EoS PREMIER DIVISION
KENNY PATERSON reports from Yarrow Park
THIS was better from Selkirk, but still not enough to claim a vital win, or even a draw.
Spirit was in abundance, as was hard work, but in the end it was a lack of concentration that proved fatal, as Selkirk conceded the winner just two minutes after grabbing an equaliser.
Deflated boss Mike McKinnon recognised his team’s failings – having lost 11 out of 12 league games – but also bemoaned the Souters’ lack of fortune.
He said: “When you are at the bottom of the league you just don’t get the breaks.
“We had Daryl Burdett fouled in the box in the first half, but did not get the penalty, yet Tynecastle did get a penalty in the second half.
“I couldn’t ask for any more effort from the lads, but it is another defeat.”
Selkirk’s lack of points and wretched run of form, having lost their previous three matches, meant McKinnon went with a cautious formation from kick off.
Jamie Gibson started the match on his own up front, and he might as well have been in a different time zone due to the space between him and his midfield for the majority of the first half.
Tynecastle were dominant throughout the first 45 minutes, with Robbie Arthur in particular outstanding.
The ex-Livingston winger’s delivery from free kicks and corners were excellent, and he was also a goal threat himself.
However, Arthur and his team-mates were thwarted on each occasion by an equally impressive performance by Selkirk goalkeeper John Dodds.
He tipped over Jordan Caddow’s header from an Arthur corner on seven minutes before Daniel McAleavy looked certain to score with 20-yard shot which Dodds brilliantly palmed wide.
After a quiet spell, Arthur fired in a low free kick on 41 minutes which the former East Fife stopper Dodds did well to stoop down and push away.
Following claims for handball against Lee Stephen being ignored by referee John Weir, Josh Morris’ header was stopped by Dodds.
The visitors’ dominance was highlighted by the fact that the only chance of the first half for Selkirk was a Barry Milven header which went wide.
The Souters were more adventurous in the second period – though it would have been difficult to have been more defensive – as David Battle and Gibson had a couple of shots at goal.
However, The Fernieside team were in front on the hour mark as Battle’s rash sliding tackle on Arthur was rightly punished with a spot kick by whistler Weir, which the same player scored with ease.
But credit to Selkirk for their reaction. Where there was none against Leith the previous week, good play by Jason Inglis and Gibson set up Burdett, whose deflected shot looped just wide of Steve Vannet’s goal.
And Burdett’s free kick on 71 minutes produced Selkirk’s deserved equaliser, as Vannet flapped at the ball and Inglis bundled it home.
Yet, the homesters were behind just 120 seconds later as Daniel McAleavy’s cross found the head of John Williams.
A second comeback was to prove too much for Selkirk, and it appears it will be too much to expect them to remain in the Premier Division next season.
Selkirk: J. Dodds, L. Stephen, B. Milven, J. Higginbottom, E. Pritchard, J. Inglis, D. Battle, D. Burdett (A. Campbell 89), J. Gibson, M. Holness, Ross McManus (Ryan McManus 65).