Honours even as Albert survive a bruising battle

The Royalists battled for every ball during their bruising encounter with Cumbernauld Colts at Broadwood Stadium
The Royalists battled for every ball during their bruising encounter with Cumbernauld Colts at Broadwood Stadium

Cumbernauld Colts 1 
Hawick Royal Albert 1

Hawick Royal Albert bounced back from last week’s big defeat to collect a point in a tough encounter against Cumbernauld Colts.

The Royalists had the better of the opening exchanges as they looked to force mistakes from the home side’s defence.

The best chance came on 15 minutes when a smart flick by Thomas Crease allowed Kris Mitchell to drive at the Colts defence, before he slipped in Josh Morris, whose shot was well saved by the home side’s goalkeeper Chris Fahey.

Cumbernauld’s right midfielder Owen Ronald looked their biggest threat as he looked to get to the byline and whip dangerous crosses into the box, but the Hawick defence stood firm.

Morris had another chance to open the scoring as his glancing header beat the keeper but also just beat the post as his effort went agonisingly wide.

The visitors got their reward for their pressure after 26 minutes when the deadlock was broken.

Some neat work on the left flank from Ewan Saunderson and Hamish Hunter meant that the latter could cut inside, before finding Mitchell, who raced through a gap in the home side’s defence before slotting into the bottom right corner to give Hawick the lead.

The Albert looked to capitalise on further defensive mistakes as the Colts tried to pass the ball about at the back, almost gifting the Teries a second goal.

The hosts came out of the blocks in the second half with a point to prove as they searched for a route back into the match, but it was Hawick who created the first meaningful chance.

Saunderson went forward and from about 30 yards he struck a crunching shot that Fahey tipped over the crossbar to keep the score at 1-0.

Cumbernauld grew into the game and substitute Sean Brown made an instant impact as he looked to use his pace and aerial threat to his advantage.

He had a chance after 63 minutes when a corner was delivered into the box and he nodded it back across goal which generated a goalmouth scramble which was well kept out by Hawick keeper Andy Jack.

Cumbernauld had the upper hand and their search for an equaliser was complete with 20 minutes remaining and it was that man Brown with the goal as he headed home after a free-kick was sent in from the right.

The hosts looked to have the belief to go on and snatch all three points but suffered a setback just three minutes after the equaliser.

Skipper Jamie Broadfoot was shown a straight red card for a shocking swipe as Hawick looked to race away on a counter attack.

This looked to give the Royalists the edge as they searched for the winner, and Jon McInally was introduced to the action with 10 minutes left as he replaced Gavin Pettigrew who worked tirelessly on the right wing.

Despite this, it was the home side who created the most threatening opportunities as Brown again used his pace to good effect, but Jack again stood firm to keep the scores level.

Cumbernauld: Fahey, Milne, Foggin, MacFarlane, Kirwan, Broadfoot, Ronald, Pirrie, Selkirk, Black, O’Neill. Subs: Barclay, George, Murray, McKenzie, Brown, Sheridan, Ballantyne.

Hawick Royal Albert: Jack, Stevenson, Saunderson, Darling, Hughes, Conaghan, Pettigrew, Mitchell, Morris, Crease, Hunter. Subs: Brown, McInally, McKenzie.