Gala Fairydean Rovers in top 10 of table after win against Rangers' colts

Gala Fairydean Rovers have climbed into the Scottish Lowland Football League’s top 10 following a 2-1 victory over Rangers B on Saturday.

Zander Murray celebrating after scoring for Gala Fairydean Rovers against Rangers B (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Zander Murray celebrating after scoring for Gala Fairydean Rovers against Rangers B (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

The Galashiels side are now in 10th place in the table, level on 17 points with ninth-placed East Kilbride and, in 11th, Caledonian Braves.

Next up is a trip to Alloa’s Indodrill Stadium on Friday night to take on 12th-placed Broomhill, currently on 15 points from 12 games after beating East Stirlingshire 1-0 away at the weekend.

Gala had to come from behind at Netherdale agaisnt the Scottish champions’ colts to claim their fifth win of the season.

Jack Beaumont on the ball for Gala Fairydean Rovers against Rangers' colts (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

David McCallum’s team went ahead with just two minutes on the clock, Tony Weston opening the scoring after being set up by Ross McCausland, sending a first-time strike across a crowded Gala box into the bottom left corner of the net beyond home goalkeeper Mason McCready.

Gala fans could have been forgiven for fearing the worst at that point, their Glaswegian visitors having won nine of the 10 games they’d played up until then and lost only one, but the on-loan Partick Thistle keeper wasn’t to be beaten again all afternoon despite being tested numerous times.

Shortly afterwards, Kane Ritchie-Hosler went close for Rangers, firing a low shot inches wide.

From then on, though, the hosts started taking charge of the game and pushing up the pitch to put the colts’ back-line under pressure.

Ross Aitchison playing for Gala Fairydean Rovers against Rangers B (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

That pressure paid off on the quarter-hour mark as Zander Murray got the equaliser his side’s positive play merited after Ciaren Chalmers sped into Rangers’ half and fired over a cross into the box for him to put past Jay Hogarth with a composed finish.

Chalmers then had an opportunity to add a goal to that assist but Hogarth was able to deal with his low shot.

He wasn’t to be denied for long, however, as link-up play with Murray after a 33rd-minute cross into the box set him up to head the ball past Hogarth into the visitors’ net.

That was how the scoreline stayed for the remaining hour or so of play, but there was plenty more action prior to the final whistle being blown.

Calum Hall playing for Gala Fairydean Rovers against Rangers B at Netherdale (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Rangers had a couple of chances to get back on level terms with Neil Hastings’ side ahead of the interval but a shot by Charlie McCann was deflected away by the home defence and McCausland also had an effort blocked.

McCann also went close just after the break from a free-kick on the edge of the Gala box for a foul on Ritchie-Hosler, hitting the top left-hand corner of the post.

Cole McKinnon thought he’d got an equaliser not long after that but it was judged to have been offside.

Robbie Fraser also went close with what was intended to be a cross across the goalmouth, hitting the right post, and that was followed up by three quickfire chances just short of the hour mark all kept out by McCready and his defence.

Gala too hit the woodwork late on from a Phil Addison shot from distance, sending it rolling across the face of goal but without a home player there to apply the finishing touch.

Next up for Gala after their trip to Clackmannanshire on Friday is a journey west next Wednesday, October 6, to play second-bottom Gretna 2008 at Raydale Park, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Gala: McCready, Docherty, Hall, Aitchison, Jordan, Hall, Healy, Chalmers, Murray (78), Beaumont (77), Berry (89). Subs: Grant (78), Touray, Gray (89), Roue, Addison (77), McBride, Beveridge.

Rangers B: Hogarth, McClelland, MacKinnon, Fraser, Devine, Miller (60), McCann, McKinnon, McCausland, Ritchie-Hosler (68), Weston (73). Subs: Cervantes, Ewen, Lindsay (60), Lowry (73), Lyall (68), Strachan, Ure.