Gala Fairydean Rovers 4 Coldstream 2
KEVIN JANIAK reports from Netherdale
GALA’S fledgling Fairydean Rovers team bounced into existence with a cracking 4-2 victory over East of Scotland League Premier Division new boys Coldstream.
The Lowland League lads brushed aside the Streamers in a match that bore little resemblance to a pre-season match, in that the home side looked already like the finished article, despite having several signed players missing due to holidays.
The bare bones of the side is that of last season’s all-conquering Gala Rovers, but those who have slotted in have done so seamlessly.
GFR have adopted the old Rovers tenet of “Total Football” and that is evident through their quick, short-passing style of play, which can be exciting to watch. However, it also means that any misplaced ball while defending is likely to be pounced upon by quick-witted opposition.
The opening goal in the fourth minute saw Tom Cannon snatch what will probably be the easiest goal he scores this season from all of three inches, Garry Wales doing all the hard work, pulling Gala keeper John Dodds wide and turning the ball back.
But the home side eventually got their act together, Taylor Hope providing a nice finish to Grant Gass’ cross.
Jamie Gibson almost added to their tally, hitting the post from 25 yards on the half-hour mark, before man of the match Billy Miller struck home Marc Berry’s pass to take the lead.
Then in the second half, Gibson did get his goal, and what a goal. Bob Noble sent in an inviting cross, which was headed back into the box by Coldstream defender Laurie Cannon. Gibson saw it coming, judged it beautifully, and slammed home a magnificent volley.
Kenny Manson narrowed the gap from a Garry Wales corner in the 59th minute, but Stuart Noble took Gass’ pass and weaved into the box for number four.
Gala boss Stevie Noble was delighted, especially as this was very much a team slotted together on the day and six players were missing, including hometown boy Sean Palizcka.
Noble told The Southern: “I’m delighted with the win, but the result is irrelevant. It’s more of a training exercise.
“And considering the lads have only trained together twice and came out and played like that, I’m really pleased.”
“Hopefully after pre-season, the boys will be a bit fitter, but I’m really pleased with the start we have made.”
Coldstream, too, were missing players, but did give the new team a game, despite the lack of sharpness and mobility one must only expect at this stage of the pre-season.
Gala Fairydean: J. Dodds, G. Gass, S. Harkness, K. Collins, C. McBride, B. Miller, M. Berry, T. Hope, J. Gibson, D. McColm and C. Jardine. Subs: B. Noble, S. Noble, P. Hossack, L. Hardie and S. McKenzie.