Fairydean fail to capitalise on good start

Selkirk v Heriot Watt
Selkirk v Heriot Watt

Spartans 4

Gala Fairydean 1


JOHN CLAYTON reports from Ainslie Park

PLAYING on a waterlogged pitch both sides served up a match full of chances and it is perhaps surprising, given the final scoreline, that goalkeeper Elliot Turnbull clearly stood out as the man of the match.

Gala surprised Spartans by opening the scoring in the first minute from a Chris Anderson corner that was whipped into the six-yard box and Paul Young rose to flick a header inside the far post. Turnbull then had to be at his best to push two successive Spartans free kicks around the post for corners before an ill-advised throw-in found the keeper unable to control the ball before he was closed down by Keith McLeod who stole the ball and shot into an unguarded net.

Five minutes later Fairydean defenders had several opportunities to clear their area but, having failed to do so, allowed Gavin Malin to slot the ball home to extend Spartans’ lead. Just a couple of minutes later Young was adjudged to have impeded an opponent and the referee awarded a penalty. McLeod took the spot kick but Turnbull dived full length to push the ball away and had time to regain his feet to block the follow-up shot.

Midway through the first half Chris Anderson beat three defenders as he drove into the Spartans box, but his final shot was blocked and cleared. Fairydean finished the half on the attack with several shots on goal just failing to find their target.

Five minutes into the second half Spartans extended their lead through Ross Archibald who shot home after Turnbull had parried an initial effort by Dean Hoskins. On the hour McLeod received a cross from the left, but the heroic Turnbull blocked his first shot and somehow managed to cling on to the follow-up on the line.

Alan Smith then managed to nick the ball from Spartans keeper Chris Flockhart but saw his shot, from a narrow angle, come back off the post. A minute later Spartans were awarded a free kick which Alex King struck well enough but it took a slight deflection and the ball eluded Turnbull’s dive to record Spartans’ fourth goal. Before the final whistle Spartans were awarded a second penalty but Turnbull went left again and clutched Robbie Manson’s effort to his chest to crown his man-of-the-match performance.

Gala Fairydean: Turnbull, Hay (McGurn, 65), Wood, McBride, Sutherland, Young, Glass, Boyes, Anderson, Smith (Gow, 75), Brunton (Faichney, 75).