Double helping of derby action in Lowland League

Gary Nicholson, left, in action for Selkirk during their recent 10-0 destruction of Hawick Royal Albert (picture by Grant Kinghorn)
Gary Nicholson, left, in action for Selkirk during their recent 10-0 destruction of Hawick Royal Albert (picture by Grant Kinghorn)

Selkirk are firmly in the spotlight of a dual derby day feast tomorrow (Saturday).

The seventh-placed Souters are hosts to Gala Fairydean Rovers, just one point behind them in the table.

The other match sees a must-win tussle at the bottom of the pack between hosts Vale of Leithen and basement-dwellers Hawick Royal Albert.

Selkirk will enter the game having won 3-2 last week at Civil Service Strollers. Coach Ian Fergus said: “I think, performance wise, we can play a lot better, but we dug it out.

“We showed a little bit of character in the game – it’s not an easy place to go and get three points. We have played a lot better and we will play a lot better in future games. But, sometimes in football, it’s just about the win.”

Fergus said all games in the Lowland League were difficult and each had its own challenge. “Last Saturday was about going away from home to an Edinburgh side with a lot of good players in it,” he said. “This one is a Borders derby against a team which has started well too, like us.

“GFR have only been narrowly beaten by Spartans and East Kilbride, and could have taken something from both those games, so I am sure it will be a real challenge,” he added.

Fergus said GFR’s two loan players from Hibernian, Adam Watson and Jamie Gullan, whom he knew from his days in charge of Hibs U17s, were “very good players”, adding: “It will be a hard game and a real challenge match to see who comes out on top. We will go in with that mindset – anything can happen in a Lowland League game but, in a derby game, even more so. We will be well prepared, we will be looking forward to it, the pitch will be in good condition. Hopefully the weather will be fine and there will be a good crowd as well.” Striker Phil Addison is expected to be back from injury for Selkirk and both sides should be at full strength. Dale Baxter, who was at Selkirk on loan from Hearts last season, made a huge impact last Saturday after signing for the Souters, said Fergus, coming on in the last 20 minutes, “terrorising” Civil SS and scoring a great goal. “He is a massive signing and we are really pleased to have him back with us,” said Fergus.