Tranent Juniors 10-0 Hawick RAU
EOSFL League Cup Group I
Tranent got the goals they needed, plus a couple more, to finish top of Group I and secure progress to the next round of the League Cup at Forester Park. The Big T had needed to win by an eight-goal margin to by sure of progressing but managed to bag ten thanks to a late rush of goals, to make it through with room to spare. Four goals from Martin Maughan, two from Jamie Docherty, plus one each from Ben Miller, Kris Renton and Oban Anderson, added to a Hawick o.g. did the damage and saw Tranent safely through to the last 16.
This is a busy time of the season, and like many sides, Tranent’s squad is stretched a little thin, so they were only able to name three subs. The hosts lined up Kelby Mason in goal, Callum Donaldson, Ciaran McKenzie, Darren McCormack and skipper Craig Stevenson at the back. A three-man midfield of Ben Miller, Sean Murphy and Rory Currie, with Jamie Docherty, Wayne McIntosh and Martin Maughan up top. Unfortunately, nobody from Hawick RAU was able to provide a team sheet, so all I can tell you is they lined up with a 5-3-2 formation.
The need to score plenty of goals was obviously uppermost in Tranent minds, and they were on the attack right from the first whistle. However they did have the air of a side that wanted to score all 8 goals in the first 5 minutes, and if anything were just trying a little bit too hard to begin with. The opening minutes were played at a hundred miles an hour and the combination of one side piling forward and the other defending in numbers, meant the Hawick penalty area was a busy place and space was tough to find for the creative players.
It took 15 minutes to break the deadlock, and it was a bit of a scrappy goal, Ben Miller stabbing home a corner through the crowd of bodies to give Tranent the lead and lift a few or the nerves. The second came 10 minutes later and it was more of the same, this time the final touch going in off one of the Hawick defenders to double the lead.
The opening half hour had been a little bit untidy and although it was all Tranent, it still felt a wee bit like they were trying to force it. It was only when they had the two-goal lead that they finally seemed to relax into the game and started to play more of their natural rhythm. Number three came from Jamie Docherty cutting in from the left and working himself into position, before firing home from the edge of the box.
The first half had really been one-way traffic, with Royal Albert only finding themselves in forward areas on rare occasions and even then, never able to trouble Mason in the Tranent goal. By the time the interval came, the game was already gone for the visitors and all of the attention was now on whether or not Tranent could get the goals they needed.
If it was a procession in the first half, it was more of the same in the second. Tranent was enjoying almost all of the possession and exerting all of the pressure. But this time, it was much more controlled possession – the creative players were able to lift their head, to pick their passes and find their targets. Maughan got his first of the afternoon eight minutes after the break with a diving header from the six-yard line to get his side half-way towards the target.
By this stage, the prospect of making the 8-goal margin was starting to look like a reality, but for one man – Sam Scott. The Hawick keeper was performing heroics, and although there was no chance of him keeping his side in the game, he was certainly doing a decent job of keeping the home fans sweating.
It took until 75 minutes for number five to come along, and when it did come from Jamie Docherty, it was probably the best of the lot – the first shot crashing of the crossbar and looking like it might have crossed the line. While everybody turned to appeal to the referee, Docherty kept his head and drilled his shot home from 25 yards out.
Maughan made it six just two minutes later with another close-range effort as the wheels finally came off the Hawick defence. He completed his hattrick from the penalty spot, dusting himself down from the clumsy challenge to make it 7-nil and put his side just one away from their target.
Substitute Kris Renton got the goal that pushed Tranent over the line, but with five minutes left on the watch, they had no thoughts of taking the foot off the gas. Maughan got his fourth of the afternoon just three minutes from time and another sub, Oban Anderson, pushed the score into double figures just a minute later.
On reflection, there was never any doubt about the result and from very early on this match was over as a contest, the only question being whether or not Tranent could get over the line to ensure they won the group. With 20 minutes to go, it seemed unlikely, but in the end, the hunger and desire of the home side was more than enough to get their name into the hat for the draw.
Tranent now turn their attention back to their title challenge with a home game against Crossgates Primrose next weekend, whilst Hawick RAU are back on the road again for a 3rd Round King Cup tie away at Dunipace.
Man of the Match: The nod has to go to 4 goal Martin Maughan – always on the move, he was a real handful all afternoon, never giving defenders a minutes peace, and willing to put himself in where it hurt to get on the end of crosses.
See ll the match photos HERE