Gala Fairydean Rovers 5-2 Gretna 2008

Callum Hodgson at Netherdale

GALA Fairydean Rovers secured their first win of the season under the floodlights at Netherdale on Wednesday night.

The home side raced to a two-goal lead courtesy of Ross Aitchison and Adam Watson, but found themselves back to square one when Mathew Reid and Kevin Connolly netted for Gretna, within 14 minutes of each other.

But despite the scare, it was to be Gala's night. Stuart Noble pulled a goal back on 44 minutes and Hibs loanee Watson grabbed his second in first-half stoppage time to give the Fairydean Rovers a 4-2 lead at the break.

And any worries were eased on 79 minutes when fellow Hibee Jamie Gullan got Gala's fifth.

Boss Steven Noble told the Border Telegraph: "The most important thing was the result. I think we saw the best and worst of us tonight. 

"I wasn't really happy with how we were playing, yet we went 2-0 in front, but we gave away two really soft goals. 

"They then had a good chance to go 3-2 up, so it was a bit panicky at times; but we had Adam Watson and Jamie Gullan causing problems and we managed to get ourselves back in front.

"I think every game in this league is tough. There are no easy games. We knew Edusport would be a challenge, and tonight Gretna were up for it and had some good spells and good bits of play. I think the difference was the attacking options we had, with Stuart (Noble), Jamie and Adam.

"Overall I'm happy with the performance but we could still do better."

Noble's side took the lead on 19 minutes. Gullan's effort from outside the area was parried straight into the path of Aitchison who made no mistake.

And it took just three minutes to double that advantage. After some nice play from David Bonnar and Noble, the ball fell to Watson who buried it in the left corner.

But Matthew Henney's side stepped up the pressure and caught the Fairydean Rovers off guard when Jake Smith's long ball into the box somehow fell to Reid who knocked in.

And they could have been level if Mark Walters hadn't dealt with a good try from Ashley Kelly.

The home side were made to pay soon after when Kevin Connolly managed to scramble the ball over the line after malaise in front of the goal.

Gala's work could have been undone even further when Connolly rattled the post from outside the 18-yard box.

That effort seemed to act as a wake-up call and two minutes later the Netherdale side were back in front. Watson came down the right hand side and picked out Noble, who turned and flicked the ball in.

And they restored their two-goal advantage in first half injury time when Gullan's shot was again parried by John Jamieson, allowing Watson to pick up the pieces to claim his second.

The Fairydean Rovers stepped up in the second half with Billy Miller and Gullan coming close.

And the latter did get what he deserved on 79 minutes. Substitute Rhys Craigie looked dangerous when he came on and he managed to pick out the 18-year-old on the edge of the penalty area.

Gullan drilled his first shot at Jake Smith, but picked up the rebound and had no problems the second time around.

Sub Sean Paliczka fired wide soon after, but Gretna could have pulled one back one minute before time, however Walters swatted away a long-range attempt from Scott Norman.

Gala Fairydean Rovers: M Walters, L Stephen, D Smith (R Craigie 67), S Main, G Windram, D Bonnar, B Miller, R Aitchison, S Noble (D Pattenden 84), J Gullan (S Paliczka 80), A Watson. Subs not used: G Brown, C Heugh, L Swaney, L Muir.