Selkirk 4

Gretna 0

David Knox at Yarrow Park

SELKIRK ripped up the record books on Saturday as they ended a dismal six-match run at Yarrow Park in the Scottish Cup.

The Souters hadn’t won a home tie since beating Preston Athletic 3-0 on September 26, 2009.

But on Saturday they grappled with Gretna for a good 80 minutes before finishing with a flourish to secure their place in the second round.

Manager Ian Fergus told us: “The scoreline doesn’t reflect how tight the game was although we did deserve the win.

“It was a typical cup tie and it was all about getting through to the second round today.

“For 50 minutes or so it was a game that could have gone either way but when we were allowed to play, especially towards the end of the game, we did well.”

Inside the opening 90 seconds Selkirk’s highly rated youngsters carved open Gretna with half a dozen first-touch passes, only for Dale Baxter’s cut back to be scrambled clear.

But Gretna had their own ideas about how the game should be played.

The physical presence and aerial threat from Davie Irons’ team soon had the hosts on the back foot.

Jack Hunter’s long throw wasn’t cleared properly on eight minutes and Jake Smith clipped the post with his shot through a crowd of players.

The Raydale club went close again just two minutes later as Jordan Little’s snap shot during a corner was brilliantly saved by Gregor Amos.

With the ball on the ground, though, Selkirk looked superior and it was a delicate pass from Sean McKirdy, after collecting a Daryl Healy header, that allowed Baxter to smash an angled shot beyond John Jamieson for the opener on 14 minutes.

A tidy lay-off from Healy was fired across the face of goal by Phil Addison a few minutes later.

And another neat one-touch move led to Healy finding the net on 26 minutes, only for the offside flag to go up.

But Gretna continued to pose a threat from crosses, long throws and corners.

Ricky Miller and Andrew Fleming both made telling clearances before Amos again saved well to deny Stuart Gray on the stroke of half time.

Selkirk did improve after the break with McKirdy and Baxter both being denied by good saves.

A David Banjo shot also deflected inches over the bar on 55 minutes.

Jamieson pulled off a great save on the hour to deny Addison after he latched onto McKirdy’s cross.

And just three minutes later Addison did well to burst between defenders only to rifle the ball a couple of feet over the bar.

But Gretna were far from out of the tie.

And on 78 minutes Kevin Connelly blasted the ball against the underside of the bar after holding off challenges from Miller and Ryan Sclater.

The striker did bundle the ball over the line during the skirmish for the rebound but he was flagged for offside.

It was a let off for the hosts.

And just two minutes later Jordan Hopkinson, with almost his first touch since coming off the bench, raced onto a long clearance on the left to ride a challenge and cut into the area to place the ball beyond Jamieson and provide the breathing space they required.

The pacey winger added a third a few minutes later as he cut in from the right to fire a stunning shot high into the net from the angle.

There was still time for Ciaren Chalmers to add a fourth after steering Reece Donaldson's angled freekick home from close range.

Manager Fergus paid tribute to his super-sub Hopkinson. He said: “The time was right for Jordan – he is an impact player and when he came on he took his goals well.

“I like Jordan – he wants to be starting every week and he certainly made a case for it this afternoon.”

Selkirk. G Amos, R Sclater, R Donaldson, A Fleming, R Miller, D Healy, C Chalmers, P Addison (C Helm 82), D Banjo (L Turkington 69), D Baxter (J Hopkinson 72) & S McKirdy.