volley which cracked the underside of the bar, the ball somehow bouncing miraculously back into play and away to safety. Two contentious offside calls saw two Albert attacks snuffed out at the root, before Paterek had his piledriver from a tight angle pushed out by the Linton keeper. The last action of the half saw Duncan get down to save well from an onrushing attacker.

The second half continued in much the same vein, with the flow of the match interrupted by a slew of substitutions from both sides.

Paterek broke through in the 49th minute only to be hauled back for another questionable offside, while a free-kick opportunity on the hour-mark saw O’Neil pull his effort wide. Duncan impressed again in the 64th minute, saving a solid drive at the near post with his feet, but he could do nothing when East Linton doubled their lead five minutes later. A flick-on header slipped through to an East Linton player who was seemingly offside; and with only Duncan to beat, the striker finished well from a tight angle.

The introduction of debutants Scott Watson and Peter Keenan saw Hawick put together some of their better passages of play, but with time running out and several new players still finding their feet, there was to be no further scoring by either side.