Gala Fairydean Rovers 1-2 Celtic B: Rovers boss Martin Scott reckons his side were unfortunate not to get draw

Gala Fairydean Rovers player-manager Martin Scott reckons his side ended up paying the penalty for not getting a second goal in the first half of Saturday’s 2-1 home Scottish Lowland Football League loss to Celtic B.

By Craig Goldthorp
Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 11:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 11:16 am
Gala Fairydean Rovers' Arron Darge, left, and Ross Aitchison ganging up on Celtic B's Ben Summers (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Gala Fairydean Rovers' Arron Darge, left, and Ross Aitchison ganging up on Celtic B's Ben Summers (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Rovers led 1-0 at the interval thanks to Ciaren Chalmers’ goal following a corner but lost out in the second half as the Hoops’ colts prevailed, thanks to Rocco Vata’s fine run and shot and Owen Moffat’s low 72nd-minute strike from distance.

Away keeper Tobi Oluwayemi had to make two fine reaction saves late on to keep the Hoops ahead as Gala poured forward.

“Anyone at the game would realise we were probably the more dominant side in the first half,” gaffer Scott, on as a substitute for the final 15 minutes, told us. “We were probably unlucky not to go 2-0 up in the game.

Gala Fairydean Rovers striker Zander Murray getting past Celtic B's Tsoanelo Letsosa (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Celtic didn’t really cause us any problems in that period, but when we went in at half-time myself and Stevie Craig were still asking for a wee bit more from the players.

“We thought Celtic started to get a bit of a foothold towards the end of the half in terms of possession without causing us any problems.

“We wanted to be better on the ball. We realised it was very taxing on the guys in terms of intensity playing against a full-time side, but I thought we probably let ourselves down in terms of retaining possession on the turnover.

“We merited at least a point, but, in terms of us going forward, it’s a learning curve.

Gala Fairydean Rovers winger Scott Cusick on the ball against Celtic B on Saturday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

“Putting that much effort and intensity into a game, you’ve got to realise when you get the ball back, it’s important to keep it.

“If you keep turning it back over to Celtic, with the quality, intensity and fitness levels that they’ve got, then they’ll punish you.”

Scott said he enjoyed his cameo appearance for the final quarter of an hour.

“The game started to open up when I came on,” he said. “It was actually quite a good game to be involved in.

“We are learning lots about the guys, which is good. You want to win every game but one thing I’ve learned from the guys now is they’re starting to buy into what’s being said.

“If we play with that intensity, work-rate, organisation and commitment against teams at our level – just tidy up a wee bit in terms of possession like we did against Bonnyrigg – I know we’re not too far away from being a really competitive side in the league.”

Rovers, 11th with 34 points from 26 games, continue their league campaign at fifth-placed East Kilbride this Saturday.

Scott said: “We’ve got to respect every opposition in the league.

“You’ve got to earn the right so we’ll be looking for a fast start again to try and put our dominance on the game, but then when we do get into that stage of the game where we think ‘OK, we’re on top’, I want to see a wee bit more composure, a wee bit more belief on the ball.

“We do know they’ve got good players and they’re on a good run, so it’s going to be a difficult game.”

Rovers have landed a home tie against Dundonald Bluebell in the last eight of the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup, with that match expected to be played in April.