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  • Liam Marshall





Gala Fairydean Rovers picked up their first win under Dean Shanks with a strong performance against Bonnyrigg Rose at the 3G Arena, with goals coming from captain Billy Miller, Tommy Patterson and Rhys Craigie to see off the East of Scotland outfit, who are much fancied to win their division.

The home side had the first real chance of the match with Dale Baxter winning a free kick twenty-five yards from goal after ten minutes, but his effort flew a couple of feet over the bar.

Baxter was also heavily involved in the next big chance on sixteen minutes, with him and Rhys Craigie combining well and working some space for the latter to shoot, but the midfielder’s drive was straight at Michael Andrews in the Rose goal.

Gala took the lead on forty minutes, thanks to a well-worked set piece. A corner was played short to Daryl Johnson, who found Billy Miller in the box, and the GFR captain reacted quickly to steer the ball beyond Andrews into the net.

The visitors were stunned by the goal, and they hit back just two minutes later. The ball was lofted over the heads of the GFR backline, and striker Keiran McGachie ran in behind to collect it. Goalkeeper Gregor Amos came out to try and intercept the pass, but McGachie got to the ball first and placed it into the net.

Rose could have taken the lead ten minutes into the second half through Dean Brett, but his free kick arrowed comfortably over the goal.

Tommy Patterson edged his side ahead after seventy minutes. Dale Baxter chipped the ball over the Bonnyrigg defence, and Patterson finished for a carbon copy of the visitor’s goal earlier in the game.

The game finished on a high note for Dean Shanks’ men, with dynamic midfielder Rhys Craigie picking up the ball on the edge of his own box before driving seventy yards up the park into the Rose area and being bundled over by a defender, and referee Jonathon Gall awarded a spot-kick. Craigie dusted himself off and took the penalty himself, sending Andrews the wrong way and extending GFR’s lead.

GFR: Amos, Johnson (Stephen 67’), Main, McDairmid (Watson 48’), Donaldson, Conaghan (Neave 80’), Patterson (Crawford 84’), Miller ©, McKirdy (Mitchell 35’), Baxter, Craigie.

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