EAST OF SCOTLAND FIRST DIVISION
Hawick Royal Albert1
DUE to two Saturday morning call-offs and already hit by injuries and suspensions, Royal Albert had little pre-Christmas cheer going their way prior to this game starting, writes John Slorance.
And the Albert Park outfit had even less once it had finished as makeshift Royalists played second fiddle to Leith Athletic who orchestrated matters from start to end.
Moving the ball about in slick fashion, and looking organised and efficient, Leith dominated the early play.
The Albert defended solidly though and Taylor pulled off the first of many top notch stops in diving full length to push a netbound Chris Barrie drive round the post.
Royalists’ Declan Hogg then put Athletic keeper Iain Gordon to the test with a free-kick.
It was Leith who were in the driving seat though and in the 31st minute the capital men edged ahead.
Finding space down the right, Lewis Tracey whipped over a cross which was driving home by Kyle Bogie.
Minutes later Tracey looked like he was going to add to the scoring when he broke through, but his shot was blocked by Ross Taylor.
The Leith player met the rebound but his second attempt was again brilliantly stopped by the Hawick number one.
With three minutes of the first half left, however, Athletic got on the scoresheet again when Chris Beaton headed home a Tracey cross.
Early in the second half Taylor denied Athletic a third with a brilliant save.
The homesters kept their foot on the gas and Lewis Cairns saw an effort cannon back off the bar. The woodwork robbed him again with a header and then Beaton was denied.
And Taylor denied both Hume and Beaton in quick succession.
With 79 minutes gone Athletic notched a third through Neil Lawson.
Royalists hit back when Steven Drummond released Bobby Nwanze and the striker rifled a shot into the back of the net.
Two minutes later, however, Beaton brought the scoring to an end with a good finish.
Albert coach Davie Aitkin said: “We have a few players missing but that’s no excuse. Considering how well we played against Eyemouth in our last game, we were disappointing and we need to be a lot more consistent.”