The 3-2 win over Spartans a week past Saturday was a timely reminder of the dangers that Gala Fairydean Rovers can pose, particularly at their Netherdale home.
A look at the Lowland League table alone might provoke a neutral observer to conclude that they are one of the weaker teams but the Spartans result is not the sole piece of evidence available to disprove that theory, and Steven Noble’s men will feel that they should be in a higher position.
Much fancied Highland League outfit Fraserburgh were disposed of in the Scottish Cup before League 2 title challengers Elgin City ended Gala’s run. Other notable results have included a 4-1 victory over Heston Rovers in the South Challenge Cup and a 2-2 draw with Cumbernauld Colts, who are above Vale in fifth. It is pertinent that those have all come at Netherdale, which is where Vale must attempt to take the points tomorrow.
Inconsistent teams can prove unpredictable and Vale’s own unreliability adds to that uncertainty. The weekend’s 1-0 South Challenge Cup loss to Threave Rovers was the latest in a line of disappointments in knock-out competition. Conversely though league form has been pretty solid and Chris Anderson is hoping that continues in tonight’s derby.
He said: “We are all looking forward to this game and see it as a great game to bounce back from our cup disappointment.
“Gala have bigger resources and are further down the line in terms of infrastructure but I have great belief in my players and expect a performance to match.
“We have a chance to chase down the team ahead of us and a win against our rivals would be a massive boost. We deserve to be in the top half of the league and our aim is to stay there.”
Chances are boosted by the returns of Keith Mcleod, Keith Boyes, Sean Stewart, Steven Lynch and Ross Brady.
A win could put Vale ahead of Cumbernauld and level on points with fourth place Spartans, depending on how they fare against Preston Athletic this evening. Gala could jump as high as 11th if they secure a result.
The game kicks off under the floodlights at Gala’s Netherdale at 7.45pm.
No previous meeting this season