United break Gala FR hearts with cup replay winner

Gala Fairydean Rovers 2, Formartine United 1

Monday, 28th October 2019, 5:00 pm
Corner kick action in Gala FR's goalmouth results in a clean take by 'keeper Fraser Morton (picture by Alwyn Johnston)

Formartine defender Stuart Smith popped up with his first goal of the season to book the Highlanders’ place in the third round of the Scottish Cup.

Gala Fairydean Rovers’ cup dreams ended for another year following a tense replay at Netherdale on Saturday.

The Lowland League side had just equalised through American Jacob Campbell and had their tails up.

But 30-year-old Smith got on the end of an Andrew Greig cross to head the ball into the bottom corner of the net, past the diving Fraser Morton.

Smith said: “I have been getting a bit of stick from the boys saying it was an own goal but I am claiming it.

“It’s on film, so that should clear it up.

“The goal came at an important time for us after they had equalised.

“But I felt we finished the game strongly and deserved the win in the end.

“We have now got a home tie in the third round against East Kilbride, which will be tough but we’ll give it a good go.”

There was little choose between the teams in an even first half.

But the game burst into life when striker Garry Wood held off Ben Herdman on the hour mark and smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

Gala FR hit back in the 68th minute when Campbell latched on to a pass from Levi Kinchant and drilled his shot past ‘keeper Kevin Main.

However, it was Smith who proved to be the match winner with a 73rd minute counter.

Gala almost took it to extra time right at the death when substitute Phil Addison’s 20-yarder produced a fine save from Main.

Gala manager Neil Hastings said:”I can’t fault the effort of the players.

“But they (Formartine) are a good side and good luck to them in the next round.”