Selkirk 3

Dalbeattie Star 1

David Knox at Yarrow Park

SELKIRK took a giant leap away from the Lowland League drop zone on Saturday with an impressive win over Dalbeattie.

In a bad-tempered match, which saw two Star players red carded in injury time, Ian Fergus’s side held strong to move nine points clear of bottom side Preston Athletic.

The manager was delighted at the final whistle. He told us: “I am really proud of the way the boys went about their business today.

“We played well in stages and deserved our half time lead but they came at us in the second half.

“There was part of me thinking back to last week when we gave up a two goal lead but we got through the difficult 15 minutes.

“We changed our tactics and they couldn’t cope with us at the end.”

Jordan Hopkinson almost provided the dream start for Selkirk as he was through on goal inside the first minute only to shoot tamely at Vincent Parker.

The opener arrived just three minutes later with Gary Nicholson shimmying his way in from the right to stroke in a perfect cross for Phil Addison to fire home from close range.

Star responded well with Joseph Slattery grazing the crossbar with a curling shot from 25 yards.

And on the half hour Iain Anderson went even closer as his header came back off the inside of the post and into the arms of Gregor Amos.

But it was the hosts who finished the half strongest.

Nicholson couldn’t quite steer an Addison ball in at the back post on 36 minutes.

And Addison himself should have grabbed a second six minutes later when through on goal but he attempted to lob Parker and the keeper easily collected.

There was still time for a second as Unpha Koroma was chopped down inside the area as Selkirk pressed.

Ricky Miller dispatched the penalty for a 2-0 interval lead.

Dalbeattie dominated early on in the second half and could easily have scored twice before Alasdair Mason reduced the deficit with a header on 53 minutes.

Star boss Darren Kerr had pushed three up as he searched for an equaliser.

It took determination and graft from the home team, especially from Ross King and Murray Christie, to turn the tide.

And Selkirk gaffer Fergus pushed a second player up front as the home team got back on top.

Hopkinson’s effort on 66 minutes was blocked in front of goal as Selkirk searched for that al-important third.

Debutant Ed Valaka, who impressed after coming off the bench, managed to round Parker but shot into the side netting from the angle.

And Koroma was also in on goal a few minutes later but shot wildly over.

Dalbeattie still looked dangerous and Gregor Amos made a telling save at the other end.

With just four minutes left on the clock Paul Cook should have equalised as he fired over at the back post with the goal at his mercy.

Selkirk’s third arrived in the 88th minute with Hopkinson bursting through a gap in the middle of the Star defence to smash the ball into the net.

During injury time Greig Thorburn and Steven Degnan were both shown straight red cards for separate rash challenges on Ryan Sclater.

Border Telegraph man of the match - Ross King

Selkirk. G Amos, R Sclater, M Christie, A Fleming, R Miller, R King, G Nicholson (E Valaka 72), J Hopkinson, F Neave (K Scott 46), P Addison & U Koroma