Greene helps Gala to Gretna victory

Shane Greene of Gala Fairydean FC.
Shane Greene of Gala Fairydean FC.
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Evergreen Shane Greene rolled back the years with a five-star display and a rare goal as Gala picked up another three Lowland League points at Raydale Park on Saturday.

But the 38-year-old stopper insists he will be hanging up the boots at the end of the season.

He said:”I have retired for the past two seasons so I better stick to my word now.

“Because we didn’t have much time to get a squad together at the start of the season I told the manager I would play when required, but didn’t want to play ahead of any young guys.

“I feel I could play on, but I am busy enough coaching the under-10s and it is time for the younger lads to start leading the way.”

Greene got his first goal for Gala Fairydean Rovers with a bullet header from a Dean McColm corner in the 38th minute, and marshalled the Gala defence, restricting Gretna to long range efforts.

The home side got in behind Gala just once in the first half, but a last-ditch challenge from Lee Stephen at the expense of a corner averted the danger.

On the stroke of half-time, Gala doubled their lead with a trademark goal from skipper Sean Paliczka. He skipped past several challenges on the edge of the box before unleashing a powerful left-foot shot into the bottom corner.

The only blackmark for Gala was the injury to David Bonnar, celebrating his 18th birthday, the victim of an unpunished rash challenge in the middle of the park.

Fortunately, the damage was not as bad as first feared and the midfielder should be available for the remainder of the campaign.

Gretna pulled one back with 15 minutes remaining when Sam Atkinson’s free kick squeezed in at the far post past the unsighted John Dodds.