Peebles Rovers showed why they are unbeaten in the East of Scotland First Division this season as they eased past Hawick at a windswept Whitestone Park.
John O’Hara’s men, who are bidding for title honours and promotion, breezed to a clear-cut win, looking thoroughly organised throughout, as well as producing some good fluent football and showing commitment and character.
O’Hara said: “The result was never in any doubt. No disrespect to Hawick, but we were by far the better side and were never pushed at any time.
“I thought we moved the ball about well and gave a very professional performance. The players had a job to do and they did it.
“We picked up three points, kept a clean sheet and played well. A manager can’t ask for any more than that.”
Looking the part from the opening whistle by troubling Hawick with some purposeful attacks, Peebles sailed into the lead in the 10th minute. On breaking down the left, Lee Zavaroni floated over a cross and, taking advantage of the space he had been given, Paul Murray chested the ball down before rifling a shot into the net.
Six minutes later, Rovers went further ahead when, having fed Scott Sutherland, Sean Meikle took a return pass and left Hawick number one Bruce Callan helpless with a sweetly-struck drive.
After Zavaroni had come near to putting the home team further in front, the Albert showed their mettle for the first time. Following good play between Nick Ramsay and Nicky Cairns, Ronald Fleming unleashed a powerful shot which home keeper Darren Walker did well to tip over the bar.
In the closing stages of the first half, Callan foiled Peebles in pulling off fine saves from Murray and Meikle.
Following the changeover, the theme of the game took the same pattern with Rovers doing the attacking.
Hawick were once again on the back foot and with 76 minutes gone, fell further behind when man of the match Murray headed home a well-flighted cross from Zavaroni.
Pushing forward at every opportunity, Peebles continued to dominate and Callan put up the shutters in saving from Sutherland and Jonathan Flockhart.
In the latter stages, Hawick were reduced to 10 men when Calvin Muttit was red carded.