Souters boss vows to go out on a high as relegation hits home

Jamie Gibson on the move
Jamie Gibson on the move

Selkirk 1

Edinburgh City 2


JOHN SLORANCE reports from Yarrow Park

A cold wind gusted over Yarrow Park on Saturday afternoon and Selkirk’s hopes of remaining in the East of Scotland Premier League vanished with it.

The goals from Edinburgh City in a two-minute spell midway through the second half saw the Souters’ fight against relegation come to an end and first division football now awaits them next season.

Apart from drifting into that two-minute nightmare disco nap, Selkirk were well awake during the rest of the game.

The Yarrow Park outfit did not look like a side anchored at the foot of the league table and with just one win to their credit.

Although having nothing to show for it, Selkirk battled hard and played some good football.

Relegation has been staring Selkirk in the face for a while, but as the hard fact arose it was still a bitter pill to swallow.

So much so, after most players had showered and changed, three despondent figures had not returned to the dressing rooms and remained on the pitch. Goalkeeper John Dodds and defender Jason Inglis sat on the grass, while manager Mike McKinnon stood above them. A dejected trio.

Gutted McKinnon told TheSouthern: “It’s been a season of what could have beens, but that’s us down now, so what more can you say?

“ We lost this afternoon through basic defending. It was the same old story of not concentrating. We were playing well enough and then switched off and lost two goals.

“This has been happening repeatedly, it’s like a mental block and a lot of our defeats have, indeed, been self inflicted.

“We have now just three games left, but we shall not be playing as a relegated team and lying down, as we want to finish well”.

Showing plenty of purpose, Selkirk were first to look dangerous when Jamie Gibson broke through the middle and fired in a shot that City keeper Andy Stobie did well to block. The rebound broke into the path of Michael Holness, who shot wide.

Selkirk number one Dodds then denied the capital men an opener with a top-notch save, tipping a net-bound Ross Guthrie drive over the bar. Back came Selkirk and on meeting a Jason Inglis lay-off from a Daryl Burdett corner, Euan Pritchard had a shot cleared off the line by Kenny Ross.

With both sides pushing forward, the pace of the game was fast and lively and City’s Paul Devlin hit the upright with a well-struck free kick.

After Stobie had thwarted Inglis with a fine save, Dodds pulled out the stops at the other end with an excellent one-handed stop from Jamie Elliot.

Selkirk were creating the more chances, but when a goal did arrive in the 69th minute, it was City who did the scoring. Kenny Ross whipped over a cross that was touched on by Ross McNammara and Andy Howat did the rest by shooting past the helpless Dodds.

Two minutes later, Devlin put the homesters further into arrears, shooting home from a Howat pass.

With 76 minutes gone, Selkirk substitute Johny Watt, who had replaced Barry Milven, reduced the leeway with a spot-on finish in a thrusting raid. A lot of sting had, however, now gone out of Selkirk’s play and City held out well to take the full points.

Minutes from time, McKinnon was cautioned and sent from the technical area by referee Charlie McVicar after he made remarks towards assistant referee Frank Campbell.

Selkirk: J. Dodds, L. Stevens, B. Milven (J. Watt), E. Pritchard, J. Inglis, J. Higgenbottom, M. Holness, R. McManus, J. Gibson, D. Burdett (W. Mercer), D. Battle.