Edinburgh University 1
Gala Fairydean 0
EoS QUALIFYING LEAGUE SECTION C
KEVIN JANIAK reports from Peffermill
IN recent years, Gala Fairydean’s cup form has been a tad ropy to say the least, when compared to their performance in the league.
But as this year’s League Cup takes the format of a mini league, could this be a way for the Dean to turn things round?
A quick glance at the above scoreline would lead you to say probably not.
But with several first-team players not available yet due to being on holiday or serving out remnants of suspensions from last season, there were several elements of the patchwork Fairydean squad that bade well indeed.
While Aaron Brunton seems to be setting out his stall – hitting the woodwork no less than three times during the match – some of the under-19s who have this year stepped up to the senior team look like they are there to stay.
Chris Anderson may have joined Spartans, leaving a decidedly empty pair of boots up front, but young Jack Hay showed signs that he could possibly fill them. His nimble footwork, especially in the second half, took the chasing Gala men into dangerous areas and had luck been smiling on Brunton, the result could have been reversed.
Also going close in the first half was Ryan Sclater, who connected with a couple of Grant Gass free kicks, only to see his headers well saved by Uni keeper Mark Tait.
At the other end of the park, Declan Leckie, also coming up from the youth section, was immense in the centre of defence.
In fact, the entire back four worked diligently, ensuring the Students were forced to resort to long-range shots at goal, none of which bothered the visitors until the 32nd minute and Mark Lair’s swinging effort from the edge of the box slipped past Elliot Turnbull’s outstretched fingers and went into the net off the left post.
Fairydean’s attack was sharper in the second half, but Tait proved a formidable obstacle. New signing Geri Rossi and the re-signing Grant Gass also saw efforts fly just wide of target.
Fairydean boss Fraser Lothian told TheSouthern: “We have to remember the University are a Premier Division side and are hard to break down.
“But saying that, I think we probably did enough to feel we should have come away with something.
“We are hoping to use the remaining cup matches to give everybody in the squad a runout, but I have been heartened by what I have seen here,” added the Fairydean boss.
Gala Fairydean: E. Turnbull, R. Sclater, R. Glass, D. Leckie, C. McBride (G. Hay 37 mins), G. Gass (C. Gow 85 mins), R. Hewitson (Jake Thoman 81 mins), A. Brunton, G. Rossi, J. Hay, A. Brown.