Selkirk 2, East Kilbride 2
Selkirk coach Ian Fergus hailed his youthful squad as they wounded the pride of runaway Lowland League leaders East Kilbride at Yarrow Park on Saturday.
The second-bottom Souters drew 2-2 with the South Lanarkshire table-toppers - and almost certainly had them worried when they drew level after going behind early on, and then took a 2-1 lead early in the second half.
Boss Fregus said a draw was probably a fair result on reflection, as both teams had chances to win the game.
But Selkirk had more than merited their point - that was for sure, he added.
The Borders side lined up with only 14 players, being without regular goalscorer Kerr Scott and last week’s man of the match at BSC Glasgow, new signing Ryan Sclater.
“We had a 17-year-old at right back, who is normally a centre-back, who was probably one of the best players on the pitch, and an 18-year-old - Ross King - scored the second goal for us,” said Fergus.
“Another 18-year-old, Sheridan, came on and played centre-back. We have teenagers in our team, while they (East Kilbride) are full of ex-pros.
“Without trying to beat the Selkirk drum, some credit has to be give to these young Selkirk players, for the battle we are in with these teams with much more experienced players. Our oldest payer is 26.”
Both teams started very brihglty and, slightly against the run of play, Martin Lauchlan’s men took an 11th-minute lead with a very good, well-worked goal. Strachan played a lofted pass to McBride, who scored from 12 yards.
Selkirk ‘keeper Gregor Amos pulled off a great save to keep his side within touching distance, pushing an effort on to the bar, and the hosts were very much in it as Unpha Koroma scored a terrific 20-yard effort on the half hour.
“They (Kilby) came out firing after the break - they’d obviously had a stern team talk - but we turned it round again and scored fairly early in the second half,” said Fergus.
Ross King bundled the ball home after a goalmouth scrap just a couple of minutes into the second period.
After that, Selkirk were in the ascendancy and should have gone 3-1 ahead but Fraser Neave took a touch when he possibly should have struck the ball first time.
“We probably would have won if that had gone in but I would say – for 15 minutes, they battered us after that and got their goal. They deserved it,” said Fergus.
David Proctor slotted the ball home in the 62nd minute for Kilby, after McBride’s shot had taken a deflection, sparking a delighted – and very possibly relieved – reaction.
Fergus said afterwards that both sides had opportunities to go 3-2 in front, so a share of the points was fair.
He added that the difference in Kilby’s goal celebrations was quite notable - they barely acknowledged their opening goal in the 11th minute but, when they equalised in the second half, they were on the pitch as if they had won a cup final.
“They are a professional team and they have aspirations to go into the pro league,” he added. “They are very well organised and very well run.
“I think they came here expecting to win, for sure. But I don’t think they came thinking it would be easy.
“They were in a game - and they knew all about it.”