Hawick Waverley are in the pot for the fourth round of the Scottish Amateur Cup after a goal-laden replay against Watt Star at Wilton Lodge Park.
The visitors created a chance in the first minute but Mikey Dixon shot straight at the goalkeeper. At the other end, Aiden Reilly set up Taylor Hope 20 yards out and his shot was pushed round the post by Watt Star keeper Michael Quinn. Craig McCutcheon took the resultant corner but the ball was cleared back to him. He fired in a cross which was fumbled by Quinn and Alan Campbell was on hand to score his first goal of this season and give Waverley a second-minute lead.
Scott Craig thought he’d increased Waverley’s advantage when he fired home but the goal was chalked off for a foul on the keeper. However, the goal was only delayed as Hope hit a fantastic shot from 25 yards which found the net.
Watt Star started to come into the game and Paul McAnulty fired wide after a defensive lapse. Then Dixon headed straight at Waverley keeper Steven Walker.
Walker had to save again from Dixon after a goalmouth scramble, before Liam Gormley shot wide of the post. The Hawick outfit should have increased their lead on 35 minutes when good play from Hope and Ross Wallace sent Craig clear but his shot was blocked by Quinn.
Two minutes later a McCutcheon clearance from his own box found Grant Ferguson. He ran at the Watt Star defence and squared the ball to Craig to shoot home.
Waverley started the second half where they left off and increased their lead on 48 minutes. Ian Turnbull drilled in a free kick and Hope got in front of a hesitant Watt Star defence to control the ball and score.
Michael Clark then got his first goal of the season with a pinpoint header from a McCutcheon corner, and on 57 minutes Waverley made it six when the ball was swung in from the right and a turn and shot from Craig found the net thanks to a deflection.
On the hour mark, Dixon fired home a Steven Morton cross for what seemed to be a consolation goal. Aiden Reilly then fired over for Waverley, but Dixon grabbed his second at the other end. Gormley got on the scoresheet when he rounded the keeper to slot home on 73 minutes, then four minutes later Dixon completed his hat-trick and Waverley were looking shellshocked, losing four goals in 17 minutes.
With six minutes to go, Hope was dragged down in the box by substitute David Purkiss and referee Raymond Hume had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Hope calmly dispatched the spot kick to complete his hat-trick and give Waverley a three-goal lead but it was quickly cut to two when Graham McCraw fired home from a tight angle.
Watt Star were pushing forward but were punished again when Hope slipped the ball to substitute Dean McColm. Still with plenty to do, McColm rounded a defender with ease and netted. And he did it all again in time added on when picking up a Ryan Stewart through ball, driving to the edge of the area and beating goalkeeper Quinn with a sublime chip.
n Waverley will travel to Eastvale AFC in the fourth round.