Gala Fairydean Rovers up for cups at double but Vale of Leithen suffer second knockout in seven days

The Scottish Cup’s first round brought mixed fortunes for the two Borders sides involved.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 9:48 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 3:50 pm
Vale of Leithen and hosts Brechin City vying for possession at Glebe Park on Saturday (Photo: Graeme Youngson)

Gala Fairydean Rovers are still up for the cup on two fronts after following up their 10-0 victory over Tweedmouth Rangers in Berwick the Saturday before, September 11, in the second round of the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup with a 1-0 win away to Edinburgh’s Spartans last weekend.

Fellow Scottish Lowland Football League team Vale of Leithen, however, made their second cup exit in seven days.

The Innerleithen side went out of the South Challenge Cup after a 5-1 defeat by West Lothian’s Pumpherston the previous Saturday and they fared no better against Brechin City at Glebe Park last weekend, losing 5-0.

Brechin City beating Vale of Leithen 5-0 in the Scottish Cup's first round (Photo: Graeme Youngson)

Rovers’ game against Spartans at Ainslie Park was the first time the sides had met in the Scottish Cup, though they’re regular opponents in the league, with the capital side having beaten the Borderers 4-0 at their last meeting, in Galashiels at the end of July.

Chances were few and far between at the weekend, with only a single goal separating the two sides and it didn’t arrive until two minutes into added-on time.

Daryl Healy was Gala’s scorer, finally beating home goalkeeper Jack Newman, making his debut after arriving on loan from Premiership outfit Dundee United, after an hour and a half of trying to avoid the game going to a replay at Netherdale and add to the five cup goals he netted against Tweedmouth Rangers the preceding weekend.

That last-gasp win sets Gala up for a second-round tie away to St Cuthbert Wanderers in Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway on or around Saturday, October 23.

Daryl Healy celebrating scoring for Gala against Spartans (Photo courtesy of Gala Fairydean Rovers)

Their opponents are currently five points clear at the top of the sixth-tier South of Scotland Football League and bidding for promotion to the Lowland League, with 28 points from 11 games.

They earned their meeting with Gala next month by beating that league’s basement side, Wigtown and Bladnoch, 8-0 on Saturday.

Gala also came up against Wigtown and Bladnoch in the Scottish Cup last time out, winning 6-0 at Netherdale in December.

Brechin, currently fourth in the Scottish Highland Football League with 16 points from seven games after being relegated from League Two in the summer, put four goals past Vale of Leithen keeper Chris Peden in the first half and added a fifth in the second 45 minutes to secure progress to the competition’s second round.

Goals from Marc Scott on three minutes, Kieran Inglis on five, Julian Wade on the half-hour mark and David Cox just before half-time put the Angus side 4-0 up at the interval and Scott added his second and his team’s fifth quarter of an hour ahead of the final whistle.

City will now go on to play either Deveronvale or Haddington Athletic at home.

Ahead of next month’s cup action for Gala, both they and Vale have league business to attend to this Saturday.

Neil Hastings’ side, in 12th place with 14 points from 10 games, are at home to second-placed Rangers B and Vale, bottom of the league without any points from a dozen games, are away to Edinburgh University. Both games kick off at 3pm.