'Three minutes of madness killed us' - Gala Fairydean Rovers boss Martin Scott assesses 5-2 home defeat by East Kilbride
The game – switched to Netherdale due to snow lying at East Kilbride’s ground – saw goals by Neil McLaughlin (16 mins) and Cameron Elliott (17 mins and 19 mins) quickly establish a three-goal advantage for the visitors.
Although Zander Murray pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time, East Kilbride went further ahead with Elliott completing his hat-trick on 65 minutes before Joao Victoria scored just two minutes later.
Murray netted his second of the game on 75 minutes but it was little consolation for Rovers manager Martin Scott as the game ended in a 5-2 defeat.
“I was tearing my hair out all right,” Scott, who came on as a sub late on, told the Southern Reporter. “We actually started the game well for the first 15 minutes before they went up the park and scored.
"You’d like to think that the team would regroup quickly and get back to the game plan but it seemed to go from bad to worse for three minutes.
"That three-minute period of madness probably killed the tie for us and made it very difficult.
"I was disappointed when we conceded. It was a breakaway, probably against the run of play.
"And individual errors led to us conceding two more goals which was very disappointing.
"But the guys showed spirit in terms of how the game went. They gave it their best and they pushed and pushed.
"Eventually East Kilbride scored a fourth which Harris (keeper Harris Spratt) would probably hold his hands up and say he should have done better with.
"The final goal which killed the game was a breakaway when we were pushing to try and get as much out the game as we could.”
Scott, who praised two-goal hero Murray for being “exceptional” in recent weeks, suffered an additional blow when Hearts loanee winger Ryan Schiavone sustained a broken ankle in the second half against East Kilbride.
"If Ryan’s crocked long term and out until the end of the season then it’s something we probably have to assess,” Scott said.
"We maybe have to look at replacing that loan deal and bringing another body in because we’re a wee bit short in numbers.”
Gala, 11th with 34 points from 27 games, have a home league derby against bottom club Vale of Leithen this Saturday with kick-off at 3pm.
Scott said: “Every game in the league is difficult. Every game brings its own challenges.
"I’ve been in the game long enough to know if you underestimate anyone in any football match you can quickly be running away with your tail between your legs.
"We need to approach the game properly like we’re playing a team top of the league, mid table or bottom of the league, whatever.
"That’s always been my mentality so I’ll be reiterating to the players this week that there’s no easy game in football.”
Ross Aitchison is available for selection again after recovering from Illness.