Derby skills reined in by difficult conditions

Gala Hotspur 4

Gala Athletic 1


GALA HOTSPUR were made to work hard against the elements and a determined Gala Athletic side to retain their unbeaten run in Division C.

A freezing cold wind and very heavy Public Park pitch meant this was never going to be a classic derby match, but both teams battled gamely to put on a show.

In a first half of few chances, Spurs’ Scott Nightingale had a free kick brilliantly saved by Liam Gillie, while Athletic looked dangerous on the break.

The table-topping home team eventually broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark thanks to a soft penalty, when it was adjudged Nightingale had his shirt pulled in the Athletic penalty area, and the same player fired home from the spot.

Spurs extended their lead 10 minutes into the second period when David Crichton’s cross somehow found the back of the net.

A nice passing move involving Nightingale and Andy Hardie set up Callum Gass to make it three from close range.

However, Athletic substitute Mark Curran grabbed an opener for Athletic and they could have added a second, but no visiting players got on the end of a curling corner. Instead, Spurs sub Rob Young sealed the three points with a thumping close-range finish from a Nightingale corner 10 minutes from time.

Gala Hotspur coach Fred Blackie said: “This was a good result against a tough Athletic side.

“It was another three points towards the title, but it is nowhere near over yet.

“We must keep concentrating every week.”