East Stirlingshire 5 Gala Fairydean Rovers 2: Purple patch continues
East Stirlingshire’s late season purple patch continued with a convincing 5-2 victory against Gala Fairydean Rovers on Saturday.
Derek Ure’s side have responded emphatically from their damaging 2-1 defeat to the University of Stirling with three consecutive victories consolidating their top four place. Fans of Shire have been treated in that time having witnessed 14 goals and just two against.
The visitors paid the price for a sluggish start when Nicky Low fired in the opener. A lazy challenge on the edge of the box presented Shire with an excellent opportunity to open the scoring from the resulting freekick. Low stepped up before showing all his experience and skill to guide his shot into the top corner.
Low’s opener awakened the visitors. Gala were rewarded for their resoluteness after 30 minutes when Zander Murray levelled. A slick through ball released Murray to fire in a much-deserved equaliser from a tight angle.
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Shire’s frustration was clear as they went in for the interval. However, Gala’s good work was undone immediately after the restart. The visitors’ failure to deal with the influential Low again proved costly as the Shire midfielder collected his own parried shot before guiding the ball beyond Fraser Morton at the second attempt.
The visitors refused to capitulate and found a leveller after 70 minutes. Murray proved to be influential once more when he found Marc Berry in the box. Berry showed great composure to create space for himself before curling beyond a helpless Barclay to renew his side’s hope.
Shire’s quality up front ultimately proved to be too much for the visitors. Sean Brown was the beneficiary of some comical Gala defending when a failed clearance presented the target man with the simple task of tapping home from six yards out.
With Gala’s resistance finally broken, the home side made the points safe. Another failed clearance presented a golden chance for Brown who applied a composed finish to give his side a healthy cushion.
Gala’s defensive frailty allowed the unusually quiet Jamie Dishington the opportunity to round off the scoring which he did after comfortably slotting past a distraught Morton in the Gala goal.
Shire can expect a tougher test when they travel to face sixth place Civil Service Strollers this weekend in a match that could prove vital to Ure’s hopes of remaining in the top four.