Gala and Vale set for Highland guests

WITH Gala Fairydean and Vale of Leithen still buzzing after going through to next month’s Scottish Cup second round, it’s going to be tough to focus on the task at hand this weekend, writes Kevin Janiak.

The Netherdale men have been drawn at home against Golspie Sutherland, an amateur side who play in the North Caledonian League, who reached the second round by dint of a bye.

It’s a long journey for them, and Gala boss Fraser Lothian admitted it’s a bit of a dream draw, even though he has no idea how they play.

He told TheSouthern: “It really sounds like as good a draw as we could have hoped for, but I’ll have them checked out before the game.

“We are at home, even though I’m not sure where home will be, as we are still awaiting completion of the 3G surface.”

Vale of Leithen manager Robbie Horn is of a different frame of mind following yesterday’s draw, in which the Innerleithen men also managed a home tie, against Cove Rangers.

The Highland League outfit will be tough opposition, even for a team such as Vale, who are on top form at the moment.

Horn said: “It’s certainly a hard tie, but we are at home and we always have a chance here. We had a difficult test against Girvan and we got through that.”

This weekend, Fairydean travel to Craigroyston on First Division business – with an opportunity to climb several places in the league.

Lothian told us: “We will be ready for it. Craigie are tipped for promotion, so if we get anything out of it we’ll be happy.”

Alan Jackson and Aaron Brunton are missing through injury and Gary Lothian is doubtful for Saturday’s game.

Vale will be concentrating solely on their home game against Leith in their last EoS Qualifying League Section B clash. A win for the Innerleithen men would put them top the group and into the quarter-finals.

The Innerleithen men have won their last seven matches – and Horn picked out one player for special praise.

He said: “The players have tons of confidence and belief in themselves.

“Andy Martin, for instance, had a good pre-season and now he’s absolutely flying. I don’t think anybody in the league can touch him when he’s in this form.”

Selkirk, who were agonisingly close to forcing a replay against Nairn last week, must now pull themselves together and focus on Whitehill Welfare, who the Souters take on in a Premier Division clash at Rosewell on Saturday.

The Souters are without Ross McManus, who is working.

In other First Division games, Kelso are at home to Heriot-Watt University, Hawick Royal Albert host Eyemouth and Whitestone Park, Peebles, is the venue for the Rovers’ match against table-toppers Preston Athletic.