Selkirk 0

Spartans 2

David Knox at Yarrow Park

IN the four-and-a-bit seasons of Lowland League football it is unlikely any game has chalked up fewer attempts on target than this crunch clash.

And it was title contenders Spartans who made the most of the morsels they managed to serve up during this fast-paced duel at Yarrow Park.

Two determined midfields wouldn't give an inch during this pulsating clash, and two well-organised defences kept chances to a minimum throughout the 90 minutes.

It was Ross Allum who was the goal hero for Dougie Samuel’s team with two sublime finishes.

The first came just three minutes before half time following an unfortunate slip by Ryan Sclater.

Ross Guthrie pounded on the loose ball to charge into the area and thread in Allum, who stroked the ball inside the far post from 15 yards out.

It had been the only shot on target by either side during a highly competitive opening half.

Selkirk’s best chance of the first 45 minutes was a through ball to Daryl Healy which was smothered bravely by keeper Andrew Stobie.

The chances started to arrive for the hosts after the break with a Phil Addison's net-bound strike hitting his team-mate Ciaren Chalmers in front of goal.

And just two minutes later Sean McKirdy was also on target to test Stobie from the angle.

On the hour Sean Muhsin’s acrobatic attempt against his old team flew a foot over the bar as the hosts searched or an equaliser.

But Spartans began to turn the tide as the second half wore on.

David Greenhill’s speculative effort was blocked by Andrew Fleming on the six yard line, and an Allum strike with quarter of an hour remaining was cleared by Ricky Miller.

Play swept up and down the park as both teams threw players forward at every opportunity.

And with just eight minutes remaining it was Spartans who sealed the victory.

Dachi Khutsishvili held off the challenge from Reece Donaldson to cut in from the right and poke the ball into the path of Allum, who again squeezed a shot beyond Gregor Amos.

Selkirk manager Ian Fergus was disappointed at the defeat.

He said: “We made a couple of errors and they took advantage.

“We shaded the game at times but they scored at crucial times and it was difficult for us to come back.

“That’s three games we’ve lost and every time it’s been by fine margins – we’ve never been comprehensively beaten by any team, but we need to start beating these teams that are in the top four.

“I have a lot of belief in this young group of players we have here and I have to accept it will take time for us to reach our full potential.”

Selkirk. G Amos, R Sclater (L Turkington 67), R Donaldson, R Miller, M Christie (A Fleming 46), S Muhsin, D Healy, C Chalmers, P Addison (C Helm 77), D Banjo & S McKirdy.