Hawick Royal Albert 0 Stirling University 1
“The way we performed in the first half was the poorest we have played all season. There was no application, no nothing, we were bad.
“Okay, conditions didn’t help as the park was soft, but it was the same for both sides and Stirling didn’t struggle like we did. Things improved for us in the second half as we got better.
“Chances came along but we couldn’t take them and I missed a couple myself. It was a bad day at the office but we will just have to take it on the chin and get on with it.”
These were the after match quotes of Royal Albert striker Josh Morris – and the Royalists’ leading goalscorer couldn’t have been more on target with his words.
For the Albert Park side did flop in the first half through a dismal display.
They were to up their game in the second half but the Royalists still fell short of the high standards they are capable of reaching.
The match itself was a scrappy affair that did not have a lot going for it.
Stirling dominated the early play.
Apart from Kyle Faulds being failed by an excellent save from Albert keeper Kyle Rankin and Danny Ashe coming close with a header however, rarely came close to scoring.
In the 31st minute, however, the University put this to rights when Ashe stuck away a Chris Geddes cross.
Minutes later Rankin denied Stirling a second in getting down to block a Lewis Bonnar shot who was in the clear after a slick passing move had dented the home defence.
Just on half-time, University keeper Ryan Marshall, who up till then had more or less been a spectator, had his first save of the afternoon in keeping out a Josh Morris shot.
Showing more purpose the Albert began the second half well.
Kris Mitchell had an early chance to equalise but shot weakly past the post on being set up by a Shaun Spence cross.
Further opportunities then fell the way of Morris, Sean Connaghan and Hamish Hunter which were not put away.
Stirling had a few chances as well but there was to be no addition to the scoring.
Hawick Royal Albert: K Rankin, E Saunderson, S Spence, D Darling, C Hughes, S Connaghan, J McPartlin, D Johnson, J Morris, K Mitchell, H Hunter. Subs: J McInally, S Meikle, A Sonkur, R Boyd.