United secure action but no points, and Rovers triumph

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Selkirk Victoria5

Hawick United2

UNITED’S players were beset by the news on Saturday morning that their match against Jed Legion had been called off – then ended the day on the wrong end of a heavy defeat at Selkirk Victoria.

Manager Geo Shepherd moved quickly to ensure his side tasted match action after the pitch at Jed was deemed unplayable, asking the referee from that match to cover a hastily-arranged league fixture at Selkirk. However, his players may have wished in the aftermath of a 5-2 defeat that their boss had not been so proactive in securing a fixture.

United took the lead at Yarrow Park when Sean Owens both earned and scored from a penalty.

However, Selkirk drew level and eased into a 4-1 lead by half time.

Owens had a second chance to score from the spot soon after the break, but this time blazed his effort over the crossbar.

United did eventually strike a second goal, with skipper Kevin Strathdee netting, but Selkirk stole a fifth to seal victory.

“With the run of form we were on going into the match, we expected to do well,” said United supremo Shepherd. “But, we just defended poorly, and every goal we conceded was from a set-piece. We need to work harder at defending those.”

United had only conceded five goals in their opening five league matches prior to Saturday’s meeting with Selkirk, but leaked as many in 90 minutes against their hosts.

Shepherd played down the possible effect on his players of a last-minute change of plan at the weekend.

“It possibly contributed to the result, but you can’t blame that,” said Shepherd. “It was the same for Selkirk and, although it was quite windy, they adapted better.

“Selkirk are the only team to beat us this year, so they’re something of a bogey team for us. It just didn’t happen for us – we didn’t perform and nobody played well.”


Hawick Legion Rovers1

Earlston Rhymers0

ROVERS consigned Earlston to their first defeat of the season, when registering only their second league win of the campaign to move into mid-table.

The Teries’ boss Luke Cooper said his team, who claimed three points thanks to a solitary first-half strike, were deserving of victory.

“We deserved the win – we were the better team on the day,” said Cooper. “We played some good football. Everybody was wanting the ball and there wasn’t a time in the game where we weren’t looking for possession.”

Christopher Graham notched the game’s only goal in the opening 45 minutes. Rovers duo Scott Clarkson and Sean Inglis worked the ball into the Earlston penalty area, and Inglis cut the ball across to Graham, who converted from around eight yards.

Earlston applied some late pressure and struck the post with a shot in the final ten minutes, but Rovers held out to move onto seven points and to within five from the top of the ‘C’ Division.

Cooper is now confident his team can enjoy success this season.

“I think we’ll get to the final of a cup this year,” he said. “When I first came to the job, I was a bit iffy about going into games. Now, no team scares me.”