'The best uni side I've played against' - Gala Fairydean Rovers striker Zander Murray gutted as hosts just fail to get draw from 3-0 down

Zander Murray celebrates scoring against University of Stirling on Saturday (Pics by Thomas Brown)Zander Murray celebrates scoring against University of Stirling on Saturday (Pics by Thomas Brown)
Zander Murray celebrates scoring against University of Stirling on Saturday (Pics by Thomas Brown)
Despite continuing his rich recent vein of scoring form by netting against University of Stirling, Zander Murray couldn’t quite help his side avoid defeat in Saturday’s 3-2 home reverse in the Scottish Lowland Football League.

With Rovers skipper Gareth Rodger’s close range 58th minute headed goal having earlier pulled it back to 3-1 after the visitors had struck three times , Murray pounced on a loose back pass to slot home on 63 minutes, but the home team couldn’t find a leveller at Netherdale.

“University of Stirling are a very well oiled machine just now,” striker Murray, who since returning from injury has scored six goals in nine games for Martin Scott’s Galashiels outfit, told The Southern Reporter. “It’s no coincidence why they’re right up there.

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"In the early part of the game they just pressed us really well, incredibly, and that’s obviously where they’re getting their joy.

Rovers skipper Gareth Rodger wins headerRovers skipper Gareth Rodger wins header
Rovers skipper Gareth Rodger wins header

"They are young, fit, powerful and in the attacking phase they’re so sharp.

"So credit to them, it’s the best uni side I’ve ever played against in my time at Gala, 100 per cent, they’re brilliant.

"Eventually we decided we could play again and we got the two goals back in quick succession and battered them a bit.

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"We were inches away from scoring a third in the last seconds when Kieran Chalmers headed just off target after a free-kick. That’s football unfortunately.

Murray goes forward during home defeatMurray goes forward during home defeat
Murray goes forward during home defeat

"It was gutting that one didn’t go in as we had been on an incredible run.

"But it’s definitely not a result where we can feel sorry for ourselves because we came right back into the match and showed why we are right up there as well.”

Saturday’s match was goalless for over half an hour, before Stirling Uni quickly gave Rovers a mountain to climb by netting via Jason Jarvis (2) and Euan McGill. The visitors were rocked by Gala’s two-goal response but did enough to hold on.

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While Stirling Uni are up to second place in the standings, Rovers are ninth with 27 points from 18 games ahead of a free Saturday this weekend.

Defender Rodger heads in for RoversDefender Rodger heads in for Rovers
Defender Rodger heads in for Rovers

"I wouldn’t say we’re happy with that return,” Murray said. “We’re content that we’re not near the bottom because we know we don’t deserve that.

"We have serious quality in that dressing room so there’s certainly a lot of work to be done.

"The Stirling Uni game was big but there’s still plenty of time left this season because we’re just at halfway.

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"We still have a really good chance to get firing right up the table.

“It’s not the end of the world.”

On his own form in front of goal, Murray added: “I had been out injured for a while but I can score goals at this level no bother.

"Now I’m back fit, if I get chances then by and large I will put them away on the day.

"My goal ratio is not too bad but it could be better as always.

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"I’m glad I can help the team. I just hope we can start getting the wins again and get up that table because we know how much quality we’ve got this year.”

Rovers’ next league outing will come in a home fixture against fifth-placed Civil Service Strollers a week on Saturday.

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