Sedately-paced soccer squad surrenders unbeaten record

Gala Fairydean Rovers' walking football team.
Gala Fairydean Rovers' walking football team.

The Scottish Walking Football League resumed last week at the Ravenscraig Sports Centre in Motherwell.

Gala Fairydean Rovers started the day at the top of the table with maximum points from the opening six games, ahead of Hearts 56 on goal difference.

The pair met in the first game and Gala took the lead with a superb goal from John Dodds but the Edinburgh side fought back and scored twice in quick succession.

Ian Cooper grabbed a late equaliser with a powerful close-range strike and, while both teams had chances to win the game, it ended all square.

The second game was against Hearts 98 who had a player sent off with the score 3-1 in their favour and, although Gala pulled one back, the Edinburgh side defended strongly and scored two late goals against the run of play to win 5-2.

The final game was against the hosts, North Lanarkshire Leisure, and Rovers looked to be heading for victory but NLL equalised and secured all three points with the last kick of the ball.

Gala chairman John Hislop said: “Although the results were disappointing, we had an enjoyable day out in Lanarkshire.

“Unfortunately, two of our most influential players were unavailable but that allowed us to blood our ‘Young Player of the Year’, Ali Paterson.

“The top of the table clash against Hearts 56 could have gone either way but I believe the result against Hearts 98 flattered them, although they probably deserved the three points.

“I thought we deserved at least a draw against NLL but a lack of concentration saw us lose a last-minute goal.

“Although we had a depleted squad, everyone gave their all on the day. I would like to mention the contribution of our goalkeeper, Mike Bisland, who performed heroics.”

Hislop added: “Walking football is not just about tournaments and I would encourage anyone to join us at Langlee Community Centre on Mondays between 2.30pm-4pm or Thursday at Netherdale between 3pm-4pm, where you will be made welcome whatever your standard.”