GALA FAIRYDEAN break away from the promotion race this Saturday, writes John Slorance.
But they are still in the fast lane as they meet Spartans in the quarter-final of the King Cup at Netherdale. In-form Gala will be going all-out to make it a royal occasion for themselves, but they have a big task on their hands if they are going to conquer the mighty Premier Division leaders.
The Netherdale men’s manager Fraser Lothian told TheSouthern: “They are a very good side. Everybody expects them to beat us, so we have nothing to lose.
“We are playing well ourselves, though, we are at home, and it’s a cup tie, so anything could happen. We won’t be sitting back and will be giving our best to cause an upset.”
Fairydean have Gary Lothian suspended while Jay Wilson returns from a ban. Paul Young is also back in the squad following an injury, but Colin Jeffrey is ruled out due to a knock.
Vale of Leithen, who could well have done without last Saturday’s game against Selkirk being postponed as they are so far behind in fixtures, also bid for a King Cup semi-final place when taking on Whitehill Welfare at Victoria Park. Vale have Chris Beaton suspended.
In the Premier Division, Selkirk tackle Gretna 2008 at Raydale Park. The game was switched to the Dumfriesshire venue earlier this week after the replacement goalposts ordered for Yarrow Park – the former ones having been broken by a council tractor sent to roll the pitch – were found to be the wrong size. They have been re-ordered, but worries that they wouldn’t arrive on time prompted the switch.
Gretna sit in second place on the table while Selkirk hold up the league. Mike McKinnon’s men are fighting for their lives, however, and will be trying to throw a spanner in the works.
Looking ahead to his side’s home clash with Duns in the First Division, Peebles Rovers boss Stuart Robertson said: “Duns have had an excellent season. They have reached a cup final and are midtable, which is tremendous for a side that has just came into the league this season. However, I think we have a chance of getting a win if our luck changes, as we have been losing out in getting results in being hit by last minute injury time goals. This has happened five or six times and it has been unreal.”
Rovers are without the injured Jimmy Telfer. Jason Girdwood is back in the squad.
Kelso United host Easthouses Lily at Woodside Park while Hawick Royal Albert are without a game.
Elsewhere, Gala Rovers have revealed this week that they will play a John Collins All Star Select team on the Netherdale 3G pitch on Friday, April 27.