STALEMATE AT BROADWOOD
CUMBERNAULD COLTS 1
FERRARI PACKAGING LOWLAND LEAGUE
Gala Fairydean Rovers Lowland League season drew to a close with a hard earned point against Cumbernauld Colts in the Broadwood Stadium sunshine. The Netherdale side had taken a late first half lead through top scorer Stuart Noble but were only able to hold onto the advantage for three minutes before Jonathan Black fired the home side level just before half-time.
Gala finished the season as top placed Borders side on 40 points, their highest every total in the Lowland League, but boss Steven Noble admitted that he was disappointed that the number and the league position was not higher. “I think we are an even better side than our final position suggests. Looking back at the season I can pin-point a few games where we could have secured all 3 points but we drew or were beaten. After a good pre-season we did not enjoy the best of months in August or October due to a variety of reasons not least injuries and suspensions. However, we have also played really well at times this season, our only loss during the last two months has been to the Champions East Kilbride and there is plenty to be optimistic about in the future. Today both our young trialists Gavin and David Brown from Melrose came on and did not look out of place against a good standard of opponent. We have maintained our policy of having a majority of our players coming from the Borders augmented by added quality from Edinburgh and the Lothians. Our starting XI today contained five Gala boys, three from Berwickshire, one from Selkirk, our on loan Rangers keeper Kieran Wright and Darren Smith from Edinburgh. Five of the six on our bench were local boys as well.”
The game was not your typical end of season affair as both teams played out an entertaining and open match. Cumbernauld Colts recently made the final of The South Cup after defeating East Stirlingshire and were unbeaten in their previous five outings. The home side looked particularly dangerous down the right-hand side and created a number of early chances. It was the visitors who came closest to scoring however just after the half hour mark when the impressive Kieran Ainslie send a header crashing off the bar following a corner from the right hand side. Gala did find the net 10 minutes later when Stuart Noble held off his marker before turning and smashing an unstoppable 18 yard shot past Chris Fahey in the home goal. The Colts were determined to draw level and did so three minutes later when a good over lapping run by Andy Hunter on the right meant he was able to pick out Jonathan Black who fired past Kieran Wright from just inside the area.
Both teams had chances to win the game in the second half. Cumbernauld came closest through scorer Black and Gala were unluckily when Lewis Swaney’s snap shot hit off the underside of the bar with just minutes remaining.
With the league programme now completed the Braw Lads now face Edinburgh University in the first round of the Lowland League Cup at Netherdale next Saturday.