Gala Fairydean Rovers 0

BSC Glasgow 4

David Knox

at Netherdale

OUTGOING Gala manager Steven Noble won’t miss afternoons like this one when he takes a well-deserved break this summer.

The Fairydean Rovers have shown over Noble’s five season tenure that they are more than capable of competing with the very best the Lowland League has to offer.

But an element of inconsistency has prevented them becoming serious contenders.

Following encouraging draws at Civil Service Strollers and Cumbernauld Colts, hopes were high of an upset on Saturday as title-chasing BSC arrived at Netherdale.

But Gala never really got going - handing the visitors a fairly straight-forward victory.

Noble admitted his team were well beaten. He said: “BSC are fighting for the title and they were very good all over the park.

“We competed well enough for the first half hour but the first goal lifted them and we fell out of it.

“Losing two quick goals at the start of the second half finished the game.”

It had started brightly enough for the home support with Grant Rose winning a freekick on the edge of the area after drawing a foul from Ciaran Donnelly.

Billy Miller’s dipping effort was finger-tipped over the bar by Ryan Marshall.

Gala passed the ball about well without finding any more gaps in a well-drilled BSC defence.

And it wasn’t long until the Indodrill club began to gain the upper hand.

Stephen Murray, who orchestrated much of BSC’s attacking play, fired a low shot just a foot wide of Patrick Martin’s goal on 17 minutes.

Five minutes later Donnelly’s shot deflected round the wrong side of the post.

The opening goal arrived on 27 minutes as Robbie Duncan raced down the flank to cross for Martin Grehan to head home from 12 yards out.

Only the heroics of Martin in the Gala goal prevented Grehan adding to his tally on a couple of occasions before the break.

But there was little the on-loan keeper could do at the start of the second half as BSC opened up the home defence with apparent ease.

Grehan was on hand to rifle a low shot into the bottom corner on 49 minutes after neat build-up play.

And just two minutes later Duncan weaved his way into the box to allow Grehan to tap home from six yards for his hat-trick.

The introduction of Rhys Craigie gave Gala a little more impetus going forward but Donnelly marshalled Stuart Noble well to prevent any attempts on goal.

Duncan should have made it 4-0 on 72 minutes but he pulled Jamie Mills’ cut-back just wide of the target.

The influential midfielder made amends just four minutes later as he picked the pocket of substitute Calum Riddle to race into the area and score.

The Fairydean Rovers almost grabbed a late consolation but Liam Kelly's close-range effort clattered the post and was scrambled to safety.

News that the teams below Gala had all been defeated did lift some of the gloom, but Noble admits his team will need to improve during the run-in.

He added: “It won’t take much for us to be dragged into the relegation fight.

“We need to regroup and come out fighting if we want to avoid being pulled towards the bottom two.”

Gala Fairydean Rovers. P Martin, S Guiney (C Riddle 67), S Main (R Craigie 53), R Aitchison, K Ainslie, D Smith, C Heugh, S Noble, G Rose, B Miller & S Paliczka (L Kelly 78).