Gala Fairydean Rovers 0

East Stirlingshire 1

Kenny Paterson

at Netherdale

KYLIE Minogue’s 1980s hit ‘I Should be So Lucky’ could be the new anthem for Gala Fairydean Rovers after a fifth straight defeat plunged them into a relegation fight.

But the Fairydean Rovers should be encouraged by a battling performance which would have earned a point, were it not for a luckless last five minutes.

With the score at 0-0 in the 85th minute, Andy Rodgers’ mishit shot spun across the box and fell straight to Paul Sludden to tap in to put in-form East Stirling ahead.

Then in the 90th minute, Gala’s on-loan Berwick Rangers striker Grant Rose struck a sweet volley from the edge of the area which looked destined for the top corner, only to clip the outside of the post.

It left Fairydean Rovers manager Stevie Noble with his head in his hands, and his side six points above second bottom Dalbeattie Star, with two teams potentially being relegated this season.

Noble said: “I thought Grant had scored at the end and if it had it would have been a worthy point for us.

“East Stirlingshire are a strong side who are one of four or five teams going for the league title but we matched them for long spells today.

“We have a run of two or three games coming up which are winnable and we are trying to bring in a couple of players.”

Noble could certainly do with some new recruits, with his lack of numbers meaning he started teenager Callum Riddell, and on the bench only had a half-fit Stuart Noble, Andrew Crawford and a trialist.

But up against a Shire side who had won their last five games, depleted Gala competed well in the first half.

Drew Ramsay had a couple of chances early on for the visitors, before Rose’s turn and shot flew just over for Gala.

Sludden is a quality striker and almost scored a stunning goal when he brilliantly controlled a long ball over the Gala defence, only to balloon his shot over the bar.

Ross Aitchison is always a threat for Gala from set pieces and he caused chaos in the Shire defence at the start of the second half when his header from a Billy Miller corner was scrambled away.

As the game headed towards its finale, Shire began to dominate possession and territory without creating many clear chances with Rodgers firing over and Steven Brisbane flashing a shot across the goal.

But Sludden’s slice of luck, and then the width of a post denying Rose, means Gala travel to Civil Service Strollers this weekend desperate for a result.

Gala Fairydean Rovers: P. Martin, S Guiney, S. Main, R. Aitchison, K. Ainslie, B. Miller, D. Smith, R. Craigie (S. Noble 48), G. Rose, C. Heugh, C. Riddell (A. Crawford 76).