GFR SPARKLE AGAINST THE SCOTTISH CUP WINNERS AT NETHERDALE
Gala Fairydean Rovers 2
Hibernian XI 0
GALA Fairydean Rovers boss Steven Noble insists he is not getting carried away despite a hard fought win against the young guns of Hibernian on Friday night.
A mixture of Jamie Newman’s goalkeeping and a tactical masterclass to bring on two goal scorers early in the second half, saw Gala snatch the points from a talented Hibs team who had brought the Scottish Cup down from the capital but after Ross Lamb connected with a corner on 70 minutes and Danny Simpson lobbed the keeper in stoppage time, it was Rovers who were feeling like champions.
Noble told the Border Telegraph: “It was a very tough game against a very good side. Hibs have been beating a lot of very good teams in recent weeks.
“We told the boys they’ve worked so hard in pre-season and that we were looking for a good performance and I think we got that from every player and we’ve come away with a deserved win.
“We’re not getting carried away. it’s pre-season after all. You don’t win anything in pre-season.
“Jamie Newman was brilliant tonight and Danny come on and was a real handful. He looks as if he will be a real quality composed finisher.
“Now the hard work starts. We’re looking forward to the season and going to BSC Glasgow on Saturday,” he added.
Rovers thought they had taken the lead within two minutes when Stuart Noble smashed the ball home after the keeper parried Ross Aitchison’s shot, but he was adjudged to have been in an offside position.
And that seemed to act as a wakeup call for the young opposition who started to look like the descendants of the Scottish Cup Champions. Jamie Insall was put through from a long ball which alluded Gala’s defence, but he saw his efforts saved by former Selkirk stopper Newman.
Lewis Allan and Aaron Dunsmore both saw relatively weak shots gathered by Newman just minutes later as the Edinburgh side continued to show their superiority.
It took about half an hour for the Braw Lads to find their rhythm. Ryan Clapperton played a good looking ball to Ben Herdman who picked out the lively Jack Hay, but to no avail.
The home side struggled to muster anything else of significance in the final third during the first 45, as the Hibees continued to ping the ball around the park. Sean Mackie played Oliver Shaw in, but Newman, who was in inspired form, tipped his low shot around the post.
Darren Smith’s corners always looked dangerous and Rovers almost took the lead when Hay connected with one, just three minutes after the interval and Gala ramped up the pressure on 68 minutes when Hay played a nice one-two with new boy and substitute Simpson, but couldn’t break the deadlock.
Gala Fairydean Rovers: J Newman, L Stephen (S Bonnington), R Clapperton (K Murray), S Main, M Allan, B Herdman, D Smith, K Collins, S Noble (D Simpson), J Hay (T Patterson), R Aitchison (R Lamb)
Hibernian XI: Trialist, B Stirling, S Mackie, R Porteous, K Waugh, A Smith (Trailist), A Dunsmore, A Watson (F Murray), L Allan (J Gullan), J Insall, O Shaw