Royalists handed drubbing by sharp-looking Berwick

East of Scotland First Division

Berwick Rangers Res5

Hawick Royal Albert0

Hawick nearly got off to the worst possible start in Wednesday night’s rearranged match, when Berwick’s Jamie Burstow almost scored directly from a corner; Craig Wilson in the right place at the right time to clear the danger.

Within minutes of this let-off for the visitors, Berwick had one of their own, goalkeeper Connor Wood, racing out of his area to bring down the onrushing Luke Cooper. The referee, however, awarded nothing more than a free kick, from which Andrew Maltman’s shot was well blocked.

The Royalists were able to put together a couple of decent passages of play, but Berwick looked much the sharper of the two teams, and in the 19th minute they opened the scoring. Kristian Neill finding space in the box to shoot home across Michael White.

In the lead, the Wee Gers did not take their foot off the pedal, a goalmouth scramble only a minute later concluding with Maltman clearing over his own bar.

The respite was shortlived, though, as in the 23rd minute Berwick scored again. Burstow combining with Shaun Mill to provide Sam Young with the opportunity, which he promptly placed in the top corner.

Young doubled his tally ten minutes later when a defensive mishap handed him a chance on a plate.

Luke Cooper offered a brief respite for Albert when his free-kick was turned over the bar by Wood, but only a couple of glaring misses by the Berwick forwards kept the half-time score to 3-0.

The game continued in the same vein in the second half, with a combination of last-gasp defending and some wasteful finishing preventing Berwick from adding to their tally.

Young completed his hat-trick after lashing home from a glorious cross-field ball, before Scott Dargo and Ross Cowan down the right set up a far post tap-in for Darren Lavery.

Hawick dug in to keep the last half-hour scoreless, despite playing the final fifteen minutes with ten men. Kevin McCaughey’s sending-off for foul language seemed harsh, but was characteristic of a game in which nothing went right for the visitors.