Vale of Leithen 0 Gala Fairydean Rovers 4
LOWLAND LEAGUE CUP GROUP A
WHILE the three points in Group A of the Lowland League Cup meant nothing in terms of qualification, with Preston Athletic advancing the semi-finals, it did plenty to boost Gala’s fragile confidence.
It also means Vale of Leithen have now lost four games on the trot, with their early season form having well and truly deserted them.
A Vale win, coupled with a Preston loss against Selkirk, would have taken the Victoria Park side through, but in the end they were well short.
A minute’s silence was held before kick off for Vale’s popular Vice-Chairman Andy Scott, who passed away on Wednesday.
But on the pitch, Gala were ahead after just seven minutes. Dean McColm’s inswinging corner was headed in by Craig McBride, who was somehow left unmarked from six yards out by Vale’s defence.
The visitors looked sharp and their movement had Vale’s defence in trouble early on.
It was not a great surprise to see the visitors go two up on 15 minutes when Stuart Noble’s low cross saw keeper Bruce Callan – deputising for the suspended Graham O’Brien - palm the ball into the path of Callum Jardine who made no mistake.
And Fairydean Rovers made it 3-0 with a bizarre goal on the half hour.
Stuart Noble went down in the Vale penalty box under a challenge from James Young, but referee Alan Hogg waved play on, only for Callan to inexplicably pass the ball straight to Sean Paliczka, who fire home.
The former Peebles Rovers Number One at least denied Gala a fourth before half time with a decent stop from Paliczka.
A half-time rollicking by manager Chic McAleavy saw the home side fired up for the second period.
But John Dodds put a stop to any chance of a comeback when he saved well from Keith Lough’s shot four minutes after the break.
Vale rarely threatened in the rest of a drab second half, with The Dean adding a fourth a minute from full time substitute Des Sutherland found the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Vale of Leithen: B. Callan, T. Aitchison, D. McAleavy, R. Aitchison, J. Young, K. Lough, E. Mearns, J. Ross-Kerr, D. Rennie, J. Ferguson, C. McAleavy (F. Oglivie 58).
Gala Fairydean Rovers: J. Dodds, K. Hogg, S. Greene, J. Inglis (L. Stephen 76), C. McBride, D. Bonnar, A. Nicol, D. McColm, S. Noble, S. Paliczka (D. Sutherland 80), C. Jardine (R. Noble 74).