Royalists earn Preston draw

editorial image

Hawick Royal Albert 2

Preston Athletic 2

New-look Hawick Royal Albert gained a highly creditable draw with Preston Athletic in Saturday’s friendly at Albert Park.

With only one member of last season’s side in their squad, Royalists more than matched their Lowland League opponents in a game that produced some attractive, fast-flowing football.

The Albert drew first blood through a well-taken goal from Ryan Stevenson.

Following some end-to-end play, Preston got on a level pegging.

Athletic then edged ahead with a penalty.

Royalists came rallying back, however, and trialist Euan Gray, from Hawick Legion, notched an excellent equaliser with a well-struck free kick.

Both sides had chances after this but there was no addition to the scoring.

Commenting on his team’s performance, Albert manager Mike Atai said: “We scored two good goals but lost an avoidable goal and conceded a penalty.

“It was a good result for us as most of our boys have just stepped up from amateur football and were up against Preston Athletic who are a Lowland League side.

“Our goalkeeper Kyle Rankin had two fantastic saves but no individual stood out for us. Everything was done collectively. I was pleased as it was a good team performance.”