Gala Fairydean Rovers go through to second round of football’s Scottish Cup
The Borderers are away to West of Scotland Football League premier division outfit Pollok on or around Saturday, October 28, to challenge for a third-round place.
Manager Martin Scott’s side had to come from falling 2-0 behind to their Scottish Highland Football League visitors at their Netherdale Stadium home ground in Galashiels but a Jamie Semple hat-trick scored on 39 minutes, 48 and 56, Nicky Reid double on 32 and 36 and other goals past visiting goalkeepers Steven Martin and Callum Liggertwood from Jack Beaumont on 25, Liam Watt on 33 and substitute Lasana Drammeh on 90 secured their progress.
Thistle’s scorers past home No 1 Jay Cantley were Kane Davies with quarter of an hour on the clock and Michael Mackenzie five minutes later.
It’s only the second time in the last four years that Rovers have made it past the first round of the cup as they were knocked out at that stage by Sauchie Juniors last year and by Annan Athletic in 2020, though they made it to the third round in 2021, losing 1-0 at home to Annan after knocking out Edinburgh’s Spartans and Kirkcudbright’s St Cuthbert Wanderers.
Pollok set up their visit from Gala, the first time the Glaswegians have got beyond round one since 2019, with a 6-0 win at East of Scotland Football League premier division side Penicuik Athletic at the weekend.
Scott, 37, was delighted to see his team march on in the cup, telling the club’s Facebook page: “After 20 minutes, we settled into the game a wee bit.
“I thought they took their goals pretty well and that took us by surprise a wee bit actually, being two goals down 20 minutes into the game, but the reaction from our players was really good. I think it kicked them into gear a little bit.
“It’s probably a bit of a learning curve as well in cup competitions that sometimes if you go a goal or two down, you’re giving the opposition something to hold onto.
“It wasn’t an ideal start but to score eight goals at home in the Scottish Cup is fantastic.
“You could sense that the tempo really lifted in that period and that allowed us to get ahead.
“Our goals themselves were real quality. It was real quality from the team. There were some good passing moves, playing through the lines and working the ball into the final third and obviously the finishes.
“We’re just happy to be in the next draw so it was a very pleasing afternoon overall.”
Rovers are in Scottish Lowland Football League action this coming Saturday at home to Gretna 2008, with kick-off at 3pm.
They go into that game tenth in the table, on 14 points from ten fixtures, seven league places and 11 points better off than their visitors from Dumfries and Galloway, having played one match fewer.
Rovers enjoyed mixed fortunes against Gretna last season, beating them 3-0 at home in April after losing 3-1 on the road the preceding September.