Selkirk haunted by old boy

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THE ghost of Christmas past came to haunt Ebenezer Scrooge in the famous festive tale A Christmas Carol, writes Kenny Paterson.

While Selkirk would refute any comparisons with the famously tight-fisted solicitor, their Image Printers Cup defeat to Spartans was instigated by a former player.

Chris Anderson, who spent a short spell at the Yarrow Park club while Fraser Lothian was in charge, notched the first goal and spearheaded a Spartans attack which could well bring glory back to Ainslie Park.

The Souters should be proud of their efforts on the 4G pitch – the artificial surface meant Selkirk decided to give up home advantage to get the much postponed cup tie played – but in the end they were well beaten.

Jamie Gibson and Michael Holness both had efforts in the first 20 minutes which, respectively, went wide and was comfortably held by Spartans keeper Chris Flockhart.

Despite looking comfortable for the first half hour, Selkirk’s defence began to creak under increasing pressure from the home side and it was not a huge surprise when Anderson scored on 35 minutes with a toe poke after Keith McLeod had laid the ball off.

And the visitors’ hopes were reduced further four minutes later by the right boot of Jack Beesley, formerly of Kelso, whose pass bypassed at least three visiting players and allowed McLeod to sidefoot a shot beyond John Dodds.

Willie Bremner crashed a shot past Dodds via the underside of the crossbar on 52 minutes as Spartans continued where they left off after the break.

Ex-Vale of Leithen winger Andy Martin should have made it four when put clean through, but he blazed well over.

However, Mike McKinnon’s side pulled one goal back 19 minutes from time when Jonny Watt’s run and cross was converted at the near post by Battle’s header.

When defender Barry Milven headed home a Battle corner three minutes later, it appeared it was game on. However, referee Ronnie Strain ruled Battle’s cross had curled out of play beforehand.

Gibson also struck a fierce 20-yard shot which Flockhart was forced to save, but the last word almost went to Beesley, whose jinking run saw the midfielder beat at least five Selkirk defenders, only to somehow pull his shot wide.

Selkirk: J. Dodds, D. Johnson (R. Pepper 63), B. Milven, J. Higginbottom, K. Munro, R. McManus (A. Butters 72), D. Battle (C. Gowans 89), L. Stephen, J. Gibson, J. Watt, M. Holness.

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