Gala Fairydean Rovers end Scottish Lowland Football League campaign with three biggest wins of season on bounce
Saturday gone’s 4-1 victory at home to Cumbernauld’s Open Goal Broomhill at Netherdale in Galashiels was their third on the bounce by a three-goal margin, something they’d not managed in their dozen previous league wins.
Secured by goals from Ciaren Chalmers on 18 minutes and 36, Shea Scally on 29 and Aidan Cassidy on 60, with Ryan Tierney replying for their visitors on the half-hour mark, it followed a win by the same scoreline at bottom-of-the-table Dalbeattie Star seven days previously and one by 3-0 hosting Gretna 2008 the weekend before that.
That result, making amends for a 5-1 trouncing in the reverse fixture in North Lanarkshire at the end of August, sees player-manager Martin Scott’s side finish their latest league campaign in 12th place, on 49 points from 36 fixtures.
That’s one place higher than last season and nine points better off than their previous highest total of 40, set in 2017.
Opportunity now knocks to extend their playing season with a Scottish Lowland Football League Cup run, though, and they’re at home to Caledonian Braves in that competition this Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm.
The Motherwell side took four points off Rovers during the league season, drawing 2-2 in North Lanarkshire in July and winning 4-0 in the Borders in January, but Galbraith is hoping the confidence instilled by three successive successes will help them turn the tables on their visitors in pursuit of a second piece of silverware to accompany the East of Scotland Cup they won against Linlithgow Rose in March.
Galbraith, 32, was delighted to see his side conclude their league campaign with a flourish, telling us: “It was good to get three wins in a row to end the season and that was probably the best of the three on saturday in terms of the opposition, the way we played and the result.
“Obviously the cup win kind of overshadowed everything else, but once we got back on with the last few games of the season after that euphoria, our league form was something we had to look at as it hadn’t been great.
“I think it was vital that we picked up some points as we seemed to have been stuck on 40 points for weeks.
“It’s good to finish a season well as that hopefully takes you into the next season with a bit of momentum.”
Though chuffed to have outdone their previous highest points tally by just short of a quarter, Galbraith says it was disappointing not to have finished higher up the table, 12th being only one position higher than their joint lowest-ever placings of 13th last year and in 2018, and especially so as just one more win might well have got them into the top ten.
“As far as our league campaign goes, that’s probably a slight frustration because you wouldn’t have to look far for another few points that we needn’t have dropped, but it’s all part of our journey and experience and obviously this league is getting tougher every year,” he said.