Selkirk crave good start to end confidence slump

Aaron McColm was in good second-half kicking form for Selkirk, converting the two tries scored by Clinton Wagman.
Aaron McColm was in good second-half kicking form for Selkirk, converting the two tries scored by Clinton Wagman.

Just one positive, fired-up early start to a game might be enough to lift Selkirk from the doldrums in which they are currently languishing.

Yet again, on Saturday, they allowed the opposition – this time, Aberdeen Grammar – to get too far out of sight, too early, before mounting a valiant comeback.

Trailing 0-26 at half time in the early start at Rubislaw, Selkirk grabbed two tries in the second half – each scored by Clinton Wagman and converted by Aaron McColm – and precluded the Granite City men from scoring again.

But it was not enough to prevent a 26-14 loss.

Manager Tom Ramage said it would be a case of going back to basics in training, trying to focus on playing properly from the opening stages, and hopefully halting the slump in confidence.

Selkirk were “off the pace” now for a promotional play-off slot, he admitted, and were only just holding on to fourth place in League One.

“We gave them (Aberdeen) too much of a start again,” he said. “We were 26-0 down at half time – we came back and we won the second half 14-0, but I just don’t know what happened to them.”

The players felt they were in a rut, added Ramage, and couldn’t get out of it quickly enough.

“We are starting games slowly, letting the opposition dictate what is happening,” he said. “Then, in the second half, it’s like another team.”

A good start – if they could find one – might be all that was needed to let Selkirk dictate the pace of the match and use the practical side of their game to get out of defence and play in the right end of the field.

“When we get the ball, we can attack from anywhere,” said Ramage.

“In Aberdeen, we played 40 minutes without even looking to score. We looked like a team that had never played together. In the second half, we were just fired up – I can’t explain it.”

As well as seeing their play-off challenge falter, Selkirk still have to play the three teams above them – Gala, Jed-Forest and Edinburgh Accies.

They face Musselburgh at Philiphaugh tomorrow (Saturday) in another tough game.

The message was simple, said Ramage – rather than starting from the 41st minute, they had to start from the first.

“It’s our mistakes and our penalties, knock-on balls and stupid tactics that have put us in this position,” he added. “We have to go back to basics, playing a territorial game and scoring points from there.”

Luke Pettie and Josh Welsh would be back in contention for places in the squad, and Ram,age was largely keeping faith wiht the current line-up.