Gala Fairydean Rovers 0-1 Lochar Thistle

By Callum Hodgson

at Netherdale

GALA Fairydean Rovers did everything but score in their final pre-season game against South of Scotland league side Lochar Thistle on Saturday.

A well-struck free kick by substitute Chris Jardine was enough secure victory for the Dumfries-based club.

But despite the scoreline, Gala gaffer Steven Noble is confident his side will be ready for Friday night when they head to Galabank for their Lowland League opener against new boys Edusport Academy.

He told the Border Telegraph: “We played well overall and dominated the majority of the game.

“It was another good run out for some of the players who are maybe lacking a bit of fitness.

“The result isn’t important. What’s important is the result on Friday night. That’s what counts and I’m happy with what I saw today. I think we’ll be ready on Friday.

“We dominated today and played some nice football. 

“We just lacked that final ball. I think that was down to a little bit of rustiness, so hopefully, after we get a couple of sessions in we can take the game to out opposition next week.

“We’re going into the unknown next Friday. Edusport won their league, so they’re obviously a good side and from what I’ve heard in the past they play good football.

“However, we’re a good side and I expect us to go there and get the win. I think we’ll have the strongest squad we’ve had since I’ve been in charge, so I’m happy. The young guys always give you enthusiasm and energy and hopefully they’ll play a big part this season.”

Lochar had the first real chance of the game. Blair Steele played a nice ball into Adam McMath, but he fired wide.

The Fairydean Rovers did create chances of their own. Marc Berry saw his shot saved by Darren Martin after some nice one-touch play with Ross Aitchison on the left-hand side.

Thistle could have taken the lead two minutes before the interval but Ryan Coates’ effort was well saved by Mark Walters between the Gala posts.

The home side enjoyed a lot of possession throughout the second half, but couldn’t quite break the deadlock.

Aitchison fired past the left stick and Stuart Noble’s effort from outside the penalty area went wide.

But it was Nikki White’s team who eventually went in front. Jardine struck his free kick on the edge of the box past the Gala wall and past Walters who couldn’t do much about it.

Noble’s side almost responded minutes from the end, but substitute David Brown saw his shot saved.

Gala Fairydean Rovers: M Walters, L Stephen (L Swaney 77), S Main, G Windram (G Brown 77), K Ainslie, D Bonnar, D Smith, B Miller (C Heugh 73), S Noble (D Brown 73), M Berry (S Paliczka 61), R Aitchison (D Pattenden 61).