Fairies find themselves thin up front

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Craigroyston 1

Gala Fairydean 0

EoS FIRST DIVISION

JOHN CLAYTON reports from St Mark’s Park

GALA went into this match minus three strikers – with Craig Livingstone, Aaron Brunton and Alan Jackson all injured – leaving Jack Hay to plough a lone furrow against Craigroyston’s gargantuan back four, albeit assisted at times by Paul Young.

Stephen Mullan flashed a shot across the Fairydean goal in the first minute, but thereafter the hosts failed to create any clear chances while Gala were tentative in their attacking approach.

Just after the half-hour mark Craigroyston were awarded a free kick for a handball just outside the Fairydean box, which was taken by Keiran Dodd. Elliot Turnbull could only parry the ball at full stretch and Mullan netted the rebound, only to have this chalked off for offside.

Jay Wilson then collected a crossfield ball and rounded the keeper before sending the ball goalwards, but Dodd got back to clear his lines.

In the second half Dodd attempted to score again with a long-range header that was easily fielded by Turnbull before Greg Irvine chipped the ball over the crossbar when put under pressure by the Gala keeper.

At the opposite end, Young’s shot across the face of goal flashed wide of the far post before Rob Hewitson was brought on to replace the tiring Jack Hay.

Jay Wilson then ran more than half of the length of the pitch and squeezed into the Craigroyston area between two defenders, but his dragged back-pass eluded any Fairydean players and was cleared upfield.

Ten minutes from time the decisive move of the match saw Martin Laidlaw bear down on the Fairydean goal and his well-struck shot flew past the diving Turnbull and nestled in the corner of the net.

With all due respect this was a team that Gala should have been looking to take all three points from and due to a combination of circumstances they ended up empty-handed.

Gala Fairydean: E. Turnbull, R. Sclater, A. Brown, G. Lothain, C. McBride, P. Young, R. Glass, B. Hunter (G. Hay), G. Rossi, J. Wilson, J. Hay (R. Hewitson).