Selkirk seek early Christmas bonus

THE festive season is almost upon us, as is the break in the East of Scotland league scene, writes John Slorance.

Some clubs, however, have opted to play this Saturday – and one game in particular that has all the makings of being a pre-Christmas cracker is Selkirk’s home clash with Kelso United.

Although they fell to Spartans in the cup in their last outing, Selkirk had won their three previous games. Kelso have been without a game for a few weeks and will be more than keen to get back into action.

Glancing ahead to the match, Selkirk manager Mike McKinnon told TheSouthern: “We got the chance to play the game on January 5 and I spoke to the players about this. They wanted to play the game before the holiday, though, and that’s what we have gone for.

“Kelso have been going quite well and we are improving, so it should be quite a game.”

A win for Selkirk on Saturday will cap off a great week for the Yarrow Park club, who have confirmed that The Scottish Football Partnership will award them the remaining 60 per cent of the cost of erecting two 52-seater stands at the venue.

Barry Milven joins Jason Inglis and Euan Pritchard on the injured list. Milven is set to go through a knee operation and could be out for three months.

Meanwhile Selkirk have signed Andy Noble, who was recently released by Hawick Royal Albert, at his own request, and Noble is included in the Yarrow Park side’s squad for Saturday.

Giving his views on matters Kelso team boss ‘Prof’ Blaikie said: “The match is the day after what they call ‘Mad Friday’ and I think that some clubs are perhaps not wanting to have a match because of this. I know for a fact that some of our guys will be going out as it is the end of a working year for most of them, and they will be celebrating.

“They are entitled to do this and I won’t be stopping them, for after all I am only a manager of an East of Scotland side and not their parent. I can ask them to be responsible, though, and watch what they are doing.

“We have not played Selkirk yet this season and honestly I don’t know that much about them. My main concern is my own side and that we get a result – that would do me just fine.”

Kelso are without Dave Aitchison.

Hawick Royal Albert hit the road to Edinburgh to face Leith Athletic.

The match will not be played on Athletic’s home ground – the 3G pitch at Ainslie Park will be the venue instead.

The Albert have Paul Power and Ronald Fleming suspended, while Peter Keenan, Danny May and Graham Clee are injured.

Peebles Rovers have a mighty task on their hand in hosting Coldstream.

The Streamers are bidding for promotion and Championship honours, and are hot favourites to collect three points.