This was a cup-tie that had everything – seven goals, penalties scored and missed, sendings off, chances galore and a last gasp winner for a nine man home team.
The visitors set the early pace with goals from Neil Lowson and Grant Burns, but the hosts pulled one back after 21 minutes through Ross Aitchison. A re-invigorated Fairydean Rovers were now in pursuit of an equaliser but their hopes looked forlorn following a straight red card for mid-fielder David Bonnar following a robust challenge in the centre of the park. Both players appeared to raise their studs but the referee decided that it would be the home player who had to go.
The East of Scotland side struggled to impose their one man advantage in the second half however, and Aitchison rose to power a header in to restore parity before Jamie Gibson fired the home side into the lead from the spot.
A second yellow card for full-back Lee Stephen looked to have handed the initiative back to the visitors as the nine men of Gala spent the remainder of the match under the cosh. Leith substitute Gavin Kneeshaw grabbed an equaliser.
Just as everyone in the ground was preparing themselves for extra-time Stuart Noble set up a sensational winner when he received the ball from a Jamie Gibson throw in. Turning his marker, Noble sent a low ball across the face of the Leith box where Dean McColm arrived to smash the ball behind the despairing dive of Fairnie for the unlikeliest of endings to the game.