Penalty pain for Selkirk as Highlanders take tie

Selkirk vs Turriff.
Selkirk vs Turriff.
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Two refereeing decisions cost Selkirk a place in the second round of the Scottish Cup, claimed manager Mike McKinnon.

One, the awarding of a penalty to visitors Turiff United for a seemingly-soft challenge in the 74th minute.

And the other, not to give Selkirk the same for a similar offence 10 minutes later.

The Selkirk boss let his frustration loose following the second incident, earning him a quick talking to from referee Mack, but agreed after the game that he thought both challenges deserved to be penalised.

“On the whole the referee was good, but to me the whole game rested on those penalty decisions. Yes, the first one was a penalty, but then so was the challenge on us. If it wasn’t then why did he not book our boy for diving? If he had given us that penalty we would have been right back in it.

“Turiff are a top side and they pass the ball about well. We just didn’t have that belief in the first half and, although it was there in the second half, those two goals killed us.”

Stand-in skipper Cammy Bowden and Gary McGowan, who scored twice with one coming from the penalty spot, got the goals which saw Turriff head home from the Borders last Saturday with a comfortable win.

“We did what we had to do against a Selkirk side which was better than we had been led to believe they would be,” said Turiff manager Mark Simpson.

“When they equalised early in the second half, we were able to up the tempo and win the game quite comfortably.”

In a game which was played at a fast and furious pace from the off, it took the visitors until just before the half-time whistle to notch the opener.

Selkirk came out for the resumption firing on all cylinders – and in the 58th minute Jacob Crolla scored after a Phil Addison shot on goal was knocked away by Turiff keeper Steven Coutts. The big striker belted the ball into the back of the net.

McGowan’s penalty was followed up by a great strike which granted Turiff passage through to the next round.

Despite not making it to the next stages of the cup, McKinnon was quick to praise the performance of his team and is looking for the same kind of commitment in the weeks ahead.

“I know the Scottish Cup brings playing levels up, but they have got to go out and do that in the league now if they want to get anywhere,” he added.