Berwick Rangers Reserves 3
Gala Fairydean 2
EoS FIRST DIVISION
GALA FAIRYDEAN’S 100 per cent league record was ended by Berwick Rangers Reserves on Saturday, but the visitors were unlucky to leave Shielfield empty-handed.
The main talking points of the first half were penalties and three great saves from Rangers’ keeper Ian McCaldon.
After only five minutes, ‘Big Eagle’ dived across his goal to tip away Scott Nightingale’s ferocious free kick from near the touchline.
He thwarted Fairydean’s other main attacking threat Jack Hay after he set himself up for a crack from 16 yards.
A one-handed effort stopped Craig Tyson from even closer.
Gala keeper Elliot Turnbull’s feet saved from Stuart Noble, playing his first full competitive game of the season.
As for the penalties, early on, Hay skipped past Steven Bennett and went down as he met the next defender.
Gala supporters were convinced it was a penalty. Referee Simon MacLean wasn’t.
Towards the end of the first period, Andrew Brown stopped Jamie Doris with a great tackle, but seconds later, at the other side of the box, dumped Sam Todd. For the second week running, Todd opened the Reserves’ account from the penalty spot.
Fairydean began the second half with a burst of pressure, but made no headway against the home defence.
In the 65th minute, Todd, who had spurned an excellent scoring opportunity eight minutes earlier, was booked for diving.
Immediately afterwards, Ramsay also found his way into the black book for tripping Nightingale, whose revenge was to send the free kick from the edge of the ‘D’ into the bottom corner of McCaldon’s net.
Berwick added another when Noble picked up a wayward Gala pass and stormed down the left to supply Greig Smith.
Paul Young retreated to clear Smith’s shot off the line but the ball arrived at trialist Dean Carse, who netted via the post.
The hosts scored again four minutes later. Smith took advantage when a Gala attack broke down and Turnbull vainly rushed out, enabling Smith to give Carse the chance to grab his second goal.
Battling Gala scored again two minutes from time. Hay picked his spot to complete a smart move which also featured Nightingale and David Bonnar.
Gala Fairydean: E. Turnbull, G. Hay, P. Young, G. Lothian, A. Brown , B. McGregor, G. Gass, C. Tyson, S. Nightingale, J. Hay, R. Hewitson (D. Bonnar 63).