Bonnyrigg Rose 2-0 Gala Fairydean Rovers: Rose dig up Rovers resistance eventually
Gala Fairydean Rovers’ daunting trip to league leaders Bonnyrigg Rose was going to plan as they kept it at 0-0 for the opening 35 minutes, but two quick goals for the hosts either side of half-time proved too much for Rovers to recover from.
Bonnyrigg hit the front late in the first half in Saturday’s Lowland League clash when full back Dean Brett netted the first of his double with a stunning left-footed effort which flew past Harris Spratt in the Gala goal.
And the hosts doubled their advantage just two minutes into the second half when Brett headed home superbly after a long Neil Martyniuk cross.
Robbie Horn’s side failed to add to their tally despite creating a series of chances.
In pictures: Kelso pair among winners as Border Games season concludes at Morebattle
Hawick Royal Albert up for cup against premier division opposition
Gala Fairydean Rovers up for cup at Kinnoull for second time in four months
Vale of Leithen hoping for first win of season in Fife at weekend
Injury-hit Southern Knights muster reinforcements ahead of trip to Fosroc Super6 Championship basement side Stirling Wolves
“We’re always trying to be as competitive as possible in every game,” Hastings said.
"And unfortunately I didn’t feel that we fully stamped our style on the game.
"That’s probably because of how good a side Bonnyrigg are and how good they were on the day.
"We don’t really have too many complaints. The goals are obviously a little bit frustrating.
"We had a few chances before their first goal. I would say we were probably a little bit more the dominant team in terms of territory.
"Zander Murray actually scored a goal that was flagged for offside. I thought it was very close at the time.
"I think when you’re going into the lion’s den against a team that are flying, if you can go in front then it gives you a little bit more confidence having to hold onto it a little bit more. And they need to chuck a little bit more at you.
"But that’s hindsight, we’ll never know.”
Hastings admitted that it could have got worse for his team in the second half.
"This is where I’m quite honest,” he said. “I felt at that period that they were right on top.
"The crowd were behind them, a healthy crowd at that, flying high at the top of the league, confidence high.
"For 10 or 15 minutes it was a little bit of: ‘Let’s hang in here’ for us and not concede any more.
"We were pinned in, they were putting a lot of balls in the box, they had a lot of territory, a lot of possession, probably had chances that they’ll feel they could have converted.
"In that period there could have been another one or two goals for them.
"But we managed to dig in, make sure they didn’t do that and then after that I felt we came back into the game again.
"We had a wee chance where their goalie came for the ball, there was a collision and the ball was running towards goal.
"I wouldn’t say it was necessarily cleared right off the line but if the defender’s not there it’s going in.
"And then we had another chance from a cross ball that Ciaren Chalmers connected well with but unfortunately it went a little bit wide."
Rovers get a break from league duty this Saturday when they host Stirling University in the South Challenge Cup third round, kick-off 3pm.
"We place huge importance on the game,” Hastings said.
"It’s an opportunity for us to progress in a cup competition. Obviously we want to win every game and I completely understand that the league is the bread and butter for everyone.
"We’re probably a wee bit different to a lot of clubs because number one ambition for a lot of clubs will be to win the league.
"Whereas, realistically, we’re probably never going to do that. So if we can progress in the cups, get a good run and you get a wee bit of luck with the draw then you never know, you might be able to go on a real positive cup journey.
"On the back of that we need a reaction from last week because nobody likes losing games.”