DON’T mention the name Peter Stuart too loudly to Bryan Templeton and his coaching team tomorrow when they host Spartans in the Premier Division, writes Kenny Paterson.
The Selkirk boss was enraged by the referee’s performance in the Souters’ 4-0 defeat at Vale of Leithen on Wednesday night – and his assistant, Davie Main, was adjudged to have taken his protests too far and was red-carded from the dugout midway through the second half.
By that time, Selkirk were already out of this Premier Division contest. Vale completely dominated the first half and went in at the break 3-0 up.
Selkirk’s first complaint against whistler Stuart came as early as the eighth minute when a penalty was awarded after Steven Radzynski was tripped in the visitors’ box, which Scott Devlin converted.
There could be no fingers pointed at Mr Stuart for Vale’s second, however, as Andy Martin’s low cross was side-footed into his own net by Ryan Pritchard in the 23rd minute.
Templeton’s men had a glorious chance to get back in the match on 38 minutes when David Battle’s cutback was met by Daryl Burdett’s sweet left-foot shot – only for Mark Wilson to pull off a stunning save. And six minutes later it was all over as poor defending from a Vale corner allowed centre-half Paul Lee to smash the ball beyond John Dodds.
A moment of controversy to further infuriate Templeton and co was a confrontation between Andy Hardie and Vale’s Ryan McKenzie. The home left back appeared to aim a headbutt at Hardie, only for no action to be taken by Stuart or his two assistant referees. Instead, it was Main who was sent off on 64 minutes after a series of decisions which did not go Selkirk’s way.
Substitute John Ferguson, signed on loan from Cowdenbeath by Vale manager Robbie Horn, hit Dodds’ post before Radzynski added a fourth on 81 minutes.
Selkirk’s defeat followed failure to get through their League Cup section, despite a 3-1 victory over Ormiston last Saturday.
Missing through injury against Spartans will be Darren Clapperton and Paul Hossack, who is now expected to be out until at least November.
“Paul is a massive player for us so it is a big blow that he is to be missing for so long,” added Templeton. “I have heard the stories that Spartans have lost four or five players this season, but they will still be a good team.”
Kick-off is 2.30pm.