Gala Fairydean Rovers 2, Newton Stewart 1
An injury-time goal from substitute Phil Addison gave Gala Fairydean Rovers a hard-fought victory in the second round of the South
Challenge Cup at the Netherdale 3G Arena on Saturday.
Visitors Newton Stewart, from the South of Scotland League, put up a spirited display and looked like taking the tie to extra time, only to
be foiled right at the death.
Niall Kelly split the Newton Stewart defence with a through ball and Addison kept his composure to lob the ball over the advancing keeper
Grier McGarva and into the net.
The goal now earns Gala a tough away trip to face BSC Glasgow in the third round of the tournament on October 12.
The early kick-off time to accommodate a wedding for one of the visiting players could have contributed to the somewhat flat first half, as
the home side failed to settle into any sort of rythmn.
Marc Berry saw his shot flash across the face of the goalmouth but Newton Stewart had their chances as well, with Gala ‘keeper Fraser
Morton producing a fine save from an effort by Robert Middleton.
The game burst into life shortly after the hour mark when the lively Middleton unleashed a 20-yard shot which gave Morton no chance.
A cup shock looked on the cards as Gala struggled to break down the visitors but the equaliser eventually arrived in the 72nd minute.
Alex Chingwalu burst down the left flank and his cross was met by captain Scott Taylor-McKenzie, who stooped low to head past McGarva.
The visitors appeared to tire at this stage and had their keeper to thank for a couple of saves to keep them level.
But, in the 91st minute, Gala got the winner through Addison and booked their place in the next round.
However, the victory came at a price, with another couple of injuries to add to the casualty list. Ross Aitchison and Allan McRitchie
both hadto go off and are doubts for this Saturday’s trip to Dalbeattie Star for the opening round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.