HAWICK ROYAL ALBERT 0
FERRARI PACKAGING LOWLAND LEAGUE
Gala Fairydean Rovers emphatically ended their five match winless run in an exciting game at Albert Park, sweeping aside Hawick Royal Albert. Although Gala were the away team, they played as if they were at home with much of the play coming in Hawick's half and keeper Lewis Muir having minimal work to do.
There were strong claims for a penalty in the opening seconds of the match, Stuart Noble going down under intense pressure from Hawick defender Johnson, but the referee saw nothing wrong with the challenge and waved play on to howls of derision from those of a Gala persuasion in the stand. Gala had the majority of the ball in the first half. The first came after twenty-seven minutes, Jamie Gullan ghosting past two challenges before firing a shot from the edge of the area right down the throat of vocal keeper Saunders. Rhys Craigie got his chance on thirty-five minutes, also shooting from the edge of the area following some quick feet, but his shot flew over the bar.
The visitors would have no doubt been eager to turn their dominance into clear cut chances and this showed when a corner was forced just a minute into the second period. Darren Smith's cross was straight to the onrushing unmarked Scott Main but his header sailed over from ten yards.
GFR were really going for the jugular now, perhaps aware that Hawick would gain more confidence from the score remaining 0-0. Ross Aitchison was next to try his luck, beating his man in the fifty-first minute before the shot was once again easily held by Saunders.
The onslaught continued in the fifty-fourth minute, Lee Stephen's wonderful cross into Jamie Gullan looped over by the youngster eight yards out. Ten minutes later, Rhys Craigie again tried his luck from the edge of the box and while this one was closer, it still rolled a foot wide.
Just when it began to seem like the breakthrough would never come, Jamie Gullan smashed the ball across Saunders into the bottom corner, to spark wild scenes of jubilation both on the pitch and in the stand after seventy-seven minutes.
Captain Billy Miller struck in a beautiful free kick from twenty-five yards out after eighty-eight minutes to ensure all three points went back up the A7 and left Hawick bottom of the table with no points from ten games.
GFR: Muir, Stephen (Watson 70'), Main, Guiney, Miller (c), Heugh, Smith, Gullan, Noble, Craigie, Aitchison.