Vale and Selkirk in crunch tie

Selkirk remain in bottom spot in the East of Scotland League Premier Division table, writes John Slorance.

Vale of Leithen are two places above them. Both sides are in much need of points as well as a win to boost morale. And on Saturday, the local rivals meet each other at Yarrow Park.

Vale manager Jamie Birrell told TheSouthern: “It’s a big game for both clubs as both sides have a lot to play for. I have a good squad, but we have lost our last two league games. We have been making uncharacteristic mistakes and have been punished for them, and we can’t afford to do this against Selkirk on their own patch.

“We will have to improve in certain areas of our game to get a result, but I think we can do this.”

Vale are without the suspended Chris Beaton.

In the First Division scene, Gala Fairydean entertain Hawick Royal Albert at Netherdale.

The sides met two weeks ago with Fairydean snatching a share of the spoils through a last-gasp equaliser .

Hawick striker Andy Noble said: “Gala were lucky to get a draw at Hawick as we were the better side and deserved a win.

“Fairydean are at home this time and playing on their 3G pitch and they are getting used to it. However, we train on a similar surface so it’s nothing new to us. It will be a hard game, but I think we will beat them this time.”

The Albert have goalkeeper Andy King missing, as well as the influential Kris O’Neil, while Fairydean welcome back Grant Gass from suspension, but Jay Wilson is still banned. Meanwhile, Gala could be without injured pair Craig McBride and Aaron Brunton for the remainder of the season.

In yet another Borders derby encounter, Peebles Rovers face Kelso United at home.

Kelso boss Prof Blaikie said: “I think we are in with a good chance if we play the same way as we did against Preston Athletic last Saturday. We are playing well, but are not consistent enough. Hopefully we will get it right on Saturday.”

The Tweedsiders have Steven Tait and Chris Black banned. Sean Angus and Gary Mabon are both injured.

z Gala Fairydean have been going great guns in the last few weeks, only losing one of their last eight games, and on Tuesday night they notched another victory when beating Easthouses Lily 2-1 at Netherdale.

The Fairies started well and grabbed a goal in the opening 10 minutes through Scott Nightingale. The hosts went further ahead when Jack Hay netted a penalty just before half-time.

Easthouses pulled one back in the second half when Ryan McQueenie scored from the spot, but Fraser Lothian’s outfit held out to take the points and keep themselves breathing down the necks of the league leaders.