Gala Fairydean Rovers’ head scratching season continued with a defeat to a Gretna side they had thumped just two weeks earlier.
Gala have now won three and lost four of their last seven games, with manager Steven Noble wondering how to get some consistency form from his squad.
It didn’t help that two of his mainstays in defence were missing – Colin Galbraith and Lee Stephen – as Gala conceded two sloppy goals.
Noble said: “You need consistency in defence but we didn’t have that today. I am not blaming the guys that came into the team but they had not played for a few weeks and that makes a difference.
“I have been hoping we could win four or five games in a row to get us up the league but it just has not happened.
“We need to put it right against Vale of Leithen this weekend.”
Gala won 5-2 at Gretna to make the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup semi-finals last month, but Stuart Rome’s men have never lost at Netherdale against a Gala side and went ahead after seven minutes as Daniel Wadge finished well past Mark Wilson.
And it was 2-0 just before the break thanks to a bizarre goal. Iain Anderson rounded Wilson but appeared to blow his chance by overrunning the ball. Yet, from the byline, his shot somehow squeezed past two Gala players into the net.
Gala introduced Hibs loanee Aaron Scott and new signing Jack Hay at half time, but struggled to make many clear chances against a resolute Gretna team.
Billy Miller’s free kick went just wide and Stuart Noble forced a save from Gretna stopper Vincent Parker.
In a frantic closing spell, Dean McColm, Jamie Gibson and the impressive Scott all made Parker make vital saves to ensure Gretna’s fine Netherdale record continues.
Gala Fairydean Rovers: M. Wilson, B. Miller, T. Hope, I. Chalmers (H. Steele 73), S. Main, D. Bonnar, R. Lamb (A. Scott 45), D. McColm, S. Noble, J. Gibson, R. Clapperton (J. Hay 45).