Banjo calls the tune as Civil Service Strollers are mugged

David Banjo scored a late winner for Selkirk
David Banjo scored a late winner for Selkirk
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Civil Service Strollers boss Alex Cunningham lamented his side’s profligacy in front of goal as Selkirk inflicted the Capital outfit’s third home defeat of the season.

A last-gasp David Banjo strike sealed a 3-2 victory for the big-spending Borders club as the hosts failed to make the most of their dominant start, striking the crossbar twice inside the opening 13 minutes.

Cunningham had spoken of his frustration prior to Saturday’s encounter at his players’ wastefulness in the final third which, he believes, has cost them some precious league points already this term.

Civil had to come from behind twice against Ian Fergus’ men, a calamitous own goal from Kyle Fee gifting the visitors the lead in the tenth minute.

The home side eventually found themselves level six minutes into the second half through trialist Kris Mitchell’s close-range finish.

But substitute Dale Baxter made quite the entrance as his 25-yard strike six minutes after coming on restored Selkirk’s lead.

The hosts again dug their heels in as Mitchell’s glancing header levelled things up again before Banjo’s wonderful solo effort snatched all three points right at the death.

“It’s a totally different game if we put those chances away in the first few minutes of the match,” Cummingham said afterwards. “So you put yourself under pressure because they’re going to get a chance to come into the game at some point.

“We gave away a really stupid goal through a bad defensive error, it’s just criminal. We’re not making teams work hard for their goals and are giving them far too easily for my liking. In fact both their first two goals were just diabolical from out point of view.

“But we’ve just got to regroup, get players back fit and go again and keep going because I think we’re not that far away. The mentality of the boys is to go and win the game so I don’t think you can fault them for going for the winner towards the end, but it just makes it so much harder to take.”

Andy Mair’s beautifully weighted pass put Stephen Froude in the clear as early as the fourth minute but the normally reliable striker, who Cunningham revealed is still not 100 per cent match fit, struck the crossbar when it seemed easier to score.

And Selkirk took advantage just six minutes later when a long clearance out of defence resulted in a terrible break down in communication between captain and goalkeeper Stuart Burnside and full-back Fee, the latter heading into net his own net with the Civil No.1 in no man’s land.

Mair was again the creator just a couple minutes later as Civil went in search of an equaliser, the former Spartans player’s cross to the back post finding an unmarked David Churchill whose first-time volley again came back off the woodwork.

Froude made amends for spurning his first-half gilt-edged chance though, the youngster showing great acceleration to break free from his opponent before providing the ball on a plate for trialist Mitchell to knock home from just a couple of yards.

Former Hearts midfielder Sean McKirdy’s perfect delivery from a corner really should have seen Selkirk restore their lead but Dan Greig headed wide unmarked.

A fantastic reflex save from Burnside denied Ciaren Chalmers but the Civil No.1 could do nothing about Baxter’s swerving strike moments later as his effort from distance flew into the net.

Mitchell thought his header and second of the afternoon had earned Civil a point but Banjo had other ideas with a blistering run and finish.

Civil Service Strollers: Burnside, Churchill, Fee, Nisbet (Mitchell 46), Watson, Cunningham, Stewart, Ballantyne, Froude (Carse 85), Downie, Mair. Subs: Greenhill, Dillon.

Selkirk: Amos, Donaldson (Sclater 46), Fleming, Miller, Greig, Muhsin, Healy, Chalmers, Hopkinson, Banjo, McKirdy (Baxter 64). Subs: Goodfellow, 
Koroma, Addison, Turkington, Christie.