Gala Fairydean Rovers 2, Whitehill Welfare 3
A stunning Michael Osborne strike last night ensured Gala Fairydean Rovers lost their fourth game on the trot under the lights at Netherdale 3G Arena.
The ex-Vale of Leithen man struck a superb volley past Gala goalkeeper Kieran Wright with six minutes left, to give Whitehill victory in an entertaining but ultimately disappointing night for the home side.
Gala twice dragged themselves level through second-half goals by Darren Smith and Hibs loanee Adam Watson, until Osborne’s goal.
The homesters trailed 1-0 at half time but it could have been worse were it not for an impressive showing from Wright, who is on loan at Netherdale from Rangers.
He initially made a great reaction stop to deny Callum Connolly who had deflected Dale O’Hara’s free kick.
Wright made another fine save from Nikki Murray’s low show on 25 minutes, only for Osborne to bundle in the rebound.
Ross Aitchison headed wide Gala’s first goalbound effort before Wright made another good block to stop Osborne doubling Whitehill’s lead.
At the other end, Welfare stopper Bryan Young made his first save, blocking Jack Hay’s close range effort after good work by Danny Simpson.
Gala caught Whitehill napping after half time when Aitchison went down in the box and referee Colin Whyte gave a 49th minute penalty, which looked a touch soft.
Darren Smith scored from the spot but, 12 minutes later, Connor McGregor curled in a fine free kick to restore Whitehill’s lead.
In a frantic start to the second half, Watson equalised for a second time on 64 minutes after more good work by Simpson.
Whistler Whyte produced seven bookings in a fussy second half display, but, in the end, it was a brilliant piece of skill by Osborne which won the game in style.
Gala slipped to 12th in the Lowland League and manager Stevie Noble said: “There is a real threat of relegation this season and, while I still think we can achieve our aim of finishing in the top six, we still need to get our act together quickly.”
Gala Fairydean Rovers: K. Wright, L. Stephen (S. Bonnington 85), S. Main, K. Waugh, B. Herdman, R. Aitchison (R. Lamb 62), D. Smith, D. McColm, J. Hay, D. Simpson (A. Langford 66), A. Watson.