Gala F’dean Rovers 0
Gala assistant manager Bryan Templeton hopes his young side have learnt a lesson from their defeat to reigning league champions Spartans, writes Kenny Paterson.
The depleted visitors were well beaten by the conquerors of Clyde, who face Morton or Airdrie in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup later this month.
The Ainslie Park men put on another impressive display against Gala, and really should have won by a larger margin, only for wayward finishing and good goalkeeping from John Dodds to keep the scoreline down.
Templeton said: “The way Spartans play should be what our young players are aiming for. They press the ball when they do not have it and when they do get it, they attack with pace with six or seven players.
“We had two or three players who played well, but others did not turn up and you cannot do that when you play Spartans.”
Gala face a bottom of the table clash this weekend at Edinburgh University, but their cause will not be helped by further injuries to left back Darran Thomson, who is likely to be out for weeks with a hamstring injury, while Ross Aitchison could be missing for months after he was taken to hospital with a suspected broken jaw.
Both injuries were suffered in a nightmare first half which saw Gala fall behind to a Willie Bremner 13th minute goal after their makeshift defence failed to clear a cross.
Gala could have been ahead beforehand, but the ball would not sit down for ex-Spartan Chris Anderson to strike when he broke through the homesters’ defence. Andrew Common replaced Thomson on 32 minutes and was singled out for praise by Templeton for his mature performance.
But he was unable to stop goal number two when Billy Miller slipped and Errol Douglas slammed the ball past Dodds three minutes before the break.
Templeton felt Kevin Sivewright’s challenge on Aitchison just before half time – he led with his forearm which cracked the ex-Vale of Leithen midfielder on the side of the face – was deserving of a red card, but referee Kyle Hall did not even produce a yellow card.
Aitchison’s half time replacement Jamie Gibson, who was suffering with an illness, almost set up the visitors first goal when his run and cross just evaded Keith Lough.
But more poor Gala defending saw unmarked Jack Nixon score from substitute Jack Beesley’s corner on 74 minutes.
Nixon almost ruined his debut with a lunging challenge on McColm which Templeton again felt warranted a red card rather than the yellow he received.
Yet, Gala were also fortunate not to lose by more after Dodds made two great saves to stop Motion and ex-Kelso United winger Beesley getting on the scoresheet.