Defeats are down to giving away cheap goals, says boss

Garry O'Connor
Garry O'Connor
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Cutting out sloppy defending and surrendering cheap goals are the objectives as Selkirk FC take advantage of a break in the Lowland League card.

Garry O’Connor’s men had begun a steady climb up the table after some high-scoring victories in recent weeks, but a pair of back-to-back defeats have shouldered them back down towards the foot once again.

Quality of performance takes precedence as far as the player-coach and his assistant Joe Brown are concerned – often at the expense of the result or number of goals scored – and the ex-Hibs and Scotland player is sure he knows where the difficulties lie.

“I think if you see our games, performance levels have been really high and we have been the better team in about the last eight games,” he said.

“It comes down to defending and giving goals away cheaply again.”

The team would have to take pride in keeping clean sheets if it wanted things to improve, added O’Connor.

“If we score a goal, we have to work for it, but we’ve been giving silly goals away.”

With a number of other Lowland League sides involved in the SFA South Region Challenge Cup action, Selkirk were hoping to organise a friendly game for tomorrow (Saturday), probably at Yarrow Park, and were making enquiries about opposition.

“It gives the boys a bit of a chance to get match fit and for us to try out a few different shapes,” said O’Connor.

Arrangements were still being finalised for a game on October 22, while Selkirk are next due in league action on October 29, at home to Edinburgh University.

O’Connor said Selkirk were the better side by far against Vale of Leithen, but it was the Victoria Park side who ended a run of three defeats and took full points.

Keith McLeod and Sean Stewart notched goals to secure victory over the Souters.

Selkirk started off on the front foot but the hosts claimed the opener when, against the run of play, McLeod took advantage of some weak defending to drive the ball home.

Ten minutes later, the Souters equalised, with Phil Addison picking out Mark Samson on the edge of the area for the latter to curl the ball past Vale keeper Andrew McQueen.

Just as it looked like the teams would go in level at the break, however, Vale struck again.

McLeod acted as provider this time by heading in a cross for Stewart to tap past Mark Wilson in the Selkirk goal.

Days earlier, the Souters had the frustration of going down 4-3 to Hawick Royal Albert, when a draw would have been a fairer result, said O’Connor.

The gaffer also indicated he’d been unhappy with refereeing displays in a number of Selkirk’s recent matches and had been in discussions with the SFA over his concerns, as well as attending numerous meetings.