Hawick Royal Albert 0

Civil Service Strollers 5

David Knox

at Albert Park

ANY hopes of a great escape from relegation look to have ended as Hawick were humbled by Strollers on Saturday.

Despite a bright enough opening to the match, Craig Tully’s team failed miserably to find the kind of form required to mount any sort of miracle mission for Lowland League survival.

And, in the end, it was only the reactions of keeper Craig Saunders, as well as the woodwork, that prevented five goals being an awful lot more.

Manager Tully, who locked his players in the dressing room for half an hour after the match, conceded: “We were poor – very poor – and didn’t deserve anything.

“I expect a lot better from every one of my players.”

It could have been such a different story if felled striker Curtis Rose had perhaps allowed new signing Unpha Koroma to take a 12th minute penalty.

Rose had been felled inside the area by Robbie Laird and, despite attempts by the former Stoke and Chelsea youth player to put the ball on the spot, it was the striker who brushed himself down to scuff the ball wide of target.

Hawick were further punished just seven minutes later as Craig Newall’s low, angled cross was tucked away at the back post by Jack Downie

The Albert almost responded immediately but Shaun Turnbull made a goal-saving block just 12 yards out to deny David McCaughie.

As the half wore on Civil began to stamp their authority with slick passing and movement to open up the Albert rearguard.

Saunders made a fine double save to prevent Jon Tully heading into his own net and tipping away Turnbull’s attempt with the rebound.

Tully also made a goalline clearance to stop Newall’s angled shot-come-cross finding the net.

Hawick still threw players forward with McCaughie, as has been the case for much of the season, proving the biggest threat.

But the youngster’s effort on 33 minutes curled a foot wide of target.

Saunders made a terrific stop at the other end with his foot to block Downie’s shot as half time approached.

But there was still time for Civil to double their lead.

Tully, rather harshly, was judged to have fouled Newall as he slid the ball out of play for a corner, and from the resultant penalty Downie made it 2-0.

Despite half time changes by the home team, it was Civil who commanded the vast majority of play in the second period.

James Hainey netted twice in the space of six minutes as he, both times, burst in from the right to score from the angle.

Hawick failed to create as Strollers, even with the pitch cutting up, continued to press with some slick, passing football.

Substitute Steven Froude had already smacked the inside of the post before he eventually made it 5-0 in the final minutes.

Hawick RA. C Saunders, A Simpson, J Clark (G Summers 63), J Tully, M Johnston, D Grant, D McCaughie, U Koroma, C Rose, L Erhard (S Akinpelu 46) & A Reynolds (C O’Brien 46).