Gala Fairydean 3
EoS FIRST DIVISION
THE curse of the managerless club struck Duns on Saturday, as Gala Fairydean notched an impressive away win in Berwickshire.
It is now two wins out of two for the Dean, whose boss Fraser Lothian and assistant Ally McCulloch stood down last week, and any prospective successor to Lothian will surely be tempted to take over if they watched this match – purely for entertainment purposes. Four goals, four red cards and two penalties meant it was a match to remember.
The omens did not look good for Gala.
Travelling to Duns without a coaching team, midfielder Paul Young dropped himself to take charge on the sidelines.
And the Fairies had also lost last month’s League Cup encounter with Duns 3-0.
But the game was only nine minutes in when Ben McGregor set up Scott Nightingale, who returned to the Gala side after missing the previous week’s Scottish Cup defeat, and the striker powered a shot beyond former Fairies stopper Scott Lumsden.
Gala were in control, but Duns almost grabbed an equaliser when Michael Stewart hit the post.
And 60 seconds later, Neil Oliver’s men were on level terms as Connor Devaney volleyed past Elliot Turnbull from 12 yards.
However, Gala showed some courage to come back and retake the lead on 22 minutes as Paul Sutherland’s long ball found Jack Hay, who controlled the ball perfectly to fire home a fierce shot off the post.
After the break, goalmouth action was replaced by the sight of players being sent for an early bath.
Devaney was red-carded for a push card after a retaliatory lunge at McGregor, but two minutes later Jay Wilson picked up a second booking, before receiving another red for dissent towards referee Paul Hanlon.
And after 60 minutes, defender Gary Renton was ordered off after tangling with Hay.
Lumsden kept his nine-man team in the match with a great save from Nightingale from the resultant penalty, but Nightingale almost struck from much further out – 25 yards – with a shot which came back off Lumsden’s crossbar.
Duns picked up their own penalty with 13 minutes remaining as Gary Lothian handled in the area, but Turnbull made a great stop to deny James Robertson.
Sutherland was then lucky to not see the fifth red card of the game with a deliberate hand ball. From the resultant free kick, Robertson’s effort whistled past the post.
But with seconds remaining, full back Michael Fairburn secured the three points after substitute Rob Hewitson set him up.
Gala Fairydean: E. Turnbull, G. Hay, M. Fairburn, P. Sutherland, G. Lothian, B. McGregor, G. Rossi, J. Wilson, J. Hay (R. Hewitson 66), S. Nightingale (G. Gass 74), A. Brown (D. Bonnar 81).