Gala Fairydean Rovers 0-0 Civil Service Strollers

By Callum Hodgson

at Netherdale

GALA secured a hard-earned point on Saturday ahead of a busy week for Steven Noble’s side.

The Fairydean Rovers enjoyed much of the possession and created some good chances, but none good enough to beat Civil keeper Stuart Burnside in a lively 90 minutes.

And while the home-side were perhaps unlucky not to have taken all three points, the Gala gaffer was pleased to put an end to his side’s poor run of form ahead of Wednesday's trip to unbeaten BSC Glasgow.

Noble told the Border Telegraph: “Civil are always really tough to play against. Although there’s a wee bit of disappointment we didn’t get the win, we’re relieved to get a point because they had a few good chances at the end.

“Overall a draw is probably a fair result. For large parts of the game we were on top, but they are good on the break and my heart was in my mouth a few times.

“We can take the positives from it. After last week, it’s a clean sheet and I thought we defended pretty well overall.

“This is going to be a big week for us. We need to start picking up points again.”

Gala started the game strongly and almost took the lead on eight minutes when Adam Watson rattled the crossbar from the edge of the area.

The Hibernian loanee linked up well with Rhys Craigie all afternoon. And the latter saw a good effort saved by Burnside just a minute later.

Alex Cunningham’s side did create some good chances though. Jack Verth played a fabulous ball from his own half to Andrew Mair on the left wing, but he fired wide.

And Daivd Churchill had a good chance after some sloppy play at the back from the home side.

But Gala took control. Watson again linked up with Craigie who forced a fingertip save.

Just minutes before the interval, the former Leith Athletic man played some nice football with defender Scott Main, but his shot flew over the bar.

Manager Noble was desperate to get back to winning ways and went out to attack in the second half.

Jamie Gullan, who has been one of Gala’s best players this season, was brought on for David Bonnar at half time; as was Darren Smith who replaced Kieran Ainslie seven minutes later.

Billy Miller saw a shot deflected wide and Craigie saw his effort parried around the post by the Civil Service stopper.

By this point the visitors were playing on the break and they had a great chance to snatch the points two minutes before the end.

Mair whipped in a ball from the left towards substitute Kris Mitchell, but his shot was brilliantly bundled off the line by Lewis Muir, who was praised by Noble for his efforts after the match.

And Civil came close again when David Stewart struck the upright from 19 yards.

But it wasn’t to be for either side, with Gala claiming their first clean sheet since they played out a 0-0 draw at Ochilview against East Stirlingshire on August 12.

Gala: L Muir, L Stephen, S Main, S Guiney, K Ainslie (D Smith 52), D Bonnar (J Gullan HT), B Miller, C Heugh, R Craigie, A Watson, R Aitchison. Subs not used: Steven Noble, Stuart Noble.