Football: Gala Fairydean Rovers 7-0 Vale of Leithen

Former Selkirk star Jack Hay scored a hat-trick for Gala Fairydean Rovers

Former Selkirk star Jack Hay scored a hat-trick for Gala Fairydean Rovers

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Gala manager Stevie Noble believes his side do not get the credit they deserve for playing Borders-based players.

Noble watched his side romp their biggest competitive win under his reign over ten-man Vale of Leithen, with nine of his starting XI coming from the region, including Jack Hay who grabbed a hat-trick.

Noble said: “We don’t seem to get much recognition for playing so many local players.

“We play the most out of any Borders Lowland League side, and probably more than any Borders side in the East of Scotland League as well.

“I thought we were completely dominant and I was delighted to see the players being so desperate not to concede a goal.

“Jack has really matured and his attitude has been excellent since he came back to Gala. He is still lacking some sharpness but that will come.”

With 36 minutes gone and the score 0-0, there was no indication of the drama to come.

But then Ross Brady fouled Gala man of the match Aaron Scott for a penalty, and inexplicably chose to push referee Simon McLean, changing the game completely.

Brady was shown a second red for swearing at McLean but Billy Miller stayed calm to score from the spot.

Adam Robertson missed a great chance for Vale just before the break by firing over from close range and his team were punished when Scott’s cross was headed in by Taylor Hope right on half time.

The goal of the game, and perhaps Gala’s season, arrived just before the hour mark when a slick passing move ended with Hibs loanee Scott unselfishly squaring the ball to Hay to score.

Scott’s pass allowed Miller to set up Jack Hay for his second and Hay completed a 16-minute treble when he capitalised on Ben Herdman’s cross with a well-taken header on 74 minutes.

Substitute Hagen Steele then came off the bench to make it 7-0 with a penalty and a fine curling finish in the final ten minutes.

Noble added: “Aaron has a superb attitude and is meant to only train once a week with us, but has decided to train twice a week. He is a great example to our players.”

Shell-shocked Vale manage Mickey Lawson said: “I think that’s the largest loss I’ve had.

“We changed our tactics in the second half to 3-4-2 to try to retain an attacking threat and did ok for a while, but then it was just too easy for Gala.

“I remember when Whitehill manager we beat Preston 9-0 on a Wednesday night and then lost 5-0 to Edinburgh City on the Saturday. Football can be a weird game.”

Gala Fairydean Rovers: M. Wilson, L. Stephen (H. Steele 60), B. Miller, T. Hope, S. Main, B. Herdman (M. Allan 75), A. Scott, D. Bonnar, J. Hay, R. Aitchison, R. Lamb.

Vale of Leithen: A. McQueen, J. Gill, R. Brady, D. McLeod, J. Elliot, S. Lynch, L. McIntosh, J. Stevens (A. Flanagan 43), A. Robertson, K. McLeod (S. Elliot 70), C. Jackson.