Familiarity no help for Souters as students ease past

Selkirk 1

Heriot-Watt University 2


ALISTAIR MATHIESON reports from Yarrow Park

SEVERAL regulars were missing from the Souters’ line-up as they met Heriot-Watt for the fifth time this season, the sides having previously played each other in the Image Printers and King Cups, as well as twice in the Premier Division.

The visitors were unbeaten in five games leading up to this cup tie, but it was Selkirk who showed well in early play, with Grant Gass sending in a shot from a distance which had Victor François concerned as it passed just over the bar.

Halfway through the first half, Heriot-Watt came close to opening the scoring when the tricky Aaron James worked space to send in a dangerous cross from the left. Simon Ferrie came in at the far post and as John Dodds came to meet him he headed over the big keeper’s hands, but on to the roof of the net.

François was the busier goalkeeper and did well to backpedal and claw away yet another home corner as Jason Cockburn advanced for the header at the back post. Then the industrious and inventive Jay Wilson sent in a fine cross from the right corner flag, bringing François from his line to punch clear, before Des Sutherland cut in from the left to fire in a low shot only to see François diving to turn it round the post.

With half-time approaching, Sutherland collected the ball following a corner on the left and drove it hard across goal. Cockburn lunged in, but just failed to connect and the visitors’ goal survived intact.

After a quiet start to the second period, the Watt took the lead on the hour. As the Selkirk defence tried to work it clear on the left, Banji Koya got a foot to the ball. He moved it inside to Chris Donnelly, who drew the last defender and passed inside for Brendan Napier to fire past Dodds into the corner of the net.

Selkirk’s best move of the day came when Wilson combined with Sutherland on the right and cut into the box to receive the return pass, but Ferrie made a superb tackle to thwart him in the act of shooting.

With a quarter of an hour left to play, the sutdents went further ahead. Koya found James on the left and his cross made its way through to Donnelly, who cut inside and fired in a left-foot shot which took a deflection to loop past Dodds into the corner.

Heriot-Watt were now exploiting the pace and skill of James to good effect and twice only good covering by Euan Pritchard denied Koya at the near post.

With five minutes of stoppage time played, Selkirk at last got on to the scoresheet. A free kick 25 metres from goal was expertly curled round the wall by Sutherland. François dived to save, but was only able to push the ball out and Jamie Gibson was in quickly to blast the loose ball into the net.

Selkirk: J. Dodds, L. Stephen, J. Inglis, E. Pritchard, J. Wilson (S. Harkness 83), D. Sutherland, Ryan McManus, G. Gass (A. Hardie 55), J. Gibson, J. Cockburn and S. Hardie (M. Gibson 72).