Gala Fairydean 3
EoS FIRST DIVISION
KEVIN JANIAK reports from Netherdale
SELKIRK boss Mike McKinnon looked distraught after the final whistle on Saturday, lambasting his players for not showing any desire to win, or commitment to the cause.
This was not a fire-and-brimstone blast that could have been aimed his men’s way for a poor showing in what has historically been a well-fought, competitive derby between the auld enemies who live six miles apart. McKinnon was at a loss as to why his charges failed to get themselves fired up for not only the first match against their nearest rivals for five years, but also for their Scottish Cup round two replay against Vale of Leithen the Saturday before.
The Souters were missing six key players through injury, unavailability and suspension, but so were the Fairies, who showed their strength in depth by commanding the match throughout and taking all three points. Selkirk, although they had a couple of efforts on target, never really looked like scoring.
McKinnon told TheSouthern: “You are going to miss six boys, any team would, but we have a squad there for a reason. But the guys who have come in today and last week have done themselves and their club no favours. This is the biggest derby game they will play all season and they have let themselves down badly.
“Gala are nae great shakes, but they played better than us today.
“If that is what our players are going to produce every week then that is not good enough for me – and they won’t be at the club long. There are no exceptions. I have not got a problem with that.”
On the flip side, Gala coach Garry Fraser said: “We were limited to two on the bench today, but the players on the park showed they were more than capable and are good enough to be playing in the team.
“In recent years there has been a lot of player movement between the clubs. We have Grant Gass and Jay Wilson who both played there, and they have Jamie Gibson who was with us before – but it’s always good to win a derby.”
Gibson, as ever, ran about 30 miles for the Souters up front against his former club, but his teammates couldn’t get the ball to him enough. He had the first couple of chances in the game before Scott Nightingale and Jack Hay had a go for the home side, the latter ballooning a great chance from close range.
Then, after a nice build-up and superb pass from Paul Young to Nightingale, the former Gala Hotspur striker opened the hosts’ account with a calm, assured finish beyond John Dodds in the 17th minute.
Hay had another go, brilliantly saved by Dodds, before the Fairies made it two on the stroke of half-time. Wilson worked his way into the box from the right, and his attempted square pass was deflected into the net by the luckless Lee Pyrkosz and Dodds.
Selkirk had no way back at the start of the second period when midfielder Brian Tait picked up his second yellow card for a late tackle on Craig Tyson, and left his already-depleted side with a mountain to climb.
And the Souters’ luck was just not in when the third goal arrived. Hay looked at least a couple of yards offside as he raced onto Gass’ pass, but with no whistle forthcoming from the referee, he loped in and stroked the ball past a forlorn-looking Dodds.
The visitors made a raft of substutions and although the newcomers did inject a bit of battle into the side and Gala were unable to add to their tally, it was not enough.
The result rocketed Fairydean to second place in the table, while Selkirk languish at the bottom with not one point from their four matches.
Gala Fairydean: E. Turnbull, C. Jeffrey (D. Boyne 71 mins), C. Tyson, D. Bowie, G. Lothian, P. Young, J. Wilson, G. Gass, M. Berry, S. Nightingale, J. Hay (R. Hewitson 67 mins).
Selkirk: J. Dodds, L. Stephen, D. Johnson (G. Gavin 77 mins), J. Higginbottom, L. Pyrkosz, B. Tait, M. Holness, R. McManus (R. Pepper 70 mins), J. Gibson, A. Butters (J. Adamson 70 mins), D. Battle.