Edinburgh University 2

Gala Fairydean Rovers 3

Callum Hodgson

at Peffermill

GALA Fairydean Rovers collected another three vital Lowland League points on the road at Peffermill on Saturday.

But Neil Hastings' team were made to fight all the way by the battling students.

Indeed the visitors had been reduced to 10 men when the scores were level at 2-2 with 15 minutes to go, and at that stage would probably have been content with a point.

However, Gala also showed their fighting spirit and Ryan Mayer scored the winning goal in the 78th minute.

The Fairydean Rovers had looked in control of the game early on but as the downpour continued and the pitch got heavier, elementary mistakes crept into their game.

It had all looked so rosy early on when Niall Kelly rattled the post with a shot from 12 yards and he was first to react to drill home the rebound.

With Marc Berry and Jacob Campbell providing the pace down the flanks and Zander Murray giving the University central defenders a torrid time, it only seemed a matter of time before they added to their lead.

Trying to play a slick passing game on the rain-sodden pitch proved to be counter productive.

The Students were quick to pounce on any loose balls and after a couple of long range efforts, they got back on level terms in the 37th minute.

Mark Waters was allowed to run through unchallenged and poked the ball past keeper Fraser Morton to give striker Abdul Yusuf a simple tap-in.

Levi Kinchant picked up a yellow card for a lunging tackle which looked worse because of the conditions, and it would prove to be costly near the end of the game.

After being in control, Gala were fortunate to be going in level at the break.

And two minutes after the re-start they found themselves trailing.

Ben Hardman was adjudged to have handled and the referee gave a free kick on the edge of the box, before consulting his linesman and awarding a penalty.

Waters sent Morton the wrong way from the spot to put the Students 2-1 ahead.

Shortly after the hour mark, Gala manager Hastings made the bold move of a triple substitution introducing Mayer, Yafa Mendes and Ross Aitchison and it was a decision which paid dividends.

There were chances at both ends but it was University who were looking more likely until the 74th minute when Jacob Campbell chased a lost cause near the by-line and cut the ball back for Aitchison to pounce.

Gala had their tails up but suffered a major blow 60 seconds later when Kinchant received a second yellow for clipping his opponent and the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

Gala responded in excellent fashion in the 78th minute with Mayer cutting in from the left and firing home a low shot which deceived the keeper.

The visitors had 12 minutes to hold out for an important victory but surprisingly they enjoyed most of the possession near the end.

It could have been 4-2 but Berry's flick past the keeper crawled along the line with no-one willing to get the final touch.

And Murray showed his value with fantastic hold-up play in the corners to waste a few more seconds.

It proved to be a massive three points as all the other teams down in the bottom section of the Lowland League lost.

Gala will be hoping for another positive result this Saturday away to Gretna.