Return to bad old days as Albert are ‘embarrassed’

Hawick Royal Albert defender Malcolm Cooper
Hawick Royal Albert defender Malcolm Cooper

“ALL of the players and the managerial team should take a good look at themselves in the mirror and sort themselves out after a performance like this as it was embarrassing for the club.

“This season I thought the days of the Albert being the whipping boys were over, but after what happened today they might not be.

“We did okay in the first half considering we lost two goals in the early part of the game. In the second half though, we were terrible. We just lost it.

“Edinburgh City scored 12 goals during the game, but they could well have scored 20, we were as bad as that.”

These were the after-match thoughts of Hawick Royal Albert coach Malky Cooper following their huge defeat at the hands of Edinburgh City in the first round of the Image Printers Cup on Saturday.

Strong words, but they were true and honest words, for the Albert struggled big time.

Admittedly they were up against Premier Division opposition, but Royalists have already faced Selkirk, Gretna 2008 and Stirling University from the higher division this season and come away with their heads held high.

Not so in this one though. The Albert’s second half showing left a great deal to be desired, to say the very least.

Their afternoon of misery started early as City took the lead in their first constructive attack of the game when Dougie Gair stuck away a Michael Deck pass. With 15 minutes gone, Edinburgh increased their lead when Deck produced the finishing touch after being set up by Miles Hunter.

Albert’s Liam Lavery then pierced the City defence with a mazy run, before driving in a low shot that was tipped round the post by Edinburgh keeper Alan McIntosh.

Following Mark Deans’ resultant corner, Roddy McConnell headed the ball to Jody Easdon who cracked a shot into the net.

And almost 10 minutes later Easdon was among the goals again. This time, however, it was on the City scoresheet as the Hawick midfielder turned the ball into his own net as he tried to clear a low Gary Cennerazzo cross.

Royalists, who were now without the impressive Malcolm Cooper, who had limped off with a knee injury, started to limp along themselves after this.

City failed to add to their tally before the break, but the second half was to be a different story.

In the 48th minute Paul Devlin banged in a Hunter cross and the rot was now to set in.

New Albert goalkeeper Michael White, from Hawick Waverley, who gave a good account of himself in what was a real baptism of fire, was then beaten five times in a remarkable 18-minute spell.

Deck scored three and Gair and Hunter bagged a goal apiece.

Royalists’ Andrew Maltman then made it double figures for City with an own goal.

Luke Cooper pulled a goal back with a penalty after Shaun Harrison had handled in the box. But City replied with a strike from Hunter.

Two minutes later Peter Gellaitry grabbed a third goal for Royalists after being fed by a Luke Cooper pass.

But in the closing stages Devlin made it a dozen for City.