Match report: Gala Fairydean Rovers 3, Civil Service Strollers 1

Gala Fairydean Rovers 3

Gala Fairydean Rovers' Gareth Rodger celebrates with his scoring team-mate Scott Taylor-Mackenzie, right. Photo: Bill McBurnie
Gala Fairydean Rovers' Gareth Rodger celebrates with his scoring team-mate Scott Taylor-Mackenzie, right. Photo: Bill McBurnie

Civil Service Strollers 1

Scott Taylor-Mackenzie went from villain to hero inside five minutes on Saturday as Gala Fairydean Rovers continued to build on a solid start to the season bybeating Civil Service Strollers 3-1 at Netherdale.

The 24-year-old midfielder gave away a needless early second-half penalty to allow Connor Young to level the scores, but almost immediately he led a recovery with a stunning 30-yard strike.

Ross Aitchison scores for Gala Fairydean Rovers against Civil Service Strollers. Photo: Bill McBurnie

Taylor-Mackenzie said: “I was determined to get a goal after letting the boys down by giving away the penalty.

“I practise long strikes and freekicks so when I get the chance, I like to have a go.

“The most important thing today is that we beat Civil and collected the three points that take us up the table.”

Neil Hastings’ team had made a sluggish start, allowing Strollers to dominate early play, and Ross Guthrie should have done better than drag a shot wide of Fraser Morton’s goal in the fifth minute.

Ross Aitchison, Gala Fairydean Rovers' No 8, gets away from Jack Brydon of Civil Service Strollers. Photo: Bill McBurnie

The Galashiels side gradually found their feet, though, and began to dictate the tempo, with Taylor-Mackenzie, Danny Galbraith and Ross Aitchison controlling midfield.

Phil Addison went within a whisker of steering Zander Murray’s cross home at the back post, and, moments later, an Addison corner was deflected onto the roof of his own net by Guthrie.

Both Galbraith and Taylor-Mackenzie went within inches of making the breakthrough as the first half wore on, but it was just before the interval that Rovers went closest, with a Galbraith lob coming back off the bar before being scrambled clear as Addison prepared to pounce.

From the resultant corner, Ben Herdman also clattered the woodwork with a close-range header.

Neil Hastings, manager of Gala Fairydean Rovers

Gala, impressing in all areas of the park by that point, went in front from a corner on the hour.

Aitchison rose well to head goal-wards and Murray was on hand to poke the ball over the line.

That lead only lasted three minutes, however, as Taylor-Mackenzie dived into a rash challenge on Craig Newall inside the area.

Young gave Morton little chance with a powerfully-struck penalty to level the scores.

Mackenzie-Taylor quickly made amends as he ran onto Galbraith’s lay-off to curl a spectacular 30-yard dipping shot beyond Lewis Budinauckas and into the far corner of the net.

Aitchison made sure of the victory in the 80th minute as he fired home at the back post after some impressive build-up play.

Manager Hastings said: “We didn’t start particularly well, but, once we got going, I thought we were good today.

“I need to keep reminding myself what a young group of players we have here, and they are improving as a group all the time.

“You know you’ve done well if you beat Civil, and we did well today.”