|3rd December 2016||15:00||Ferrari Packaging Lowland League||2016-17|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|Gala Fairydean Rovers FC||0||1||1||Loss|
GALA FAIRYDEAN ROVERS 1 SHIRE 10
David Grant scored four more Lowland League goals at Netherdale as Shire recorded the club’s biggest win in 66 years with a 10-1 victory over Gala Fairydean Rovers.
The result was also the biggest away win in the short history of the Lowland League and Grant’s hat-trick, the fourth by a Shire player in as many matches, equalled a club record set back in 1946.
But even minutes before the scheduled three o’clock kick-off there were doubts that the game would go ahead as a thick fog hung over the stadium and only a decision by match referee Evan Cairns relieved those concerns.
Even at kick-off there was little the fans sitting in the stand could see unless the action was on the touchline closest to them such was the density of the fog. Certainly most of those in the stand were only made aware of Shire’s opening goal by the shouts of the players.
After seven minutes a corner kick was played short to Kris Faulds, who fired low and early into the box where the ball bounced around until Rodgers took control and slammed it past home keeper Kieran Wright.
By the twelfth minute the mist had lifted sufficiently for the referee to see a jersey tug on David Grant inside the box by Ross Aitchison and Rodgers scored his second of the game from the resulting penalty kick.
After 18 minutes a corner was hit to the back post and Connor Greene climbed to head towards goal. A defender tried to stop the ball under the crossbar but even in the murk the referee saw enough to judge the ball had crossed the line.
By that stage Rovers must have been hoping the fog would get worse and force the abandonment. But they were to get no such relief and the gloom lifted significantly but not so much for the home defence as everyone else, as they somehow managed to leave David Grant unmarked inside the box to shoot home Rodgers’s cross from six yards out to make it 4-0 after 21 minutes.
Three minutes later David Grant created the fifth goal with a pass from the right-back area which Rodgers cleverly dummied for Jamie Glasgow to run on to and score with a terrific finish from just inside the box.
Rovers fought gamely and both Des Sutherland and Darren Smith forced Shire keeper Jamie Barclay into decent saves although David Grant and Paul Sludden did miss chances to score before the break.
The Shire onslaught began again at the start of the second half. Rodgers missed two good scoring opportunities and Michael Oliver flashed a header just wide from a corner kick.
After 53 minutes David Grant raced on to a Derek Ure pass and rounded the keeper before scoring despite the home team’s strong protests for offside. A minute later it was 7-0 – a Rodgers’ shot from the edge of the box was brilliantly saved by Wright but Sludden slotted the rebound into the net.
After 56 minutes a defensive mix-up let Stuart Noble in and he beat Barclay with a nice finish from just inside the Shire penalty box.
But there was no let-up from Shire. Rodgers came desperately close with a shot which went across the face of goal and wide at the far post and Sludden had a net-bound shot blocked by a defender.
After 67 minutes Andy Grant’s pass found Sludden on the edge of the box and his clever pass played David Grant in to score the eighth, and his hat-trick, with a finish from the six yard line.
Five minutes later David Grant scored his fourth, shooting home unmarked at the back post after collecting a deep corner kick. The tenth goal on 80 minutes was all down to the substitutes – Drew Ramsay’s perfectly-judged cross from the left was headed home by Dylan McGuigan.
After 83 minutes Rodgers would have scored Shire’s eleventh goal with a great shot but he was denied by an unbelievable save from Wright, who knocked the Shire striker’s effort over the bar with an outstretched leg.
GALA FAIRYDEAN ROVERS : Wright, Stephen, Aitchison, White, Windram, Paliczka, Smith, Simpson(Common 26), Noble, Sutherland(Bonnington 66), Bonnar.
SHIRE : Barclay, A.Grant, Allison(Ramsay 55), Oliver, Greene, Faulds, Rodgers, Ure(MacGregor 71), D.Grant, Sludden, Glasgow(McGuigan 66).
|Gala Fairydean Rovers|
|Nether Rd, Galashiels TD1, UK|