Royalists off to losing start as ‘basic errors’ cost them dear

Hawick Royal Albert boss Mick Murphy
Hawick Royal Albert boss Mick Murphy

IT was their first game of the season and new look Hawick Royal Albert had high hopes of getting off to a flying start.

However, these were washed away with the heavy rain that poured down at Recreation Park on Saturday, for despite a bright start, Royalists’ performance ended up being as miserable as the weather.

Minus new signings Roddy McConnell, Peter Gellaitry and Jordan Yardley who were all unavailable, and with Chris Batten a late injury call-off, the Albert’s day didn’t get off to the best of starts and were late arriving at Ormiston due to heavy traffic.

This resulted in a very short warm-up, but Mick Murphy’s side showed no ill-effects as they began the match in a promising manner.

Ormiston were first to look like scoring when Scott McCarry unleashed a rasping drive that looked a goal all the way until Albert keeper Willie Turner tipped the ball round the post.

Back came the Albert and Andrew Maltman set up a chance for Mark Deans with a splendid cross over the face of the goalmouth, only for the latter to fire wide.

Royalists were looking good and Craig Wilson came close to breaking the deadlock when he headed a Maltman corner over the bar.

With 24 minutes gone though Ormiston took the lead.

Slack defensive play allowed Kevin Barr to swing over a cross that Turner failed to go for and Gavin Liddell stole in at the back post to find the net with a header.

With both sides playing some good football despite the appalling conditions the action was fast and lively and Craig Downie almost put the homesters further in front in blasting a Liddell cutback over the bar.

Minutes later, on collecting a Deans cross, Bryan Tait almost notched the Albert’s first goal of the season with a raging drive.

But in the 40th minute Ormiston struck again. Nisbet emerged their marksman with a harmless looking free-kick that completely deceived a motionless Turner.

Royalists began the second half strongly and Ormiston keeper James McQueen pulled off a magnificent save in tipping a Sean Owens header over the bar from a Maltman free-kick.

After 57 minutes, however, Royalists fell further behind in conceding another bad goal.

In attempting to break forward Maltman was robbed of possession by McEwan who darted on and found Downie with a long cross-field pass who brought an end to the move by drilling a shot out of the reach of Turner.

It also brought an end to the game as far as the Albert were concerned.

Losing all their early enterprise and drive Royalists folded and Ormiston were in the driving seat until the finish.

The home side failed to cash in on their dominance though and even missed a penalty when Malcolm Cooper sent Mark Leslie tumbling in the box and Fiona Murray – who was taking charge of her first East of Scotland match, pointed to the spot. Turner, however, denied Ormiston a fourth with an excellent save from McCarry.

Speaking to the Hawick News, Albert boss Mick Murphy said: “I’m disappointed that we lost but not greatly disappointed about our show as we had a few players missing.

“I thought we played some good football at times and had we taken our chances in the first half it might have been a different story.

“All of the goals we lost were basic errors, and the guys involved have put their hands up. But we can all learn from mistakes.”