Gala Fairydean Rovers hoping for cup comeback after 6-1 league loss
Last Tuesday’s 5-1 knockout of Glenrothes at home in Galashiels in the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup’s second round followed a 5-0 thumping away to Celtic B the preceding Saturday and Galbraith is targeting another turnaround in fortunes this Friday against Tynecastle.
That’s a South Region Challenge Cup first-round tie kicking off at 7.30pm at Edinburgh’s Meggetland sports complex. A second-round trip to EoSFL third division outfit Edinburgh Community, formerly Craigroyston, on Saturday, September 16, will follow for the winners.
Rovers go into this weekend’s cup tie sitting 13th in their fifth-tier league, with four points from five fixtures, and their hosts are third in the tier below, the East of Scotland Football League’s premier division, on nine points from four games after beating Penicuik Athletic 9-0 at home on Saturday.
Keir Samson scored a hat-trick for second-placed East Kilbride at the weekend – on 27 minutes, 33 and 48 – with Ryan Lockie claiming a double on ten minutes and 24 and Callum Tapping adding another on 71.
Nicky Reid scored for manager Martin Scott’s hosts six minutes into the second half but that was as good as it got for Gala.
That was the Borderers’ fifth defeat on the trot against the South Lanarkshire side – having lost at home by 5-4 in December and 5-2 last February and away by 4-0 last August, 3-1 in March 2022 and 3-0 in October 2020, last picking up a point against them with a 2-2 draw on the road in February 2020 – and Galbraith is all too aware they’ll have to up their game considerably if they’re to halt that losing streak.
Looking back over Saturday’s game, the 32-year-old said: “We were well beaten, in fairness. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and admit you’ve been outplayed in most departments, if not every one, and that was hugely disappointing.
“It’s a tough one to take but it’s one we’re just going to have to take on the chin and try to learn from and improve.
“They’re one of the favourites to win the league for a reason and their budget absolutely dwarfs ours, but I certainly don’t think there was five or six goals between them and us.
“That’s where we really need to change our mentality because I genuinely don’t think there is the gulf between us on the pitch that there was on Saturday.
“They turned up expecting to win and we probably turned up hoping to win and that was the diiference. We need to go into these games with a bit more belief. It was a real wake-up call.”
Looking ahead to Friday’s cup tie, he added: “It’s always good to break it up and we want to do well in cup competitions. It’s an opportunity to hopefully progress to the next round and see where we go.
“We know how difficult these games can be as we’re a scalp for teams from lower divisions, exactly the same way it would be for us playing a team above us.”
Next up for Rovers in the league is a trip to seventh-placed Linlithgow Rose on Tuesday, with kick-off at 7.45pm.