Selkirk’s Image fight ends as they rue missed chances

Spartans 3

Selkirk 1

IMAGE PRINTERS CUP SEMI-FINAL

SELKIRK’s hopes of regaining the Image Printers Cup were dashed by high-flying Spartans.

With the same competition providing the Souters’ last piece of silverware three years ago, it was hoped a place in the final could be grabbed again under new boss Bryan Templeton.

However, Selkirk were on the back foot from the kick-off against the reigning Premier Division champions, who will surely regain their title come May, or possibly June due to the way this stop-start season has slowly progressed. Spartans struck John Dodds’ post twice and forced the stopper into a series of saves during the first half.

But the former Ayr United man was beaten four minutes into the second period as Chris Townsley headed in a Dean Hoskins corner.

And Selkirk were soon heading for the cup exit door as Donal Henretty set up Gavin Malin to score from 16 yards.

However, with nothing to lose, the Yarrow Park side showed more attacking intent, and scored with 21 minutes remaining through Ryan McManus’ close-range effort from a Jay Wilson corner.

The visitors probed for an equaliser, but Des Sutherland fired over on 83 minutes with their best chance.

And in the final minute, Ross Archibald launched a 40-yard cross which deceived Dodds and found the net to take Spartans into the final, where they will meet Tynecastle.

“We changed things in the second half and I thought we were getting on top,” said Selkirk boss Templeton.

“We had a couple of half chances to equalise, and you need to take those against Spartans.”

Selkirk: J. Dodds, Ross McManus, J. Inglis, E. Pritchard, P. Hossack, S. Mackenzie, J. Wilson, G. Gass, D. Sutherland, J. Gibson, Ryan McManus.