East Kilbride 3

Gala Fairydean Rovers 0

Tommy Cass

at K Park

IT had taken East Kilbride until the 92nd minute to find the net during the previous weekend's Scottish Cup clash at K Park.

But the title challengers needed little over 10 minutes to score seven days later during an assured performance by the hosts.

Gala were on the back foot for most of the first half and, despite an improvement after the interval, there was little chance of an upset.

The home side opened strongly and passed the ball well pinning Gala back into their own half.

The first goal came after 12 minutes with Jamie Longworth controlling the ball well after a failed clearance from Ricky Miller, and the striker smashed a low shot past the diving Paddy Martin.

The Fairydean Rovers' best chance in the first half was from a Darren Smith corner kick that Miller headed a few inches over the bar.

And they were made to pay on the stroke of half time as a dominance in possession was turned into a second goal.

The impressive Paul Wood found enough space in the box to slot the ball passed Martin from eight yards out.

There was an improvement in Gala's movement and tempo during the second half.

But they still found themselves three down after 50 minutes with Woods waltzing in on goal to round the luckless Martin.

Sean McKirdy and Sandy Cunningham did begin to take control of midfield for the visitors.

And Smith stung the hands of home keeper McKinley with a powerful shot from the edge of the area.

The introduction of Tommy Patterson with quarter of an hour remaining gave Gala more pace on the flank and space began to be found.

But when Dale Baxter was presented with a good chance in the 82nd minute he pulled his shot wide of the target.

Although Gala spent the closing stages on top they were only searching for a consolation.

As the Fairydean Rovers found on Saturday East Kilbride are a difficult team to beat on their home patch and were worthy winners in this match.

Gala Fairydean Rovers: P Martin, B Miller, S Main, R Donaldson, R Miller, D Smith, S Cunningham, S McKirdy, R Paton, J Morris (T Patterson 75) , D Baxter (J Temple 88).