KELTY Hearts manager Barry Ferguson saw his side beat Gala Fairydean Rovers yesterday (Saturday), but the former Rangers captain was impressed by the Netherdale team.

Gala lost 2-1 in the Lowland League clash, yet they produced a spirit performance - particularly in the second half.

Paying tribute to the hosts afterwards, Ferguson, 42, said Netherdale was a “tough place to come”.

“They’re a good outfit - they’ve got some good players,” said Ferguson, adding he had been wary of Gala being a potential “banana skin”.

“I have no doubt they will pick up more points against the top teams,” Ferguson said.

In his own playing career, Ferguson amassed more than 400 appearances for Rangers over two spells. A midfielder, he also played for Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Fleetwood Town and Clyde (one appearance).

In yesterday’s match, Gala went 1-0 down, then equalised through Scott-Taylor Mackenzie, but conceded another shortly before half-time.

Gala played the better football for much of the second half, yet could not find the back of the net.

Afterwards, manager Neil Hastings said he was “gutted”, adding he felt his side deserved at least a point.

Going into the match, Gala had won five league fixtures in a row, as well as a cup tie.

They now sit seventh in the table, while Kelty occupy second spot - with two games in hand over leaders BSC Glasgow, who also have 24 points but boast a better goal difference.

For the full match report and further reaction, see Wednesday’s print edition of the Border Telegraph.