WILLIAM HILL SCOTTISH CUP | ROUND 1
Gala Fairydean Rovers stormed into the second round of the William Hill Scottish Cup with a well deserved win over a bitterly disappointed Lossiemouth Atheltic at Netherdale on Saturday. The highlight of the game was undoubtedly a stunning debut hat trick from on-loan Hibernian striker Ruari Paton, with the Irishman earning a standing ovation from the crowd in appreciation of his scintillating performance.
Paton could have opened his account after just two minutes following a great long pass from veteran defender Ricky Miller, but his first time strike from twenty-five yards flew just wide of the left hand post. However he wouldn’t have to wait long to celebrate his first goal in the red and black. Good work from Tommy Patterson in the left channel just four minutes later made space for a wonderful cross, and the finish was duly applied from close range.
The barrage continued, and Miller and Paton once again linked up well with Miller’s long free kick releasing the Irishman who rounded visiting keeper Stewart Black and calmly slotted the ball into the net with ten minutes on the clock. Miller could have got in on the action himself with twenty five minutes gone, but his header from Tommy Patterson’s corner flew over from close range.
Patterson himself got on the scoresheet nine minutes later with his strike beyond Stewart finishing off a slick counter-attack from Dean Shanks’ men. They could’ve went in at half-time four goals up, but Sean McKirdy’s angled drive from the edge of the box flew just over the bar one minute before the break.
Paton sealed his hat trick on seventy four minutes, playing a good one-two with strike partner Craig O’Reilly before rounding Trevor Dear, who had replaced Stewart at half-time, and rifling the ball low beyond the covering defender who was left with no chance.
The home side didn’t stop there and in fact added another goal just a minute later through stand-in captain Sean McKirdy, who grabbed his first goal for the club following his summer transfer from Selkirk. Paton and O’Reilly once again combined well, with the former laying the ball into the path of the onrushing McKirdy, who placed the Ball emphatically beyond the keeper.
Gala completed the scoring deep into stoppage time through Dale Baxter, who was due a goal for his rampaging up and down the right flank. A defensive mix-up ended up in what the referee ruled as a pass-back, and an indirect free kick was awarded to the hosts. Tommy Patterson rolled the ball into the path of Baxter, and he blasted the ball high into the net to place the cherry on top of what was a fantastic day for Gala Fairydean Rovers, who will now face fellow Lowland League side East Stirlingshire at Netherdale in the second round.
GFR: Martin, Ainslie (C. Watson 81’), Main, Miller, K. Watson, Cunningham (Conaghan 61’), Baxter, McKirdy (c), O’Reilly, Paton (Mitchell 77’), Patterson.