Gala Fairydean Rovers hoping to make it to round three of Scottish Cup for third time
Their loss to the second-placed North Lanarkshire outfit at the weekend, following a 5-0 victory at second-bottom Edinburgh University last Wednesday night, leaves player-manager Martin Scott’s Rovers side seventh in the Scottish Lowland Football League table, on 20 points from 14 fixtures, ahead of a visit from Edinburgh’s Civil Service Strollers on Saturday, November 4.
In the meantime, though, a second-round Scottish Cup tie at Pollok this coming Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm, offers an opportunity for the Galashiels team to match their previous best progress in the competition.
They’ve only made it to the third round of the cup twice before, in 2018 and 2021, and midfielder Danny Galbraith, Rovers’ captain at the weekend, says he’d love to see them top that this time round.
“A Scottish Cup weekend is always a date you look out for in the calendar and this one’s no different,” said the 33-year-old. “It’s another great opportunity for us to try to achieve something.
“I don’t know a huge amount about Pollok but it’s definitely going to be a really, really difficult tie.
“They’ve got quite a big reputation in the west of Scotland and going away to these places is never easy.
“We’re fully aware it’s not one of the easier draws we could have got, that’s for sure. We know how tough a tie it’s going to be.
“All you can ask for in the cup is to get a home draw, so I’m pretty sure they’ll be fancying themselves going into it, and it’s up to us to try to overcome that.
“The third round is the furthest we’ve ever got so a big thing for us is that there’s a real opportunity to try to get there again.”
Their Glaswegian hosts this weekend are currently third in the West of Scotland Football League’s premier division, with 18 points from nine fixtures.
Rovers’ goal at their Netherdale Stadium home ground on Saturday was scored by Kyle Semple on six minutes but their hosts hit back via Billy Mortimer on 18 minutes, Craig Holmes on 37 and 45 and Reg McLaren on 79.
Semple also got on the scoresheet, twice, for Rovers in the capital in midweek, with Allan Smith, Jack Beaumont and Zander Murray on target too.
Looking back over Saturday’s loss to Cumbernauld, Galbraith added: “It certainly didn’t feel like a 4-1 game.
“They deserved their win, there’s no doubt about that and I wouldn’t take away anything from them, but I think if you looked at the number of chances created by both teams and the final score, it would be fair to say that they took their chances when they came along and we didn’t, so you get what you deserve in the end.
“Although we were disappointed to lose, we had enough periods of dominance in the game to take some positives out of it, such as if that’s what can get you to second place in the league, there’s no reason why, if we keep doing what we’re doing, why we can’t look at improving our own position.”
Gala were dealt a third-round knockout by a 1-0 loss at home to Annan Athletic in 2021 after beating Edinburgh’s Spartans 1-0 and Kirkcudbright’s St Cuthbert Wanderers 3-1.
They went out at the same stage and by the same scoreline at East Kilbride in 2018 after seeing off Lossiemouth 6-0 and East Stirlingshire 2-0.