Souters earn first point of the season

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Lothian Thistle Hutchie Vale 1

Selkirk 1

EoS PREMIER DIVISION

SELKIRK FC boss Mikey McKinnon certainly hasn’t been letting the grass grow under his feet in recent weeks, writes Fiona Scott.

Over the last month, the club has signed no less than four players and they are enjoying the best-attended training sessions at Yarrow Park in recent times.

Eighteen-year-old Angus Campbell from North Berwick was first to sign on the dotted line during the Christmas break, and last week another two youngsters were added in the form of Connor Robb, 18, and Aaron Swailes, 16.

Hawick-based keeper Bruce Connelly, 17, played with Oxgangs Under-17s until recently and is the latest recruit to McKinnon’s army and, with two more prospective players waiting in the wings, the former Cowdenbeath striker feels his men are ready to go into battle and fight for their place in the East of Scotland Premier Division.

On Saturday they took their first steps towards that goal by holding Lothian Thistle HV to a draw at Saughton enclosure.

“The two teams above us are only three and four points ahead so it’s all to play for, he told TheSouthern.

“On Saturday we took a wee step in the right direction. The new lads are really keen and bring loads of enthusiasm to the club, and that, mixed with the experience we already have in the team, is a good combination and hopefully, in the weeks to come, a winning combination.

Robb and Swailes are currently studying at the Base Football Academy at Borders College.

Blackpool supporter Robb hails from Dumfries, where he played as a defender for Dalbeattie Star, and now lives in Hawick, while striker Swailes, a Newcastle United fan, lives at Bonchester Bridge. He formerly played for Gala Under-19s.

Both youngsters began Saturday’s outing on the bench, with Swailes making his first start following a formation change in the second half. McKinnon’s men started brightly and went ahead on 17 minutes when Jamie Gibson found the back of the Thistle net.

The Souters were unlucky not to add to their tally and, with five minutes remaining, they were hit on the break and Craig Stewart put away the equaliser.

There were plenty of chances for Selkirk to go ahead in the second half, but the winning goal evaded the Borders outfit, who kept their heads up and defended well for the remainder of the match.

Selkirk: J. Dodds, L. Stephen, B. Milven, E. Pritchard, J. Higginbottom, J. Inglis, D. Battle, Ryan McManus, J. Gibson, D. Burdett, Ross McManus. Subs: A. Swailes, D. Boyne, W. Mercer, A. Campbell, B. Connelly.