Shepherd’s disbelief as United exit cup

Hawick United's Ryan Shepherd gives West Barns plenty to think about.
Hawick United's Ryan Shepherd gives West Barns plenty to think about.

Hawick United 1

West Barns Start 4

Hawick United crashed out of the South of Scotland Cup on Saturday, despite being the better side for most of this second round tie.

Although having nothing to show for their efforts, the Wilton Lodge Park men conjured up some surprisingly good football on a heavy, muddy pitch snd showed plenty of commitment.

United, however, were guilty of giving away cheap goals and this was to cost them dearly.

Facing ‘A’ Division West Barns, ‘B’ league United made the early running and Kevin Strathdee almost scored in the second minute with a free-kick that dipped just over the bar.

Minutes later, Kevin Strathdee was denied an opener by a save from West Barns keeper Jordan Thorburn.

The visitors replied with a sweeping raid which ended in United number one Dean Fry excelling when pushing away a well-struck Neil Anderson drive.

Back came United and after cutting in from the left, Ross Scott powered in an angled shot that Thorburn did well to keep out.

With 26 minutes gone, Star broke the deadlock with a fluke goal. Attempting to clear a Ross Wallace pass-back, Fry hit his clearance against the incoming Clark Smith and the rebound sailed into the net.

Three minutes later, United drew level. Scott was upended in the box by Joseph Finlay and referee Lawrie had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. David Strathdee took the resultant spot-kick and beat Thorburn all ends up with a perfect shot.

The remainder of the first half was an even affair but following the changeover United began to gain the upper hand by pushing forward from the start.

Daniel Bolton firstly came near to scoring, after which Ryan Shepherd was kept at bay by an excellent Thorburn save.

In the 61st minute, however, West Barns stole ahead through a strike from right out of the blue. With the home defence caught cold, Smith scampered through unchallenged and polished off his run with a clinical finish.

United began to press for an equaliser after this but their attacks proved to be of no avail.

With seven minutes remaining, however, a goal did arrive – but it was at the other end. In an isolated raid, Kevin Skelton burst through the middle and rounded Fry to score.

United continued to battle and Thorburn pulled out the stops in keeping out efforts from Scott and Aaron Swailes in rapid succession.

Seconds from time, United fell further behind when Skelton banged away a fourth for West Barns.

Summing up the game, bemused United manager Geo Shepherd told the Hawick News: “I can’t believe that we lost by three goals as we were as good if not better than West Barns.

“When we went a goal behind with half-an-hour to go, we took a gamble to get back into the game by pushing up to get goals. Unfortunately it was a gamble that didn’t pay off as we lost goals instead by being caught out at the back. Conditions were bad but I though we played very well against a good West Barns side.”

Hawick United: D. Fry, G. Tait, R. Shepherd, D. Strathdee, R. Wallace, E. Thomson, R. Scott, D. Bolton, K. Strathdee, A. Swailes, K. Paterson. Subs: C. Mitchell, D. Slight, T. Storrie, R. Walker, S. McMillan.