Gala Fairydean Rovers 0

Cumbernauld Colts 3

David Knox

at Netherdale

NEW Fairydean Rovers boss Neil Hastings was given a harsh introduction to the Lowland League on Saturday.

The recently appointed Gala gaffer watched his team squander a handful of chances before finally falling at the hands of street-smart Colts.

Hastings, who had to field defensive midfielder Ross Aitchison has his solitary striker, was quick to admit his recruitment drive will need to be stepped up in the coming weeks.

He said: “It was a disappointing start for us.

“We had big opportunities that we missed and a crucial decision went against us, but it is obvious we need more firepower and that’s something we are concentrating on just now.

“There are a couple of boys who are signed that are missing through illness and injury and I am confident we will get better as the team develops.”

If the opening half hour was anything to go by there could be exciting times ahead at Netherdale as Danny Galbraith was pulling the strings during a high-tempo start.

Colts have plenty experience in defence but they were stretched during the opening exchanges.

Ryan Mayer should maybe have done better than head Levi Kenchant’s cross wide of the far post.

And in the 13th minute Mayer’s inch-perfect pass was drilled into the net by Marc Berry, only for a tight offside decision chalking off the goal.

Berry also flashed a powerful shot across the face of goal after racing onto Aitchison’s through-ball.

And Craig McBride could only guide his free header from a corner wide of Jonathan Grier’s far post.

Colts, with the dangerous Martin Wright and Fraser Team leading the line, had also posed a threat on the counter attack.

Fraser Morton had saved twice from Wright as the striker attempted to finish sweeping moves from the Cumbernauld half.

But the visitors made the breakthrough in the 35th minute as Craig Murray’s headed flick-on from a corner was converted at the back post by Wright.

Gala almost equalised just before the break after Grier failed to gather a low cross but the keeper recovered to block Kinchant’s close-range poke.

The Fairydean Rovers pace, which had caused Colts problems in the first half, slowed after the break.

And the best chance of pulling level came from a 55th minute corner that McBride headed over from eight yards out.

Team was unfortunate not to double the Colts advantage after steering Stephen O’Neill’s cross onto the far post on the hour.

But just two minutes later substitute Lewis Bonar picked his spot to make it 2-0.

O’Neill made sure of the points in the 66th minute after converting a rebound from inside the area.

The best Gala could muster in the closing stages was a Kinchant turn and shot that deflected round the wrong side of the post.

Gala Fairydean Rovers: F Morton, L Grant, A Chingwalu, B Herdman, C McBride, N Kelly, L Kinchant, R Mayer, R Aitchison (D Bonnar 70), D Galbraith (J Cowan 84) & M Berry.