Gala hold all the cards despite missing key men

Gala Fairydean v Ormiston
Gala Fairydean v Ormiston

Gala Fairydean 3

Ormiston 0

KING CUP SECOND ROUND

KEVIN JANIAK reports from Netherdale

FAIRYDEAN cruised through to the barely-charted waters of the quarter-finals of the King Cup and never really looked like losing their way.

Although Ormiston threatened by hitting the woodwork a couple of times and making Elliot Turnbull move off his line on occasion, there was never any feeling that they posed any problem.

In fact, the East Lothian side’s best player was journeyman keeper Scott Dowie, who has recently added Ormiston to his growing list of East of Scotland sides.

Former Selkirk, Hawick, Kelso, Eyemouth and Coldstream (to name a few) stopper Dowie was almost solely responsible for ensuring this was not a rout with a string of saves from Gala’s ragtag, yet still effective, strike force.

With Jack Hay suspended, it was the perfect chance to field new signing from Gala Hotspur, Scott Nightingale, who came off the bench in the previous week’s defeat to Heriot-Watt University.

And the youngster performed brilliantly, easing into the step-up in leagues to rocket in his first goal for the Fairies and putting in a tireless shift.

After Nightingale slid an effort wide and Grant Gass forced Dowie into the first of his many saves, captain Geri Rossi opened the home side’s account in the 10th minute.

Nightingale’s effort was blocked by Dowie, but the ball fell to Rossi at the edge of the box. The defence stood back, allowing him to pick his spot in the top corner with an impressive blast.

Gala keeper Elliot Turnbull then saved well from Colin Clancy in a rare Ormiston foray into enemy territory, before Jay Wilson hit the crossbar for Gala after some nice build-up play.

The visitors’ Ian Adams then launched a speculative ball into the area which was left by Turnbull, but the ball dropped into his arms after bouncing back off the crossbar.

Grant Gass was next to test Dowie, who made the save of the match from the midfielder’s rocket.

It was Gary Lothian who finally added to the home side’s tally in the 63rd minute. Wilson played a short corner to Greg Hay, whose pinpoint cross was sent netbound by the defender for the second.

And nine minutes after that, Wilson released Nightingale up the left flank. The newbie looked more than a petit pois width offside – five yards, in fact – but the referee was not in a place to make the decision and the former Hotspur man took his chance well, beating Dowie all ends up.

Ormiston’s Jason Young also hit the woodwork before the end, but by then there was no time for a comeback.

Gala boss Fraser Lothian told TheSouthern: “It is nice to get a bit of a run in the cup.

“It served as a bit of a wake-up call when Ormiston hit the bar a couple of times but we were never in danger.

“We played the ball well and, more importantly, we took our chances, especially when, once again, I had to field a new team on the day.”

He also praised his three goalscorers, who included his son Gary.

“Geri took his goal well, second one in two weeks,” said Lothian. “Scott worked really well today, he’s a breath of fresh air to the side and he can only get better. But I’ve been telling Gary it’s about time he scored again, and he did.”

Gala Fairydean: E. Turnbull, G. Hay, A. Brown, C. Jeffrey (A. Stavert 73 mins), G. Lothian, P. Young, J. Wilson, G. Gass, G. Rossi, S. Nightingale and C. Gow.