at Whitestone Park
A HALF-TIME rollicking helped Peebles Rovers pick up their first three-points in the East of Scotland Conference A on Saturday.
And left Hawick Royal Albert rooted to the bottom of the new-look table.
Rovers boss Smith admitted it had taken a few raised voices at the interval to inspire his players to the much-needed win.
He said: “The guys got a rollicking at half time as I thought we were poor in the first half.
“We want to finish this season around mid-table to determine the division we play in next season and I knew we could do a lot better than we showed in the first half.
“I was pleased with the performance after half time as we showed a lot more composure on the ball and deserved the win.”
It couldn’t have started much better for the hosts as Grant Wilson produced a brilliant glancing header to steer Jamie Mackay’s angled cross into the far corner of the net.
Only some scrambled defending had prevented Peebles taking the lead before the seventh minute goal.
But Hawick responded well after going behind and Polish midfielder Miloz Pajik should have done better when unmarked at the back post than steer Josh Neil’s deep cross wide of the target.
The Albert went even closer on 17 minutes as Moudo Touray squared for Demba Thiam in front of goal but somehow Callum Mackenzie threw himself in the way of the shot to chest clear on the line.
Hawick deservedly drew level three minutes later.
Alan McMath uncharacteristically lost control at the heart of the home defence and tugged back Touray as he tried to capitalise.
Pajik brilliantly rifled the resultant 25-yard free-kick over the wall and beyond Tom Kerr.
The hosts had a great opportunity to go back in front after being awarded a penalty just after the half hour but Craig Saunders made a terrific save to deny David Lindsay.
Saunders, though, went from hero to villain in the 55th minute.
Peebles were enjoying their brightest spell when the keeper failed to hold a Robbie Renwick shot from distance allowing Ross Lamb to pounce on the loose ball and net from the angle.
Lamb was unfortunate not to score again just after the hour as his powerful shot from the edge of the area deflected inches wide.
The third goal arrived on 72 minutes with the former Gala Fairydean Rovers midfielder rifling in a powerful low freekick from out wide for Michael McEwan to convert from close range.
Apart from a Pajik shot which Kerr saved comfortably Hawick offered little threat during the second period.
And only some fine saves from Saunders prevented Wilson and McMath extending the home advantage.
The Albert’s misery was compounded in the closing stages as Scott Murphy was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on McEwan.
Peebles Rovers. T Kerr, J Mackay (J Dodds 81), C Mackenzie, A McMath, B Gettel, J Davidson, G Lamb, R Lamb (C Sclater 74), G Wilson, R Renwick & D Lindsay (M McEwan 62).
Hawick Royal Albert. C Saunders, R McRae (J McNaught 71), D Pacitti, M Pajik (N Johnson 81), S Murphy, L Knox, D Thiam, F Touray, M Touray, J Neil & L Cooper (S Odetayo 60).
Photograph by Graham Riddell Photography