Gala Fairydean Rovers midfielder Danny Galbraith hoping his side will learn lessons from loss last time out
Rovers resume their league campaign at home to the Spartans on Friday, with kick-off at 7.45pm, and they’ll be looking to make amends for their 4-1 thumping in the reverse fixture in Edinburgh in August.
Player-manager Martin Scott’s Rovers squad is mostly made up of youngsters, along with a sprinkling of veterans such as 32-year-old Galbraith, and he reckons that bodes well for the future so long as they learn lessons from setbacks such as their two losses to second-placed East Kilbride this season, by 4-0 away in August and by a single goal in Galashiels on Saturday, December 3.
“First and foremost, we threw the last East Kilbride game away,” Galbraith told the Southern Reporter.
“5-4 probably sounds like a thriller for the neutral, which it was, but when you're 2-0 up and 3-1 up, it certainly didn’t feel like we were part of something that was positive because ultimately we ended up with nothing despite having had a two-goal cushion twice.
“It was really disappointing, to be honest, but that disappointment tells you the progress that’s been made because typically Gala have historically not competed with teams like East Kilbride, who were the favourites for the league, yet before the game we fully expected that we could take something out of it.
“Then when you don't take something, maybe in years gone by that would have been seen as a glorious failure-type thing, but that certainly wasn’t the case this time.
“In the dressing room after the game, we we really were kicking ourselves because we had a great opportunity to really go and kick on again and ultimately we fell short.
“For 44-and-a-half minutes, we were absolutely brilliant and we lost a goal ten seconds into stoppage time at the end of the first half. That was just a little bit of naivety and not managing the game properly because if we had gone in at half-time 2-0 up then the game would have been different.
“After then going on to lose the game, hopefully there is a determination not to let it happen again. That’s how you grow as players and as a team."
Gala Fairydean Rovers currently sit tenth in the table with 30 points from 20 games ahead of taking on Spartans, three league places and seven points better off than them, at Netherdale.
“Our Lowland League campaign is going well,” former Bo’ness United and Edinburgh City player Galbraith added.
“Internally, we do a lot of work together and what we do is all kind of based on going and trying to compete at the top end of the league.
“We have had some great runs throughout the season and then had a sticky patch when we had a lot of injuries.
“I think that's been the toughest thing because when we’ve got everybody fit, we feel we can give anybody a game.
“Clearly we don’t have the numbers that some of the so-called bigger teams have, but I think it’s testament to the guys, when we only have 13 or 14 fit players, that everyone is pulling in the same direction.
“Despite having had a decent season, there is a kind of frustration about the games where we really could have kicked on or propelled ourselves. If we had beaten Stirling Uni at home (a 3-2 loss for Gala on November 12), we’d have been right up there higher up the table.
“We bounced back against Civil Service Strollers (a 2-1 home win for Gala on November 26), who again were right up there.
“And with East Kilbride the last time out, it was almost a carbon copy of Stirling, where they beat us and they’re top of the league again when we could have been right up there with a win.
“We are losing by the finest of margins to the teams that are right at the top of the league.
“We have such a young squad that development doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s been great experience for a lot of the younger lads.”
Spartans’ visit this week is Rovers’ penultimate game of the year, their last one being away to Berwick Rangers, currently sitting 12th in the table with 27 points from 19 fixtures, at 3pm on Saturday, December 31.
Gala’s scheduled game against Rangers B last Friday was postponed due to their opponents’ pitch being frozen.