Gala Fairydean Rovers were 10 minutes away from collecting a hard-earned point against third-placed East Stirlingshire at the rain-sodden Falkirk Stadium on Saturday.
But a late collapse resulted in the loss of three late goals and dampened the mood on what, until that stage, had been an impressive performance.
This match began with Storm Dennis in full swing and Gala FR playing into the wind. Fraser Morton was quickly in action, pushing a fierce diagonal shot over the bar for a corner.
Then, after only four minutes, a free kick for handball was given against Gala FR that looked soft and more like ball to arm.
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Having said that, there was no way the defensive wall, or Morton, could do anything when Nicky Low’s shot flew into the top far corner like a rocket.
Morton had to be on his toes to stop another shot when the play continued to be almost entirely in the direction of the Gala goal.
The ‘keeper then rushed from his area in an attempt to stop a ‘Shire attacker who nicked the ball around him, but he was forced wide and his cross went past the Gala goal with, thankfully, no one from his team in support.
Gala’s first effort on the ‘Shire goal was a Gareth Rodger header, from a Levi Kinchant cross, which went wide of the mark. Then Zander Murray nicked a through ball past the ‘Shire ‘keeper but could not keep the ball in play.
On the half hour, Murray chased another through ball and, again, slipped the ball past the keeper. On this occasion, he was able to fire the ball home from a narrow angle to put Gala on level terms.
As half time approached, the ‘Shire team began to show its frustration and, by the interval whistle, three of their players had been booked.
Quickly after the restart, Gala failed to clear their lines and Low drove in another powerful shot that Morton managed to parry. But Low was able to collect the ball wide of the goal and steer another shot that found the far corner of the net.
Scott-Taylor McKenzie had a couple of efforts from long range one, of which just cleared the cross bar, and the other was safely gathered by the ‘keeper. With a quarter of the match remaining, Murray chased a through ball wide of the ‘Shire area and sent the ball across the box to Marc Berry.
He was unable to shoot first time but managed to create space to send the ball into the far corner of the ‘Shire goal to level the scores again.
With 10 minutes remaining, the ‘Shire regained the lead when a half-clearance was driven low into a crowded Gala six-yard box and Sean Brown scored from short range.
The wheels then began to come off the Gala FR defence a minute later when, on the half way line, Kinchant, in an effort to clear the ball, only succeeded in directing it towards his own goal. Brown advanced towards the Gala net and beat Morton with a shot from just inside the Gala area.
And, before the final whistle, another horrendous failure to clear their lines allowed Jamie Dishington to pick his spot to score number five.
Gala FR do not have a match this weekend and can regroup before they take on Civil Service Strollers at Netherdale on February 29.
Gala Fairydean Rovers: Morton, Kinchant, Chingwalu, Herdman, Rodger, Taylor-Mackenzie, Berry (Mangan 82), Kelly (Trialist 85), Murray, Aitchison (Koroma 82), Campbell.