Football: Spartans 3-1 Gala Fairydean Rovers

The visitors had taken the lead at Ainslie Park through Dean McColms ugly goal, only for Spartans to fight back with three goals to ensure Gala remain pointless against Dougie Samuels side since the formation of the Lowland League. Carson Ralton
The visitors had taken the lead at Ainslie Park through Dean McColms ugly goal, only for Spartans to fight back with three goals to ensure Gala remain pointless against Dougie Samuels side since the formation of the Lowland League. Carson Ralton

It appeared Gala Fairydean Rovers were going to give manager Stevie Noble a perfect wedding gift at Spartans.

The visitors had taken the lead at Ainslie Park through Dean McColm’s ugly goal, only for Spartans to fight back with three goals to ensure Gala remain pointless against Dougie Samuel’s side since the formation of the Lowland League.

Noble, who misses this Saturday’s final league game this Saturday against Threave Rovers due to his wedding commitments, was furious that his side had failed to take a golden opportunity to end the hoodoo.

He said: “I didn’t think Spartans played well and all three goals were preventable.

“We are yet to beat Spartans, but I am convinced we will be coming here and winning in the seasons to come.

“We want to end the season on a high and that is why the Threave game is really important.”

Missing key pair Jack Hay – who had scored four goals in two wins over Vale of Leithen and Preston Athletic – and ex-Raith Rovers defender Scott Main, it looked like it could be a long afternoon for Gala. But playing with Lee Stephen and Billy Miller as wing backs, Gala troubled Spartans with their width in a first half of few chances.

McColm had Gala’s best opening, but fired his volley into the side netting while Keith Murray was denied twice by a fine Taylor Hope block and Mark Wilson’s fingertip save. Murray smashed over a superb chance after half time as Spartans searched for an opener.

But instead it was Gala who hit their hosts on the break as a misplaced pass allowed McColm to race through on goal. He appeared to overrun the ball but just managed to poke the ball through the legs of Spartans’ Blair Carswell, and the goalkeeper was unable to stop the ball squirming over the line for a 54th minute lead.

Gala needed to play with composure to ensure they held onto their lead. But instead they conceded within two minutes as Spartans winger Jack Beesley – who hails from Kelso – put in a perfect cross for Murray to head in.

Spartans were now controlling possession and went ahead with 15 minutes left thanks to substitute Ewan Saunderson, who hit a sweet 25 yard shot with the outside of his right foot.

And when Greenhill headed in Murray’s cross with eight minutes left, Gala were left ruing another Spartans defeat.

Gala Fairydean Rovers: M. Wilson, L. Stephen (R. Clapperton 83), B. Miller (R. Lamb 83), T. Hope, M. Allan, B. Herdman, A. Scott, D. Bonnar, S. Noble, D. McColm (H. Steele 76), R. Aitchison.