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  • Liam Marshall





Gala Fairydean Rovers picked up a potentially crucial win at home to already-relegated Hawick Royal Albert in a Borders derby which was won through a piece of absolute magic from young GFR striker Fraser Malcolm, who was playing in his final match for the club.

Hawick perhaps should have taken the lead just eleven minutes into the first half through player-manager Craig Tully. Unpha Koroma delivered the ball well from a wide free kick, and Tully was all alone in the centre of the box, but on-loan Hibernian goalkeeper Patrick Martin produced a stunning piece of goalkeeping to divert the ball around the post.

The home side created a half chance after nineteen minutes, but Liam Chambers couldn’t guide his drive from distance into Craig Saunders’ net.

Hawick made themselves a golden chance three minutes later, with good hold up play from Ludovic Erhard allowing midfielder Cormac O’Brian to send a stinging drive a few inches wide of Martin’s goal.

GFR had the final chance of the half right on forty-five minutes as Kieran Ainslie headed a good Darren Smith cross back across goal, but Liam Chambers was beaten to the ball by Saunders, who was alert to the danger and came off his line well. Fraser Malcolm was introduced with fifty-six minutes on the clock, and it only took him eight more to push his side into the lead, in spectacular fashion. He found himself in acres of space twenty-five yards from goal, and unleashed a rasping drive beyond a despairing Craig Saunders, who was left with no chance.Grant Rose had a similar chance of his own six minutes after the goal, but his effort curled wide of the goal, although Saunders probably had it covered anyway.

The game was well marshalled from this point by Gala Fairydean Rovers, with the only real chance after the goal coming in the eighty-eighth minute, with Darren Smith lashing the ball over from thirty yards in what would prove to be the final action of note from a crucial Borders derby.

GFR: Martin, Guiney, Aitchison ©, Ainslie, Miller, Chambers (Malcolm 56’), Smith, Heugh, Rose (Kelly 71’), Craigie, Paliczka.

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