East Stirlingshire 5

Gala Fairydean Rovers 2

GALA Fairydean Rovers were 10 minutes away from collecting a hard-earned point against third-placed East Stirlingshire at the rain-sodden Falkirk Stadium on Saturday.

But a late collapse resulted in the loss of three goals and dampened the mood on what, up until that stage, had been an impressive performance.

The match began with Storm Dennis in full swing and Gala playing into the wind.

Fraser Morton was quickly in action pushing a fierce diagonal shot over the bar for a corner.

Then after only four minutes a free kick for handball was given against Gala that looked soft and more like ball to arm.

Having said that, there was no way that the defensive wall or Morton could do anything when Nicky Low’s shot that flew into the top far corner like a rocket.

Morton had to be on his toes to stop another shot.

And the keeper then rushed from his area in an attempt to stop a Shire attacker who nicked the ball around him, but he was forced wide and his cross went past the Gala goal with no one from his team in support.

Gala’s first effort on the Shire goal was Gareth Rodger’s header from a Levi Kinchant cross, that went wide of the mark.

Then Zander Murray nicked a through ball past the Shire keeper but could not keep the ball in play.

On the half hour Murray chased another through ball, and again slipped the ball past the keeper, and on this occasion was able to fire the ball home from a narrow angle to put Gala on level terms.

As half time approached the Shire team began to show their frustration and by the interval had seen three of their players booked.

Quickly after the restart Gala failed to clear their lines and Low drove in another powerful shot that Morton managed to parry.

But Shire striker was able to collect the ball wide of the goal and steer another shot that found the far corner of the net.

Scott Taylor McKenzie had a couple of efforts from long range, one of which just cleared the cross bar and the other was safely gathered by the keeper.

With a quarter of the match remaining Murray chased a through ball wide of the Shire area and sent in a cross to Marc Berry who was unable to shoot first time but he managed to create space to send the ball into the far corner of the Shire goal to level the scores again.

With ten minutes remaining the Shire regained the lead when a half clearance was driven low into a crowded Gala six yard box and Sean Brown scored from short range.

The wheels then began to come off the Gala defence a minute later when on the half way line, Kinchant, in an effort to clear the ball, only succeeded in directing it towards his own goal and Brown advanced to beat Morton with a shot from just inside the Gala area.

And before the final whistle another horrendous failure to clear their lines allowed Jamie Dishington to pick his spot to score number five.

Fairydean Rovers do not have a match this weekend and can regroup before they take on Civil Service Strollers at Netherdale on February 29.

Gala Fairydean Rovers: Morton, Kinchant, Chingwalu, Herdman, Rodger, Taylor-Mackenzie, Berry (Mangan 82), Kelly (Trialist 85), Murray, Aitchison (Koroma 82), Campbell.