IT HAS been a busy old couple of weeks for Selkirk FC, who finally found the winning touch on Tuesday night when running out 3-2 victors over local rivals Hawick Royal Albert.
Selkirk broke the deadlock in the eighth minute. Jamie Gibson hit over a low cross and former Albert signing Bryan Tait drove an unsavable shot high into the roof of the net.
In the 27th minute, Tait switched from scorer to provider, threading a pass to the feet of David Battle, who rattled a shot past Albert keeper Liam Robertson.
Towards the interval, Royalists had a let-off when Jason Inglis, one of four Hawick-based players in the Selkirk squad, blasted a Kenny Munro cross against the post.
The Albert opened the second half strongly and Selkirk keeper John Dodds pulled off a superb save when tipping a Jay Paterek drive over the bar from a Jason Wood corner.
Royalists continued to push forward and on being fed by a Bobby Nwanze pass, O’Neil chipped a shot over the head of Dodds. As the ball bounced goalwards, however, Euan Pritchard stepped in to clear.
With 63 minutes gone, Selkirk stretched their lead when Gibson popped up at the back post to rifle away a Lee Stephen cross.
It looked all over for the Albert at this stage, but in the 68th minute, Jamie Higgenbottom handled a Nwanze shot in the box. Albert left-back Wood strode up to take the penalty and found the net with a low shot.
With four minutes left, Royalists struck again from a move sparked off by O’Neil, which ended in substitute Innes Zenat hitting home a Paterek cut-back.
Royalists pushed for an equaliser, but it was not to be.
Tomorrow, the Souters play their final Qualifying Cup match against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale who are second in Section A. Selkirk are currently fourth in the six-team group and a win would give them an outside chance of gaining entry to the League Cup preliminary round as the best third-placed club.