Selkirk 4-0 Gala Fairydean Rovers

By Callum Hodgson

at Yarrow Park

TWISTS and turns are the norm in Borders derbies.

And it was Selkirk who were celebrating after an action-packed 90 minutes of football at Yarrow Park on Saturday, thanks to a Daryl Healy brace, a strike from Dale Baxter and a goal from substitute Ciaren Chalmers, who converted with his first touch of the game.

To make matters worse for the Fairydean Rovers, they were forced to play the majority of the second half with 10 men after Kieran Ainslie brought down Healy on the edge of the area.

And Souters boss Ian Fergus was delighted with his side’s victory over their fiercest rivals.

He told us: “It was a very good performance. On the day I think we were just a wee bit better than them.

“We watched Gala and we know they are very good going forward with the two Hibs loanees. They can really stretch the game, but our emphasis was also very much on attack. We played Dale Baxter and Sean McKirdy in the wide areas to help Daryl Healy, who was excellent today, and Phil Addison.

“And it proved to be a really good all-round performance from us and I think the score line is a fair reflection of the game."

The Selkirk gaffer also hailed super sub Chalmers for his goal just seconds after he was brought on.

He added: “Ciaren is very good in the air, but he is not a natural striker. We’ve created him into a striker, but he’s a smashing lad and he works really hard in training. He didn’t start today, but you have to rotate you squad a little bit in the Lowland League.

"We’ve got some really good guys who didn’t get a chance today, but I’ll try and make amends for that next week if I can.”

The home side opened the scoring on the 12th minute when Ryan Sclater’s cross from the left hand side found the unmarked Healy who nodded past Lewis Muir.

Both teams battled well in midfield, but it was Selkirk who created the most chances.

Addison, Baxter and David Banjo all saw efforts fly over the bar.

But they were 2-0 up in first half stoppage time when Sean McKirdy picked out Dale Baxter at the far post, who never looked like missing.

Just 16 minutes into the second half, it got worse for Gala when Ainslie was dismissed for bringing down Healy on the edge of the box, despite the former Berwick Rangers man insisting it was accidental.

Selkirk could have been three up soon after. George Windram misjudged his header and the ball fell to Addison, but he fired over the bar.

The third goal did come just a minute later. After some nice play between Banjo and Sean Muhsin, the ball was played through to Healy who blasted his effort into the top corner.

Fergus then brought on Chalmers for Addison – a change which had an instant impact.

Murray Christie crossed in from the right and the substitute headed home to make it four.

The Fairydean Rovers responded through skipper Billy Miller and Stuart Noble, but neither troubled Gregor Amos.

McKirdy could have made it 5-0, but an excellent diving save from Rangers loanee Muir in the Gala goal prevented further heartache.

The Netherdale side had one last effort in what was pretty much the last kick of the game, but Miller’s effort summed up their afternoon.

Manager Steven Noble told us: “It just wasn’t to be today. We just never really got started. Credit to Selkirk they played really well, but we were nowhere near at our best.”

Selkirk: G Amos, R Sclater, A Fleming, R Miller, M Christie, S Muhsin, D Healy, P Addison (C Chalmers 70), D Banjo, D Baxter (R Donaldson 62), S McKirdy (U Koroma 78). Not used: J Hopkinson, L Turkington, C Helm, G Goodfellow.

Gala Fairydean Rovers: L Muir, L Stephen, B Miller, G Windram, K Ainslie, D Bonnar, D Smith, S Paliczka (R Aitchison 62), S Noble, J Gullan, A Watson. Not used: K Scott, D Brown, G Rose, C Heugh.