Caledonian Braves 2-2 Gala Fairydean Rovers: Last-gasp equaliser sickens Rovers boss Martin Scott

Gala Fairydean Rovers gaffer Martin Scott was sickened by a fortunate-looking Caledonian Braves equaliser which made it 2-2 in the third minute of injury time in Saturday’s dramatic Scottish Lowland Football League opener at Alliance Park in Motherwell.

By Craig Goldthorp
Monday, 25th July 2022, 4:30 pm
Marc Berry celebrates with team-mates after firing Gala Fairydean Rovers ahead (Pics by Thomas Brown)
Marc Berry celebrates with team-mates after firing Gala Fairydean Rovers ahead (Pics by Thomas Brown)

Speaking in the wake of Braves’ Jack Brown netting when his apparent cross from the left flank sailed into the far corner on 93 minutes, Scott told The Southern Reporter: “They scored with almost the last kick of the ball. Their player has been looking to cross the ball and he’s sort of mishit it and it’s spun into the opposite top corner.

"On another day it probably goes out the park and we regroup and get the points but it wasn’t to be.

"Obviously it was a hard one to take, losing the win in those sort of circumstances.”

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Gala Fairydean Rovers boss Martin Scott with his tactical notes

Scott’s men had earlier been level at 1-1 at half-time after Marc Berry’s 20-yard shot on 13 minutes for Rovers was equalised when Luke Main netted after a 14-man Braves move just before the interval.

Rovers – denied a strong penalty claim for handball against a Braves defender during the first half – appeared to be really up against it when captain Gareth Rodger got a straight red card early in the second period for a ‘last man’ foul, a decision Scott’s team appealed against to the SFA in a bid to get it rescinded.

But the 10 men were boosted by the introduction of striker Zander Murray – who had picked up an injury in their final pre-season friendly – from the bench and he turned in a Danny Galbraith corner on 77 minutes to put Rovers 2-1 up.

Gala looked comfortable until the stoppage time drama when Brown’s effort flew in to earn Ricky Waddell’s side a point.

Rovers captain Gareth Rodger was sent off in first half

"The positives from the game are that we played the majority of it with 10 men and we were still in total control,” Scott added.

"So it was a very positive first league outing this season."

On Rodger’s dismissal, the Rovers boss added: “Gareth was trying to build the play for us and he’s just skipped by the Caley Braves striker who was pressing him.

"Their player has just clipped Gareth’s leg and it looked like he’s fallen over.

"Gareth was in control of the ball at the time so it was a soft sending off.

"It was just a coming together in my opinion. The Caley Braves guy was pressing him with good intensity, nobody was in control of the ball, the ball’s spun away and Gareth’s got hold of it again.

"I was a wee bit disappointed in terms of the official on the far side that gave it – the linesman – has obviously seen something which made him think it was a foul.

"If he gives a foul then it’s got to be a red for Gareth because he’s the last man.

"If it was anywhere else on the park they would probably have just played on.

"Hopefully it evens itself out over the course of the season. You never know, we might be on the receiving end of something fortunate.”

Braves: Henry, Brown, Duncan, Forrester, Walker, Main, Cusick, Butterworth, Kelly, Breadner (Watson 73), McNeil.

Rovers: Goodfellow, C Hall, Jordan, Rodger, Campbell, Dougal, Wilkie, Smith, Galbraith, Berry, Nicholson.

Rovers visit Civil Service Strollers in the league tomorrow (Tuesday) with kick-off at 7.45pm.