Lothian Thistle Hutchie Vale 7
SOUTH CHALLENGE CUP SECOND ROUND
KENNY PATERSON reports from Saughton Enclosure
THE only positive aspect to emerge from this cup tie for Selkirk – as manager Mike McKinnon acknowledged afterwards – was that they did not concede double figures.
It was a real possibility at half-time as Lothian Thistle breezed into a 5-0 lead, which could easily have been more.
The visitors shored up their defence slightly in the second period, but in truth Thistle had started their warm-down 20 minutes from full time.
And it means Selkirk have now conceded 15 goals in their last three games.
Afterwards, a dejected McKinnon did not know why his team had performed so poorly, but vowed to continue as manager to try and find an answer.
McKinnon said: “I don’t know where to go from here. Myself and (assistant coach) Aaron Biggs have tried everything.
“I can’t understand why things have gone wrong as pre-season was great and we matched Celtic and Hibs sides who were both better than Lothian Thistle.
“I’m determined to turn it around. If I didn’t think I could, I would think about my position.”
Saughton Enclosure in the south west of Edinburgh is as welcoming as a Serbian stadium is to a Mediterranean footballer, but it held good memories for the Souters having beaten their Premier Division opponents 2-1 in the Qualifying League in August.
However, those happy thoughts were wiped within 120 seconds of kick-off, as the impressive Craig Stevenson set up a somehow unmarked Stephen Anderson to score from 10 yards.
Left back Stevenson deservedly got on the score sheet on 22 minutes with a superb free kick which left John Dodds with no chance.
However, the Selkirk stopper will be disappointed to let an Alan McDonaugh free kick from 40 yards bounce past him – albeit it through a crowd of players beforehand – and into the top corner on 29 minutes.
Thistle were in the Selkirk penalty box more often than Silvio Berlusconi is in the dock of an Italian court, and the homesters added a fourth in the 33rd minute as Matthew Costello was given far too much time to stab the ball into the net from a Stevenson corner.
And Costello’s centre half partner Richie Wilkes completed an embarrassing first half for Selkirk by heading in a fifth goal four minutes before the break.
A double change at half-time saw Jonny Watt and David Battle introduced, but the wave of attacks continued in Dodds’ direction.
Anderson added his second goal thanks to a sublime chip after robbing Barry Milven of the ball in the 48th minute.
And Thistle’s super seven was complete 21 minutes from time as Jordan Finnie’s cross was sidefooted home by Ross Elliot.
Watt thought he had grabbed the merest of consolations when he headed beyond Kevin Swain in the Lothian goal, but an offside flag denied Selkirk even that.
Selkirk: J. Dodds, K. Munro, D. Johnson (R. McManus 58), J. Higginbottom, B. Milven, L. Stephen, M. Holness, L. Pyrkosz, J. Gibson, J. Adamson (J. Watt 45), R. Pepper (D. Battle 45).