02 reg Sirion SE 1.3 16v - hard to select first gear


hello guys, new to this forum. used to own a charade gtti about ten years ago, recently bought a sirion for my girlfriend.

the car has done 88k, engine feels very strong. however, its hard to select first gear sometimes - we have to drop it into another gear first and then try to select first again, or even switch the engine off, put it into gear, and switch on again.

took it to a local garage, the guy admitted he wasnt familiar with the car, but he thought it might be due to a worn pin on one of the gear linkages. he didnt know if it would be a 5 minute job, or require taking the gearbox out.

anyone else had similar problems? any suugestions?