‘Spirited’ Albert open with draw

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Hawick Royal Albert kicked off their pre-season friendly matches with a 3-3 draw against capital amateur outfit Salters last Saturday, writes John Slorance.

Reflecting on his side’s opening encounter, which was switched from Albert Park to Peffermill, Edinburgh, Albert manager Mike Atai said: “We gave away two goals and were 3-1 down at one stage. However, we recovered well, the course of the game changed and it ended up a match we should have won.

“From my point of view I was quite happy with the way things went. It’s been going well at training but this was the first time the players had got together as a team in a game. It ended up being a good exercise but my managerial team, as well as myself, will be looking for improvement”.

This afternoon, Royalists continue their friendlies in taking on Preston Athletic at Albert Park, kick-off 2.30pm.

Atai continued: “It will be a difficult game for us as Preston are a Lowland League team. I was pleased with the spirit we showed in the first game and I’ll be looking for the same against Preston.

“We’ve signed around 11 players and will be adding to the squad again shortly. At the moment I’d rather not name any players we’ve brought in but will [do so] soon”.

Meanwhile, the draw for the Scottish Cup has handed Royalists a second-round preliminary tie away to the winners of the preliminary first-round meeting between Wigtown and Bladnoch and Vale of Leithen.