Gala Fairydean 2
Easthouses Lily 2
EOS FIRST DIVISION
KENNY PATERSON reports from Netherdale
IT was an afternoon of mixed emotions for Gala Fairydean on Saturday.
Aaron Brunton scored a stunning goal, but then snapped his ankle ligaments, while a late leveller by Keith Boyes was overshadowed by the news that Leith Athletic and Gretna 2008 had secured promotion to the Premier Division.
For a lengthy spell of the season, it seemed the Dean would be on the way up to the East of Scotland League’s highest tier, but now they are battling it out to finish third. It would still be a decent return for manager Fraser Lothian, who has put together a team of talented youngsters.
His side were well matched by Easthouses – the teams drawing 2-2 earlier in the season at Newbattle.
Brunton opened the scoring on 24 minutes, when poor defending from the visitors set up the 19-year-old, who took a touch and curled a superb shot into the top right-hand corner of the net from 20 yards.
But his season was to last only 21 more minutes.
As referee Duncan Smith blew for half time, the former Vale of Leithen striker was poleaxed on the ground after falling awkwardly and was stretchered off in visible pain.
It was Brunton’s replacement who almost made it 2-0 eight minutes after the break.
Substitute Allan Smith got a toe to Jamie Shields’ short back-pass before keeper Craig Weir, but the stopper just recovered to grab the ball.
And on 59 minutes the Midlothian side equalised. Kyle Boggie was given space to drive into the Gala penalty box and fire past Elliot Turnbull.
At the other end, pint-sized defender Ryan Sclater almost scored his fourth headed goal since joining the Fairies from Craigroyston, but his effort from a Craig Gow corner went over the bar.
Yet, it was a double for Boggie when the striker volleyed home a low shot from 16 yards on 68 minutes.
And Boggie almost sealed his hat-trick six minutes from time, but Turnbull produced a cracking stop at his feet just eight yards from the Gala goal.
Instead, a Sclater cross was headed beyond Weir by Boyes on 86 minutes for a deserved Gala point.
Gala Fairydean: E. Turnbull, R. Sclater, C. McBride, P. Sutherland, J. Waldie, K. Boyes, G. Hay (P. Young), C. Tyson, C. Anderson, A. Brunton (A. Smith) and C. Gow (R. Glass).