Football: Gala Fairydean Rovers 3-1 Selkirk

Galafairydean Rovers vs Selkirk FC at Netherdale. Gala's Billy Miller on the ball.
Galafairydean Rovers vs Selkirk FC at Netherdale. Gala's Billy Miller on the ball.

Billy Miller walked off Yarrow Park three months ago with a defeat to rivals Selkirk and a pelvic injury which has seen him not play a game since.

So the wild celebration by the Gala Fairydean Rovers midfielder upon striking the third goal to seal victory over the Souters in his return game was entirely understandable.

Galafairydean Rovers vs Selkirk FC at Netherdale. Jamie Butler in blue for Selkirk.

Galafairydean Rovers vs Selkirk FC at Netherdale. Jamie Butler in blue for Selkirk.

Three points and a leap three places up the Lowland League table above Selkirk – the win could not have been much better for Miller and his team-mates.

Miller said: “To score a goal and win the game in my return to the side is a dream.

“I couldn’t sleep the night before the game, I was so nervous. I had played a friendly last week and was knackered after 25 minutes so didn’t expect to last so long.

“We panicked a bit in the second half when Selkirk pulled it back to 2-1 so my goal was important. It was a big win.”

While Gala deserved their first victory in two months, Selkirk were missing a host of influential players including David Robertson, Ross Gray and captain Conan McDiarmid.

Manager Garry O’Connor was also out injured, but his young side recovered from a horror first period to almost grab a draw in the second half.

Stuart Noble missed a hat-trick of chances before Jamie Gibson’s sweetly hit volley from Dean McColm’s free kick gave Gala a 19th minute lead.

Taylor Hope hit the crossbar for Gala before Jack Hay’s cross was cleared by Scott Main from inside his six yard box in a rare Selkirk attack.

Ten minutes before the break, shocking Selkirk defending allowed Noble all the time he wanted to get to the goalline and wrong-foot visiting goalkeeper Jamie Newman with a low finish at the near post.

Noble was centimetres away from making it three from Ross Lamb’s cross as rampant Gala looked to kill the game before half time.

They didn’t, and Selkirk struck back on 54 minutes when Hay was allowed to run from the halfway line and set up Phil Addison to squeeze a shot under Mark Wilson.

There was a lack of clear chances in a tense second period until Hay, seemingly inspired against his former club, went on another mazy run only to fire just wide of the goal from 12 yards out.

Gala needed a third and finally got it when great work by Noble saw the striker work his way past a number of defenders and set up Miller to smash the ball past Newman.

Gala Fairydean Rovers: M. Wilson, L. Stephen, T. Hope, S. Main, C. Galbraith, B. Miller (T. Aitchison 85), D. McColm, D. Bonnar, S. Noble, J. Gibson, R. Lamb.

Selkirk: J. Newman, J. Pyper, M. Christie, M. Collin, J. Easton, J. Butler, J. Hay, L. McKenzie, P. Addison, C. Handren, J. Harley.