Gala Fairydean Rovers........1
The fact Gala FR’s goalkeeper Kieran Wright could not be faulted for any of the 10 goals he conceded was an indication how of ruthless rivals East Stirlingshire were in this record defeat for the Braw Lads, writes Kenny Paterson.
It also highlighted how little resistance the team-mates in front of Wright offered on an afternoon described by Gala manager Stevie Noble as a “complete disaster”.
There were mitigating reasons for Gala’s showing.
They were missing five likely starters in captain Billy Miller, key defensive duo Ben Herdman and Scott Main, and Hibs loanees Kevin Waugh and Adam Watson.
Noble also said a number of his starting line-up have struggled to train in recent weeks because of new jobs and baby arrivals.
With ‘Shire having won their last five games, scoring 21 goals in the process, it meant the odds on the visitors should really have been shorter than the 2/5 quoted by one bookie.
The ‘Shire lived up to their favourites tag in a blistering start which left them 5-0 up after only 26 minutes at a foggy Netherdale.
Andy Rodgers grabbed the first two within 12 minutes – the second a penalty – with Connor Greene on 21 minutes, David Grant two minutes later and Jamie Glasgow grabbing the others.
Andrew Common came on to try to help plug the Gala defence and the homesters showed much more resistance for the remainder of the half, with Des Sutherland and Darren Smith forcing East Stirling stopper Jamie Barclay into two fine saves.
But the Larbert side were back on the offensive after half-time as David Grant and Paul Sludden made it seven with two superb finishes.
Stuart Noble pulled one back with a sweet strike after good work by Sutherland, but a further two goals by David Grant, to take his tally to four, and a header by sub Dylan McGuigan ensured Gala became only the second side in Lowland League history to concede double figures in a game .
– near-neighbours Selkirk being the other.
Boss Noble said: “We have been heavily beaten earlier in the season and responded well to go on a good run. We need to do that again in our next two games against Edinburgh University and Whitehill Welfare.”