Souters look to build on surprise draw

IT WAS a mixed bag of results for Borders sides last week when East of Scotland football kicked off its season with a double dose of League Cup matches, writes John Slorance.

Selkirk began their programme on a winning note over Berwick Rangers Reserves before pulling off a 2-2 draw over Gretna 2008 at Philiphaugh on Tuesday night.

The Souters are now top of the Section A table and on Saturday make the short trip down the A7 to take on Hawick Royal Albert.

Selkirk manager Bryan Templeton told TheSouthern: “It was good to start the season with a win and then a draw against one of the league favourites.

On Saturday we played well in the first half and led 3-1 at half-time. In the second half we were under the cosh a bit, but we hung on and deserved our win. On Tuesday, however, we played for the whole 90 minutes.

“This Saturday’s match against Hawick looks like being a tough one.

“Hawick have signed a few new players and it’s also a derby match and anything is liable to happen in these games. We are taking nothing for granted.”

Hawick lost both their opening encounters against Ormiston and Berwick Rangers Reserves and Albert coach Davie Aitkin told us: “We will have to play better against Selkirk to get a result. We are at home, though, and our guys will be wanting to prove themselves against Selkirk.”

Hawick field new signings Roddy McConnell, Peter Gellaitry and Jordan Yardley.

Gala Fairydean face Whitehill Welfare away from home. They too have lost two – falling 1-0 to Edinburgh City at Victoria Park in their midweek clash.

Fairydean boss Fraser Lothian said: “Whitehill are always a difficult side to beat at Rosewell. And it’s going to be even harder this season as I believe they have spent quite a bit of money in bringing in new players and have a strong side.

“However, we will be going up there in a positive frame of mind.”

Paul Young and Jay Wilson return for Gala, but Grant Gass and Craig McBride could miss out through injuries.

Kelso United are also two down and chairman Mike Tait told us: “Although we lost our first game against Easthouses Lily there was little in the match. We actually did okay, and played better than we had done in any of our friendly matches.

“Craigroyston had a good win in their first match against Leith Athletic and again against the Vale on Tuesday night. Our boys will be out to do a job, though, and we will just have to see what happens.”

The Tweedsiders are without the suspended Steven Tait.

In an all-Border clash that has the makings of being a thriller as there is a great rivalry between the clubs, Vale of Leithen tackle Peebles Rovers at Whitestone Park.

Peebles have so far won one and lost one, while Vale have a draw and a defeat.

Tuesday night’s EoS results: Hawick Royal Albert 2 Berwick Rangers Reserves 6; Selkirk 2 Gretna 2008 2; Craigroyston 2 Vale of Leithen 1; Kelso United 0 Spartans 2; Gala Fairydean 0 Edinburgh City 1; Peebles Rovers 0 Tynecastle 2.

z For a full round up of Saturday’s results and games, turn to page 27.