Spartans 9 Hawick Royal Albert 1
Hawick Royal Albert were brought down to earth with a bump following last week’s Scottish Cup high against Berwick Rangers,
Both sides came in to the game on the back of Cup victories, with the Borders side pulling off perhaps the result of the round against Berwick.
Boosted by a profitable bus trip to Huntly last weekend, Spartans boss Dougie Samuel took his side into the game looking to move on from the previous pair of league outings that ended less favourably in respect of Spartans title chasing plans.
Spartans attacked from the off and they were by far the hungrier for early success in front of goal. Michael Herd came close after just four minutes, with the strike narrowly missing the post.
It was a marker set and shortly after, the deadlock was broken. David Greenhill’s corner was thrown in deep and it was left to Craig Johnston to pick up the scraps and drill home.
The pace of Jack Hay proved too much for the Hawick rear guard and the pint-sized striker pounced on a delivery over the defence to score. Hawick keeper Kerr Brown was on hand to then pull off a couple of fine saves, one from a Hay strike then a 20 yarder from Scott Maxwell that was sent for a corner.
The lead was extended further with the aid of the eagle-eyed far-side referee’s assistant. Scott Maxwell’s inswinging corner sneaked in between Hamish Hunter and the post he was instructed to defend and despite Brown clawing it out desperately, the official had seen enough and proceeded to run towards the centre circle.
Hay then added a fourth shortly before the break when his shot finally went over the line with the aid of the woodwork. The second half was minutes old before Andrew Mair made the ultimate of impacts off the bench when he netted from a Hay pass.
Just four additional minutes had lapsed before the scoreboard ticked to six. Craig Stevenson’s perfectly weighted cross was powered over the line courtesy of the head of Jamie Dishington.
Midway through the half, Hawick got themselves off the mark – ironically it was courtesy of a Spartans defender who poked the ball into their own net whilst attempting to clear a cross.
There were still goals on the cards at the other end and it was Hay who scored not once, but twice in the half, to make it his second four-goal haul at home since his move from Gala.
Hay then set up Gabiola with the most selfless of touches for him to score his first Spartans goal.
Elsewhere, Hawick Waverley hit top form in outgunning Tweedmouth Amateurs 9-3 at Wilton Lodge Park.
Jordan Yardley (3), Aaron Smith (2), Luke Cooper (2), Greg Ford and Ross Cairns were the Waverley marksmen.
Hawick Legion Rovers gained a share of the spoils in drawing 4-4 with Kelso Amateurs at home.