‘Worst’ display of season for Hawick Royal Albert

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Royalists’ failure to turn second half pressure into goals saw their recent unbeaten run came to a halt at Albert Park on Saturday.

With both sides playing good passing football in this East of Scotland League encounter, the game got off to a lively start but there was no hint of a goal until the quarter-hour mark when the woodwork robbed Heriot-Watt of an opener.

Mark Connor touched a Cameron Stevenson corner-kick towards Adam Woolven who hit the bar with a powerful header.

The Albert came rallying back and after cutting in from the right, Sam Campbell rattled in a shot that the visitors’ keeper Craig Saunders diverted away with an outstretched foot.

Minutes later, Saunders put up the shutters again with another fine save from Campbell.

Albert number one Kyle Rankin was then called into action when getting down well to hold a Cameron Stevenson drive.

With 31 minutes gone a goal arrived. A long ball from the back found the impressive Chris Donnelly, who shrugged off a challenge before firing home.

Towards the interval, after being set up with a pass from Gavin Pettigrew, Fraser Lockhart drove in a shot that appeared net-bound until being finger-tipped over the bar by Saunders.

From the beginning of the second period Royalists began to push for an equaliser and Darren Linton almost obliged with a rasping drive that rebounded off the upright.

The remainder of the match followed a similar pattern. Heriot Watt on the back foot as the Albert pressed and probed.

There was to be no joy for the home men, though. And aided by a top-notch Saunders save from a Pettigrew shot, the students held out.

Giving his thoughts on the match, Albert assistant manager Dean Robertson told the Hawick News: “It was our worst performance of the season. We lacked a cutting edge and just didn’t play our best. It was a game we should and could have won, though, as we were so much on top in the second half. We just couldn’t score, though, and this was very frustrating. Unfortunately, it was just one of those days”.

Hawick Royal Albert: K. Rankin, C. Robertson, S. Crozier, R. Boyd, M. McEwen, D. Linton, R. Stevenson, F. Lockhart, C. MacFarlane, G. Pettigrew, S. Campbell. Subs: L. Mitchell, S. McKenzie, B. Nwanze, M. Lynch, A. Mackay.