Hawick Royal Albert 2 Tweedmouth Rangers 1: First point getting closer for Rangers

Craig Saunders was in inspired form in the Hawick nets (Pic: Alwyn Johnson)
Craig Saunders was in inspired form in the Hawick nets (Pic: Alwyn Johnson)

Two first half goals meant Tweedmouth Rangers fell to an unfortunate 2-1 defeat at Hawick Royal Albert, writes John Slorance.

Royal Albert had a hero in goalkeeper Craig Saunders, who thwarted the visitors throughout the game with a string of top notch saves.

Hawick slide one home in the first period (Pic: Alwyn Johnson)

Hawick slide one home in the first period (Pic: Alwyn Johnson)

After Josh Neil had come near to putting Royalists ahead in the early exchanges, Saunders denied Tweedmouth an opener with a great double save.

The big number one first of all dived to push out an Owen Renton drive and then blocked a Ewan Smith shot after he met the ball on the rebound.

With 18 minutes gone, the Albert broke the deadlock. Neil whipped a low cross over the face of the goalmouth and Michael Johnston produced the scoring touch in rattling a shot past Rangers keeper Chris Anderson.

Following an excellent Saunders stop from Rhys Dixon, Hawick increased their lead in the 32nd minute when Declan Knox slotted away a Johnston pass.

Into the second half, Saunders pulled out the stops at the other end with an acrobatic leap to hold a Regan Graham header.

Tweedmouth were now looking the more impressive side and Saunders showed his class again when clawing away a Craig Colquhoun back header.

Saunders broke Tweedmouth hearts once more when getting down to push a Kieran Cromarty close range effort against the post following a corner kick. In the 78th minute Rangers reduced the leeway.

The home defence made a hash of attempting to clear a Graham free kick and Kai Strang cashed in by driving home a shot.

Seconds from time, Bowie was given his marching orders. After having been booked for a rash challenge, the substitute was shown a second yellow card immediately afterwards for making remarks towards referee Ian Gallagher.