Melrose 4 Gala Fairydean Rovers 3
WADDELL CUP QUARTER-FINAL
The newly formed Melrose AFC may have fallen short with their hunt for promotion in their first season, but manager Graham J Godsell and assistant manager Stuart Dodds were quoted as saying: “this result more than makes up for it.”
The home side have had a string of poor results in the C league but they were more than up to the challenge in front of them when A league side Gala Fairydean Rovers Ams travelled the short distance to Tweedbank in the Quarter Final of the Waddell Cup on Saturday.
It was the home side who took the lead midway through the first half when Michael Cleghorn, who was only on the pitch due to an early injury to Keith McAulay, made a superb pass to Michael McAulay who netted with aplomb. This score line did not last long however as the visitors levelled, through McDonald before going ahead two minutes into the second half when Hardie latched onto a free kick almost on the goal line. The home side pleaded a case for off side which was waved away by the ref.
The visitors looked the stronger team as they passed the ball about with confidence but this was soon quashed as the vibrant Melrose men rallied and were awarded a penalty on 53 minutes which was coolly dispatched by outstanding William Mercer giving him 27 goals for the season in all competitions.
It was then the home team who were looking the better side for a period and they capitalised on this on the hour mark when once again Michael Cleghorn played a fantastic through ball to McAulay who had a 50/50 with the Keeper, Glen Murray, and came out on top netting from the edge of the box.
Once again Rovers equalised, with a great finish from Harkness, making the last 20 minutes a very nervy affair with both Godsell and Dodds admitting they had seen the best game of football they had ever witnessed at this level.
With the score tied at 3-3 extra time was destined to be a tiresome event which both sides would rather have avoided.
It was the home team who showed more desire and went ahead one last time with 5 minutes remaining when hungry, inform striker Mercer bagged his 28th goal of the season.
Melrose managed to create a further three great chances in the last moments of the game which all fell short by either great saves by Murray or shots flying high or wide.
The Melrose gaffer would like to thank Gala Rover for a great game and give a mention to every single Melrose player who were all regarded as Man Of The Match, although Michael McAulay was given the award. From 16-year-old keeper Louis Steele to 31 Year old club captain Roddy Earldy, Shaun Bell, Brian Mitchinson, Frazer McDougall, Robbie Darling, Ally Duncanson, Jamie ‘Bubs’ Chambers, Michael Cleghorn, Michael and Keith McAulay and William Mercer. And especially the two unused subs, Jamie Bertram and Steven Kerr who were on hand at every opportunity to assist their team mates.