Selkirk fail to up their game against Leith

Selkirk v Leith Athletic

Selkirk v Leith Athletic

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EoS PREMIER DIVISION

KENNY PATERSON reports from Yarrow Park

“We will never give up,” said Selkirk assistant manager Aaron Biggs at the end of his team’s latest disappointing defeat to fellow Premier Division strugglers Leith Athletic.

While the former full back’s defiance is admirable, it is increasingly looking like Yarrow Park will be witnessing First Division football next season.

They have successfully battled relegation in each of the last four terms they have spent in the East of Scotland League’s top flight, but their prospects currently look bleaker than the mood of a News International accountant.

Despite his never-say-die attitude, Biggs admitted Leith, who had Steven Lynch’s goal to thank for the three points, were the better side on Saturday.

He told TheSouthern: “There was a lack of leaders and a lack of fight, and it was a poor performance.

“I don’t think we created one clear chance. This was such an important game with it being a bottom-of-the-table clash, but we didn’t perform.”

Athletic looked sharper from kick-off to the final whistle and, two minutes in, Gary Black should have hit the target instead of heading over William Bremner’s cross.

Jamie Gibson, who crawled out of his sickbed to play up front for Selkirk, latched onto a long ball on 13 minutes and rounded Leith stopper Iain Gordon, but the keeper got back well to deny the striker the opening goal.

However, it was Leith who were more threatening throughout, and Barry Milven and Selkirk goalkeeper John Dodds made vital blocks to stop Lynch and Lewis Tracey from scoring.

Having watched his midfielders and strikers fare poorly in their attacking efforts, defender Euan Pritchard decided he would have a go himself, and his run and cross found Gibson, who was again denied by Gordon.

Gibson was the main threat once more for Selkirk, when a minute into the second half he blasted a 20yd effort narrowly over Gordon’s bar.

Instead, Leith took the lead on 50 minutes when the Souters failed to clear a cross and Bremner’s flick header found Lynch six yards from goal, who volleyed in.

The visitors also had strong claims for a penalty waved away when Jason Inglis appeared to clip the heels of Greig Tulloch.

At the other end, McManus’ free kick was headed wide by Pritchard as Selkirk battled to get something out of the match. However, there seemed a real lack of belief that they could do so.

The match petered out, with Leith content to claim one of the most comfortable 1-0 wins likely to have been achieved last weekend.

For Selkirk, that winning feeling needs to be found as soon as possible for volume five of their Great Escape to be achieved.

Selkirk: J. Dodds, L. Stephen, J. Higginbottom, E. Pritchard, J. Inglis, B. Milven, D. Battle, Ryan McManus (A. Swailes 75), J. Gibson, M. Holness, D. Burdett.