Mike had to start with far from perfect 10

Recently-appointed Selkirk manager Mike McKinnon has not had his troubles to seek since taking over the Yarrow Park hot seat, writes John Slorance.

And, last Saturday, McKinnon’s worries increased when he found his side lining up against Vale of Leithen in a South Challenge Cup match with only 10 players after Spanish striker Romero Aguilera failed to turn up.

Despite the nightmarish situation, Selkirk put up a spirited performance to only lose 2-0.

Reflecting on last weekend, prior to this Saturday’s Premier Division home game against Leith Athletic, McKinnon told TheSouthern: “We had team problems and only had 11 players available for the match.

“However, after arriving at the ground I was informed that a player who had neither phoned or texted me had cried off.

“So we had to play with 10 men or put off the game and it was an embarrassing situation for the club.

“We played though, and the way things worked out from something that was quite bizarre could well have turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The boys were just phenomenal.”

McKinnon added: “This sort of performance has given us a big lift for the Leith Athletic match.

“It’s a massive game for us as we really need a win to start climbing up the league. There is a lot of pressure on us, but we have Jason Inglis, Euan Pritchard and Jamie Gibson back.”

Meanwhile, Vale of Leithen entertain Gretna 2008 in another Premier Division clash.

In the First Division, Peebles Rovers travel to face Ormiston at Recreation Park.

Rovers manager Stuart Robertson told us: “Ormiston will have been given a lift, beating Kelso United in their last game, and it will be a difficult match for us.”

Peebles have Peter Conaghan suspended.

Discussing his club’s away clash with Craigroyston, Kelso boss Prof Blaikie said: “We will have to improve 100 per cent from the way we played against Ormiston to get anything out of the game.

“Our performance was embarrassing, we were completely flat and had no sparkle. I believe Kelso has its best squad for three years, but you wouldn’t have thought that against Ormiston. I only hope the real Kelso turns up against Craigroyston.”

Chris Tait and Jamie Milner return for United.

Hawick Royal Albert add former player David Knox to the squad for their visit to Eyemouth United.

Gala Fairydean were hoping last night that their ‘home’ match against Preston Athletic at Spartans’ Ainslie Park ground – with Gala’s 3G surface still not ready – can be played as a King Cup tie rather than a league match.