Gala Fairydean Rovers 1
Edinburgh University 3
GUTTED Gala boss Steven Noble admits his team didn’t deserve to continue their unbeaten start to the Lowland League campaign after a washed-out afternoon at Netherdale. Torrential rain made life difficult for both teams throughout the 90 minutes. The Students from Edinburgh adapted best with a workmanlike performance to take the points.
Manager Noble said: “Edinburgh were well organised and worked extremely hard throughout the game.
“We had our chances at times but we were poor for much of the match and I have no complaints about the result.
“We are much better than what we showed today and I will expect a reaction from the players – that wasn’t good enough.”
Despite being without five players, including crocked captain Billy Miller and regular centre-half Ben Herdman, Noble was still able to name an 18-man squad for the match. The downpours prevented either team from enjoying any decent early possession. After intercepting a loose pass in the middle of the park, Uni managed to break the deadlock on 12 minutes. A long angled ball fell at the feet of Nathan Evans, who squeezed home a shot at the near post. The response was good from Gala with Stuart Noble running through just four minutes later to slide the ball beneath Mark Tait for an equaliser. Good work from Kyle Collins set up Jack Hay five minutes later but the talisman striker was denied by the feet of the visiting keeper.
Gala’s midfield were guilty of giving the ball away far too easily as the Students closed down quickly across the park and the pressure began to pay off for the visitors as they forced three or four corners around the half hour. The Students thought they retaken the lead on 36 minutes as Paul Sutherland’s in-swinging corner was bundled over the line, but following deliberations with his assistant, referee Simon MacLean chalked off the goal for hand ball. Jamie Newman made a terrific save on his goalline just a few minutes later.
On the stroke of half time, the keeper conceded a penalty as he brought down Jack Guthrie inside the area. Uni’s captain got up to convert the spot kick himself. The home team did improve after the interval with Darren Smith and Ross Aitchison finding their range with passes. A terrific ball from Smith allowed Noble to flick a pass into the path of Hay on 49 minutes but Tait produced a fine block.
And six minutes later Noble was also denied by the keeper after he connected well with an Adam Watson cross. The mistakes began to creep in again as Uni’s determined players chased down every ball, Newman showed strong hands to palm away a powerful Guthrie strike on 70 minutes.
But the home keeper was caught out with eight minutes to go as Finn Daniels-Yeomans nipped in front of him to head home an angled cross.
Gala Fairydean Rovers. J Newman, K Collins, A Watson, K Waugh, S Main, T Hope (R lamb 83), D Smith (L Stephen 72), D McColm, S Noble, J Hay (A Langford 72) & R Aitchison.