High five for Hawick Royal Albert in Craigroyston rout

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Saturday’s fast-flowing East of Scotland League clash saw Royalists pull off a resounding win complemented by some top-notch strikes.

Showing up well from the start, the Albert almost opened the scoring in the second minute when Robert Boyd headed a Stuart Crozier corner-kick over the bar.

Towering hitman Alieu Faye then drove in an angled shot that rattled the post after taking a deflection off Oliver Fleming.

A goal was only delayed, though, and Royalists sailed in front after ten minutes. Faye flicked a pass to the feet of Craig Robertson and the full-back, who had moved upfield from his defensive role, produced a finish that was worthy of a striker when beating Craigroyston keeper Eric Tshibangu with a well-struck drive.

After Blake Wales and Boyd had come close to adding further goals, Greg Tulloch blasted a Liam O’Rourke pass into the side netting at the other end.

Minutes later, Chris Inglis came to Craigroyston’s aid when heading a swirling Crozier corner kick off the goal-line.

In the 39th minute, the Albert went two up. Blake was decked by a Fleming push and a penalty was awarded. Faye stepped up to take the spot-kick and hit the bottom corner of the net with a perfectly-placed shot.

Within two minutes, Royalists produced the scoring touch again. Faye found Wales with a clever back-heeled flock, and with the Craigroyston rearguard caught on the hop, the young Albert midfielder volleyed in a shot that spun into the net via the post for an excellent counter.

With two minutes of the second half gone, Tullock reduced the leeway with afierce angled drive.

Just past the hour mark, the Albert regained their three-goal lead. Following a jinking run, Cameron MacFarlane fed Blake who took on a defender before blasting an unsavable shot past Tshibangu.

Within minutes of this, Craigroyston’s Mark Torrance was shown a straight red card for upending Wales with a scything challenge.

Instead of folding, ten-man Craigroyston began to raise their game and cut the deficit when O’Rourke netted.

The Edinburgh outfit followed this up with a spell of pressure, but the Albert got themselves back into the groove and grabbed a fifth in the 82nd minute. Ryan Stevenson produced a piece of clinical finishing when rifling home a MacFarlane cutback after the latter had pierced the Craigroyston defence with a thrusting run.

Speaking to the Hawick News, Barry Campbell, who is in charge of football operations at the Albert, said: “We’re starting to blend and it was a good win.

“I was disappointed that we didn’t command more and we had a spell in the second half in which we didn’t get it together at all. The important thing, though is that we got a win.

Hawick Royal Albert: K. Rankin, C. Robertson, G. Shillinglaw, R. Boyd, S. Mckenzie, M. Lynch, R. Stevenson, B. Wales, A. Faye, S. Crozier, C. MacFarlane. Subs: L. Mitchell, D. Linton, A. Mackay.