Threave Rovers 0
Selkirk finally got their man on Friday night, with the signing of fallen Scotland star Garry O’Connor, and it’s fair to say he helped the Souters to three points in their first Lowland League match of the season, scoring a goal in a 3-0 victory.
The man himself may not be match-fit, but he still managed to slog away in atrocious conditions for the entire 90 minutes and he hasn’t lost his touch with the ball.
His 82nd-minute strike came as a bit of a relief as he had missed a couple of sitters earlier on, though.
He told The Southern: “I’ve only trained for one day, so it’s been pretty tough, but I have managed to get 90 minutes under my belt and grab a goal.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the other chances, obviously, but overall it’s the first game of the season and it’s quite a comfortable win at the end of the day.
“I’m quite disappointed with the tempo we played in the first half, but you can’t complain if you win 3-0 at home.”
Threave did have a dangerous element – mostly in the form of Dean Fyfe, who never stopped looking for the gaps.
But it was Selkirk who opened the scoring through Benjamin Houteau, tapping in Florian Moulet’s inch-perfect cross.
Julio Tonelle’s handball earned Threave’s Ian Miller a penalty soon after, but home keeper Jamie Newman dived to his left to save it – just as he did in midweek against Hibs Under-20s.
Threave’s keeper Callum Benson was also showing up well, with a point-blank block from Jordane Orain and a superb save from Phil Addison’s flying kick keeping the score respectable till half-time.
Then the heavens opened – an unbelievable amount of rain in the second period sat on top of the parched pitch, making going a bit slippery to say the least. Selkirk handled it best. They had most of possession and most of the play was in the Threave half, but there was not much of a spark going on up front until substitute Yanis Lamghari came on in the 80th minute.
He set up O’Connor for his goal – a thumping drive across Benson and into the net – before scoring one himself, a nice solo effort to round off the scoring and ensure Selkirk sit joint top of the league in the first week.
It’s a far cry from last year’s desperate placing, but although there is a long way to go, there is a new sense of optimism abound at Yarrow Park. The players looked happy to be there – which is saying something considering the conditions – their play was on the whole tactically sound, their passing was sharp and their tempers were controlled.
They’re a team that look as if they believe in themselves.
O’Connor summed it up.
He said: “Selkirk is a club that has got a lot of ambition and I want to be a part of that.”
Whether or not he will still be a part of that by the end of the season is yet to be seen, but what at first looked to be a bit of a publicity stunt could in truth be beneficial to both parties.
z Visit our website to hear the full interview with Garry O’Connor and Selkirk boss Steve Forrest.