Selkirk 0

Gretna 2

Kenny Paterson at Yarrow Park

THERE are no home comforts for Selkirk’s squad at the moment.

The Souters suffered their fourth Yarrow Park loss on the trot and at the same time lost fourth spot in the Lowland League to rejuvenated Gretna.

Selkirk face the Border team again this weekend at Raydale Park, but manager Ian Fergus and assistant David Bingham will need to use all their managerial experience to get a result with their young side.

Bingham said: “We have no complaints about the result.

“We were poor first half and although we improved second half we didn’t take our chances. That is just the way it is going just now.

“It is difficult for young players who are short of confidence but the only way to get out of this run of form is through hard work.”

This was a tale of chances taken, and chances missed.

Selkirk had openings at key moments in the match, but failed to take any, while the impressive Jake Smith was clinical in converting two opportunities before half time.

Selkirk started with an attacking line-up, with new signing George Hunter and Daryl Healy up front, and the latter should have scored his seventh of the season within the first minute but sliced a close range volley wide from Phil Addison’s cross.

Kevin Connelly sliced wide after Selkirk’s Andrew Fleming misjudged a long ball but it was to be two penalty appeals within three minutes which proved pivotal.

Healy went down under a challenge on 20 minutes which referee Duncan Smith deemed legal.

But two minutes later Smith did give a spot kick as Reece Donaldson was adjudged to have fouled Thomas Halleran.

Selkirk felt it was a soft award, but Smith dispatched the penalty to put the visitors ahead.

Ciaren Chalmers should have pulled Selkirk level only to head wide, and Jamie Hope’s brave tackle denied Jordan Hopkinson after fine work by ex-St Johnstone man Hunter.

Selkirk were made to pay again for their profligacy ten minutes before the break as awful defending from a corner saw the ball reach the unmarked Smith at the back post to prod home.

It could easily have been 3-0 were it not for a fine block by Gregor Amos from Connelly before the break.

Selkirk did improve in the second half, with substitute Unpha Koroma adding some much needed energy.

But they were unable to find a way past John Jamieson in the Gretna goal.

He held a Healy header which the striker should have done better with, and then denied Addison with another close range effort.

Kingsley Grandison should have killed off the game soon after but headed over a superb cross by ex-Annan midfielder Ellis Pearson.

There were further chances in the closing ten minutes for Chalmers and Addison but there was no way past Jamieson.

Selkirk: G. Amos R. Sclater, R. Donaldson (J. Keenan 69), A. Fleming, R. King (U. Koroma 62), G. Hunter, D. Healy, C. Chalmers, J. Hopkinson (L. Turkington 59), P. Addison, S. McKirdy.