Gala’s cup run is over

Chris Anderson wins the chase to the ball during Saturday's cup clash.

Chris Anderson wins the chase to the ball during Saturday's cup clash.

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Gala Fairydean 0

Leith Athletic 2

EoS LEAGUE CUP SECOND ROUND

KEVIN JANIAK reports from Netherdale

AN EIGHT-MINUTE spell in the second half sounded the death-knell of Gala Fairydean’s season on Saturday,

After ending their lengthy drought in terms of cup wins against Eyemouth two weeks previously, and the subsequent news that their slim chance of promotion became no chance because of results elsewhere, Fairies boss Fraser Lothian was hoping for a bit of a cup run to set the foundations for next season’s challenge.

However, that was not to be. Leith were bookies’ favourites for this clash and they showed why by ultimately proving to be the far fitter side.

They did not have it all their own way, however, as in the first half, the Dean matched the upwardly mobile city side chance for chance, despite being under the cosh for the first 10 minutes.

Unfortunately for the Gala lads, though, each opportunity was snuffed out, mostly by the hard-working Leith back four, who proved tough to get past.

Again, Chris Anderson was the home side’s biggest threat, but their keenness to get the ball to him, and his desire to finish off the move, was perhaps not always the best option available.

Anderson had the best chance to open the scoring in the 25th minute, his shot from distance changing direction a couple of times before heading straight into visiting keeper John Falconer’s hands.

Jason Stevens was Leith’s most inspired performer in the half, his mazy runs taking him into the Gala box on numerous occasions, but Gala keeper Elliot Turnbull was alert to his crosses.

Leith almost broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute, Chris Barrie’s screamer from 35 yards rattling the crossbar.

After the interval, it took 10 minutes for Athletic to score. Jack Combe’s cross was taken forward by Euan Campbell and although Turnbull got between ball and goal, the momentum was enough to see it home.

And in the 63rd minute, Stevens lived up to his earlier billing as danger-man, finishing off a great counter-attack, drilling the ball into the net from 25 yards.

Although Fairydean did lift themselves again, there was no way through and they quickly tired.

Lothian told TheSouthern: “We did well in the first half – there was not much between the teams.

“But that wee spell in the second half cost us the game.

“Over the piece, Leith deserved to go through, though.”

Gala Fairydean: E. Turnbull, R. Slater, R. Glass, P. Sutherland, J. Waldie, C. McBride, G. Hay, P. Young, C. Anderson, A. Smith and K. Boyes. Subs: D. Halley, C. Gow, D. Leckie and A. Stavert.