Five-star Gala too good as they gain revenge against Royalists

Aitchison scores the first of his hat-trick for Gala
Aitchison scores the first of his hat-trick for Gala

Gala Fairydean Rovers 5 
Hawick Royal Albert 1

Gala Fairydean Rovers have Five Star Taxis printed on their shirts and in the last outing of the year Gala matched their main sponsors’ tag.

For the Netherdale side gave a five-star display in motoring to a clear cut win through a five-goal blitz.

What’s more, Gala had their own star in Ross Aitchison, who shone in notching an excellent hat-trick.

Commenting on his side’s impressive winning show, Gala manager Steven Noble said: “At the start of the month we had our worst result in club history in being beaten 10-1 by East Stirling.

“This hurt big time. Getting a good win like this over Hawick today, however, has helped take the pain away a bit though.

“There wasn’t much in the first half. Our opening goal just on half-time settled us down.

“After this we really came onto a game. The players showed a lot of resilience, played well and we scored some good goals.

“It was a deserved win, we got the three points that we needed and it was a great result to finish the year with.”

Gunning for revenge following a defeat at the hands of Hawick a few weeks back, Faiydean Rovers started with a bang and could well have been two goals up in the opening five minutes.

In the game’s first raid Aitchison drove a Billy Miller cross wide before Scott Main came near to breaking the deadlock with a header on meeting a Darren Smith corner kick.

The Albert in turn showed what they had to offer and James McPartlin almost got his name on the score sheet with a well struck drive that cannoned off the upright.

Following this lively beginning, matters went into cold storage for a spell with neither side creating scoring chances or showing much enterprise.

Matters did begin to hot up, however, and after Hawick No.1 Kyle Rankin had kept out a Smith free-kick, home number one Kieran Wright pulled off a great stop from Sean Conaghan.

Gala were looking the likelier side but had nothing to show for their efforts until sailing into the lead with a minute of the first half remaining.

Smith floated a free-kick into a crowded goalmouth and Aitchison rose unchallenged to bullet the ball into the net with his head.

Four minutes into the second period Aitchison did it all again when darting through a flat-footed Hawick defence to drill a shot out of the reach of Rankin.

This was to be the beginning of the end for Hawick.

Fairydean began to rule and after Rankin had put up the shutters with saves from Sean Palizcka and Miller, the home side increased their lead in the 61st minute.

Latching on to a cut back from the right, the ever ready Aitchison completed his hat trick with a spot on finish.

Three minutes later the Albert fell into further arrears.

Miller this time emerging the Gala marksman with a perfectly struck Miller free kick that sailed over the head of Rankin and into the roof of the net.

Rampant Rovers continued their purple patch with yet another strike in the 68th minute.

Miller sprayed a pass to the feet of Stuart Noble who surged forward to waltz round Rankin and shoot home.

The game had now well and truly been put to bed.

Gala were in control but in the 74th minute Hawick opened their account.

An angled Josh Morris shot rebounded off the post and bounced into the path of Sean Meikle who tucked away a shot.

In the closing stages Noble and Jon McInally came close to scoring at their respective ends.

Giving his thoughts on the match, Albert assistant manager Dean Robertson said: “We were well prepared for the game but we were poor. Gala were the better side. They wanted it more than we did. It’s as simple as that.”