TEN MEN BRAVES SHIP 5 TO GALA
Caledonian Braves fell to a 5-1 defeat away to Gala Fairydean Rovers, a game which saw Braves go down to ten men as well.
Having narrowly lost out to Bonnyrigg Rose last time out, Braves were hoping to try and get back on track with an away trip to Gala Fairydean Rovers. Gala themselves were hoping for a win this time out after previously drawing 1-1 with Edinburgh University. Ricky Waddell’s side were still struggling with multiple injuries and now also have Scott Forrester out with a broken nose, suffered in training midweek. Forrester joins the likes of Jamie Watson, Marc Kelly and Jack Hart who were all still unavailable.
The game got off to a frantic start as both teams looked to stamp their authority on the match in the opening exchanges. The first real chance came after a great exchange down the right wing saw Zac Butterworth fire a cross into the box, it fell to Lewis McLear but he sliced his shot over the bar.
If you don’t take your chances in football the other team eventually will, and that’s exactly what happened. Literally straight from that missed chance Braves found themselves 1-0 down. From the goal kick the ball dropped to their player on the edge of Braves box, he fed the left winger who burst through on goal and fired it low and hard into the opposite corner, putting Gala ahead.
However, to Braves credit they never stutter if they do go behind and this time was no different. Only ten minutes had passed before they found themselves level. Luke Main picked up the ball on the turn in the middle of the park, getting his head up he saw Zac Butterworth hugging the opposite touchline and played a fantastic ball through to him. Butterworth timed his run to perfection and despite massive protests from the home dugout, was onside. He squared the ball to Cole Starrs who fired the ball home on his second attempt to make it 1-1.
Ten minutes later Braves could have been in front, Luke Main again at the heart of the action as he played a through ball to Lewis McLear who was 1v1 with the goalkeeper. He hit his shot low and hard, but it was narrowly dragged wide. McLear fell to his knees and had his head in his hands, summing up the guilt edged chance he had just missed.
From there and with only 5 minutes before the break Braves went behind. Gala played a one-two down the right, but it was overhit. It looked as if Jack McDowall would be able to shield it out for a goal kick, but the Gala forward didn’t give up and somehow managed to sneak behind him and poke it back into the box. From there, the Gala striker pounced on the chance and fired it high into the net making it 2-1.
Things went from bad to worse literally minutes later. On the stroke of half-time calamity struck, a ball to the back post saw a goal bound shot cleared off the line by Jamie Walker. The only problem is it was with his arm and for that he saw an instant red card. The Gala striker stepped up and calmly rolled the ball into the corner of the net, sending Lewis Duffy the wrong way. 3-1.
3-1 down and with ten men, Ricky Waddell shuffled his pack at half time, as he swapped right back Jack Brown to left back, covering the loss of Jamie Walker. Right winger Zac Butterworth would operate as a right wing back as to try and still cause Gala some problems.
It was always going to be a struggle in the second half with a man down and only ten minutes after the restart that came to fruition. Some good play down the left wing saw a pinpoint cross fall to the back post, the Gala midfielder was on hand to tap home from close range and make it 4-1.
Braves were battling hard to stay in the game but on the stroke of an hour it was 5-1. Working the ball across the middle of the park it fell to the Gala left back. He cut inside and unleashed a thunderbolt from 30 yards out which flew past Duffy in goals.
From here the game petered out, the only flashpoint saw Braves captain Ross Lindsay suffer a very nasty head injury. Forcing him off and further adding to the ever-mounting injury list. Lindsay would immediately go to hospital for stitches and is thankfully alright.
Caledonian Braves were more than in the match before the sending off, having two good chances to score before going down to ten men. However, as with the case in football if you don’t take those chances, they will come back to haunt you. Gala were good value for their win and will take confidence from such an all-round display. Braves will need to pick themselves up again as they have two massive games in quick succession. First up another away trip to face Edinburgh University, before returning home on the Saturday to face Vale of Leithen.
1. Lewis Duffy
2. Jack Brown
3. Jamie Walker
4. Rhys Armstrong
5. Jack Duncan
6. Jack McDowall
7. Ross Lindsay (62’ Lachlan)
8. Luke Main
9. Cole Starrs
10. Zac Butterworth
11. Lewis McLear (62’ Breadner)
12. Gav Lachlan
14. Chris Henry
15. Amaury Testa
16. Jack Brown
17. Cammy Breadner