Gala Fairydean Rovers battled to a surprise victory over Stirling University, which was mostly due to the tenacious attitude of the inexperienced side.
He said: “You can see we have a great team spirit against a Stirling side which defeated reigning Lowland League champions Edinburgh City the previous week.
Missing a complete backline, with Colin Galbraith, Lee Stephen, Sean Guiney and Darran Thomson all out, the hosts were huge outsiders to make it to the quarter finals of the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup.
But Gala’s makeshift defence, including an excellent showing from goalkeeper Mark Wilson, ensured sluggish Stirling never got going.
Gala had the best chances of the first half, with Stuart Noble back in form and proving a constant threat to the Students.
Noble had a goal ruled out for offside and set up two great chances as Gala looked the better side.
Wilson made a great save from Stirling’s Daniel Ashe but a superb strike by Taylor Hope in the 61st minute gave Fairydean Rovers a deserved lead.
Hope was then the hero at the other end as he cleared a Chris Geddes shot off the line but Stirling rarely threatened afterwards, with Wilson making a number of impressive high ball catches.
Noble added that he has signed three young Borders players, including ex-Coldstream player Jake Rutherford.
Gala Fairydean Rovers: M. Wilson, R. Aitchison, D. Burdett, R. Clapperton (R. Grant 86), I. Chalmers, T. Hope, D. McColm, D. Bonnar, S. Noble, J. Gibson, C. Jardine (R. Lamb 80).