royal Albert lined up with an almost completely new team on Saturday – but this was not through choice, as they were missing suspended players as well as several members of the side who opted to take in the Scottish Cup semi-final match at Hampden Park, rather than pulling on an Albert shirt.
Royalists had an incredible 11 players missing, and due to this, six trialists in Hawick pair Malcolm Cooper and Terry Storrie, as well as Bernard Mathews, Sean Burrell, Gordon Mackie and Colin McArthur from Edinburgh amateur football were drafted into the squad.
Although a much-changed Albert ended up being well beaten by six goals to nil by league leaders Coldstream, Royalists did not let themselves down by any means.
Indeed, the Albert Park outfit gave a top show as far as effort and spirit was concerned, in battling hard despite having all the odds stacked against them.
Commenting on his side’s showing, Albert manager Graeme Chadwick told the Hawick News: “Because of the circumstances I thought we did very well.
“It took us a while to get into the game, but that wasn’t surprising as we had six trialists in the team and nobody really knew each other.
“In the second half we really improved and even started to create chances.
“I was very pleased with the attitude of the players as they put in a lot of work.”
Coldstream made the early running and after twice coming near to scoring in their opening raids, soared ahead in the seventh minute when John Crawford shot home from what seemed to be an offside position.
Eight minutes later, the Streamers went further ahead from a goal from Laurie Cannon, who began the season with Royalists.
A top-quality player, Cannon latched onto a loose ball in midfield and then unleashed a 35-yard drive that zipped high into the net.
Just past the half-hour mark, Coldstream did the business again.
Crowford cutting a pass into the path of Jonathan Simpson, who produced a piece of spot-on finishing in driving a shot out of the reach of Albert keeper Steven West.
Although under siege, Royalists were showing plenty of fighting qualities, and Gordon Ramsay came near to getting his name on the scoresheet with a well-struck free-kick that brought the best out of Coldstream number one Mark Walters.
In the 61st minute, however, the Albert fell further behind when Jonathan Simpson tucked away a Stuart Coyle cross.
Royalists kept plugging away, though, and Ramsay had a free-kick pushed around the post by Walters.
With four minutes left, Coldstream grabbed a fifth, when Albert defender Greig Johnson handled in the box.
Referee Graeme Leslie pointed to the spot and Coyle netted the penalty.
Two minutes later, Simpson completed his hat-trick with a shot from a Martyn Tait cross.
HAWICK ROYAL ALBERT: S. West, S. Burrell, R. Shepherd, M. Cooper, S. Fallan, G. Johnson, K. Fettes, B. Mathews, T. Storrie, G. Ramsay, G. Mackie. Subs: S. Drummond, C. McArthur, S. Russell, G. Clee.