Edinburgh University 4
Gala Fairydean Rovers 1
Gala boss Stevie Noble has promised changes and an improved performance for the New Year derby with Selkirk.
Their grounds are separated by just eight miles and six points in the league, and both clubs currently share a woeful run of form.
For Gala, they have now lost five of their last six games, with their latest loss at Edinburgh University their worst.
And Noble is demanding a response in their crunch January 2 game at Netherdale.
He said: “Selkirk are also in a predicament at the moment and both sides will be a bit low on confidence.
“We will have to change the team for the Selkirk game and I am looking to get an experienced player in. We want to start the New Year with a bang and we can do that by beating Selkirk.”
Gala will have to tighten up defensively if they are to beat their close rivals, after they handed Jack Guthrie three more goals to take the Edinburgh University striker to 24 for the season.
Fairydean Rovers were missing trio Mark Wilson, Scott Main and Ross Aitchison, and their team-mates struggled without their experience.
Gala failed to handle playing into a strong wind in the first half, and slack defending in the 12th minute allowed Ross Patterson to set up Finn Daniels-Yeoman, whose neat pass saw Guthrie score from six yards out.
Gala almost levelled the game when Jamie Gibson fired towards goal from a superb Stuart Noble pass, but his shot flew agonisingly wide.
The Braw Lads fell further behind on 28 minutes, as Paul Sutherland’s well-hit 30-yard free kick swerved viciously to the right in the winds to loop over stand-in goalkeeper Steven King.
Worse was to come for Stevie Noble’s men before the break when another mix-up in defence gave Guthrie another easy chance to score, which he accepted.
Gala needed a goal before half-time to stand any chance of saving something from this game, but they were denied even that when Jordi Villa headed Gala sub Marc Berry’s corner against his own crossbar.
King denied Guthrie with a good save in an otherwise drab second half, but the forward finally got his treble with eight minutes left.
This time, Gala sub Ryan Clapperton mishit his clearance into the path of Guthrie, who was never going to miss his chance of completing a treble.
Stuart Noble found the net in injury time for Fairydean Rovers, but it was barely even a consolation on a miserable afternoon for Gala.