Stirling University 2 Selkirk 1

Garry O'Connor
Garry O'Connor

Selkirk boss Garry O’Connor is looking to make Yarrow Park a fortress, starting this weekend at home to Civil Service Strollers.

O’Connor watched his side push Lowland League challengers Stirling University all the way at Forthbank Stadium, and hopes for a similar performance in the South Challenge Cup against their East of Scotland League opponents.

The ex-Hibs and Scotland striker said: “Our away form has been good but we need to improve our home form, and the game against Civil is a chance to make a start.

“It will be a tough game but it is a chance to go on a cup run.”

With O’Connor currently out with a groin injury, he may well have found a replacement in Jordan Allan.

The former Morton striker was a constant threat and got his rewards with a goal which pulled Selkirk back into the game having gone 2-0 down.

O’Connor added: “Jordan was fantastic – his workrate was superb and he kept battling.

“We will have a chat with the chairman and Jordan and see if we can work something out.”

With five players missing, including O’Connor, there was a fear Selkirk could be on the end of another heavy loss, following the 5-1 Gretna defeat the week previous.

And after poor defending allowed Paul McCafferty to open the scoring after just six minutes with a clinical finish beyond Jamie Newman, it looked ominous for the visitors.

Allan’s dipping free kick required Ryan Marshall to tip over before Selkirk captain Conan McDiarmid made a desperate but vital stop to deny Chris Geddes a certain goal.

Stirling had the better of the first half but Selkirk pressed their opponents in the second period, with Ross Gray a stand-out.

He set up numerous moves and fired over when Jack Nixon slipped in Stirling’s backline.

At the other end, Geddes had a great chance to make it 2-0 but the usually reliable striker - who has 13 goals this season - produced a weak effort that was easily saved by Newman.

A moment of controversy arrived with 15 minutes left, as George Leigh headed in Stirling’s second goal. Selkirk were certain Leigh was offside, but the assistant referee said McDiarmid had played the Student onside.

Selkirk turned their anger into a deserved goal with nine minutes left as Addison’s deep corner was headed in by Allan.

The visitors kept up the pressure on a nervy looking Stirling but were unable to find an equaliser. However, they certainly gave their hosts a fright, and their new manager plenty encouragement for the remainder of the season.

Selkirk: J. Newman, M. Christie, J. Harley, C. McDiarmid, M. Samson, R. Scott (F. Neave 45), C. Handren, R. Gray, M. Collin (J. Easton 75), P. Addison, J. Allan.