Unmemorable end to Noble's stint as GFR boss

Cumbernauld Colts...........2

Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 6:30 pm
Fraser Neave in action for Gala FR against yellow-kitted Cumbernauld Colts (picture by Debi Ritchie).

Gala Fairydean Rovers.......0

Steven Noble’s five-year tenure as GFR manager came to a disappointing close at Broadwood, with Cumbernauld taking full advantage of a lacklustre performance to book their place in the semi-finals of the Lowland League Cup.

The visitors had the first shot on target but captain Billy Miller’s sixth-minute long-range drive was straight at Ronan Fallen in the Colts goal, reports Liam Marshall.

Lewis Muir was called into action after 19 minutes as he acrobatically pushed Sean Brown’s header up, and Kieran Ainslie was on hand to hook the ball clear.

A Cumbernauld corner on 30 minutes would prove the best chance of the first half but Scott Davidson’s free header from six yards looped harmlessly over Lewis Muir’s goal.

With 54 minutes gone, the game was turned on its head thanks to a dubious penalty decision. The ball was floated into the box and GFR keeper Lewis Muir battled for it in the air with Sean Brown, and won. But the referee ruled Muir had fouled the Colts striker and awarded a spot kick, which was converted by winger Craig Holmes. Gala had a penalty of their own turned down just a few minutes later, despite claims Kieran Ainslie had been hauled down by Colts defender Scott Davidson.

The game went from bad to worse for GFR as Canadian midfielder Drake Rendle was shown a red card for a reckless, unnecessary challenge in the middle of the park, and it could be said he took GFR’s chances of getting back into the game up the tunnel with him.

Cumbernauld wrapped up the win with 15 minutes left. as Michael Wallace tapped home Stephen O’Neill’s cross.