Gala Fairydean 2
Hawick Royal Abert 2
EoS FIRST DIVISION
JOHN SLORANCE reports from Netherdale
FAIRYDEAN manager Garry Fraser was scathing about his players after the team scraped a point against struggling Hawick on Saturday.
Fraser fumed: “We got a draw – but I don’t know how we managed it. Our show today was Gala’s worst performance in the past four years.
“We were terrible, we just didn’t play at all and performances like our guys gave in this game are just not acceptable – and I told the players this after the match. I was very disappointed with the way our boys played.
“Hawick were up for the game far more than we were, that’s for sure. They were much more hungry than us and must feel hard done by that they didn’t get a win”.
Albert came within two minutes of pulling off what would have been an unexpected victory in a derby clash during which the form book was torn to shreds.
Hawick, with only one league win to their credit this season, compared with Fairydean’s seven, produced the early flair and enterprise.
Craig Beattie came close to breaking the deadlock in the opening minutes when connecting with a Declan Hogg free kick, then Ronald Fleming sent an effort wide of the target following good work by Graham Clee.
After Jack Hay had fired an angled shot narrowly past the post at the other end, Albert took the lead in the 22nd minute. Paul Power sprayed a pass to the feet of Bobby Nwanze, who slotted his shot past Gala keeper Elliot Turnbull.
Four minutes later, Hawick struck again. A Power shot was parried by Turnbull and Nwanze headed home the loose ball.
Fairydean reduced the leeway in the 35th minute with a top-notch strike from Mark Berry, who found the top of the net from a far-out shot wide on the left.
After Turnbull had saved well from Nwanze at the beginning of the second half, Andy Noble came to the Teries’ aid by heading a curving Scott Nightingale corner kick off the goal line.
Declan Hogg then netted for Hawick following a Noble free kick, only to be judged offside.
Gala brought on Darren Bowie for Grant Gass. It was to be a shortlived outing for Bowie, however, for within minutes he was in the dressing room after being shown a straight red card following an off-the-ball flare-up with Fleming, who was booked.
It was not looking good for 10-man Fairydean, but they bagged an equaliser two minutes from time. Jay Wilson emerged the homesters’ saviour with a free kick that sailed over the head of Albert keeper Steven West in a crowded goalmouth.
With seconds remaining, Hawick had Fleming dismissed for a second bookable offence after tripping Hay.
Afterwards, Hawick assistant manager Owen Murphy said: “Before the game I would have been more than happy to have got a draw with Gala.
“Due to the way the game went, though, a draw was a bad result for us, for on the day we were the better side.
“We played very well in the first half in particular, but we have got to learn to play a game through and not be complacent”.
Gala Fairydean: E. Turnbull, M. Fairburn, A. Brown, P. Young, G. Lothian, G. Gass (D. Bowie), J. Wilson, B. Miller (G. Rossi), M. Berry, S. Nightingale (R. Hewitson), J. Hay.
Hawick Royal Albert: S. West, R. Fleming, A. Noble, G. Young, P. Russell, G. Clee (I. Zenati), K. McCulloch (J. Paterek), D. Hogg, B. Nwanze, P. Power, C. Beattie.