GALA FAIRYDEAN ROVERS 4, COLDSTREAM 2
Former Coldstream manager and chairman Jim McLean has returned to the Home Park club as part of the backroom staff.
With Streamers manager Andrew Gibson on holiday, McLean took charge of Saturday’s pre-season friendly defeat away to Gala Fairydean Rovers at Netherdale.
The Streamers were missing several players, but the friendly gave Mclean the chance to give game time to one or two new faces.
He said: “Pre-season is about trying to improve things and have a look at people. We had new people in today to have a look at them and that served its purpose.
“I don’t like being beaten in any game, but that’s not what pre-season games are about.”
While they measure and upgrading fitness under match conditions, friendlies don’t leave fans of either team any wiser as to what the season will bring.
This was especially important to followers of both teams at Netherdale on Saturday, with brand spanking new Gala Fairydean Rovers heading for the new Lowland League, and for Coldstream, rising back to the East of Scotland League Premier Division.
Both teams had several players on holiday, so it was a little difficult to judge how the sides were gelling.
But it has to be said, that Gala were better side by some distance.
The bare bones of GFR is from last year’s successful Gala Rovers amateur side, bolstered by the return of former striker Jamie Gibson – who has honed his skills at Selkirk for a couple of seasons – and experienced keeper John Dodds, also ex-Selkirk.
The Streamers, on the other hand, seemed to miss their absent personnel more, and struggled to get the ball to iconic striker John Crawford.
However, they did manage to get the first goal on the board. Gary Wales attracted Dodds off his line and cut back to Tom Cannon, who scored from all of three inches.
However, Taylor Hope levelled with a nice finish from a Grant Gass cross, and Billy Miller struck home Marc Berry’s pass to take the lead going into half-time. Jamie Gibson lashed home a volley for GFR, before Richard Baxendale narrowed the gap, heading in a Wales corner.
But it was left to former Berwick Rangers striker Stuart Noble – brother of manager Steven – to finish off proceedings with a winding run into the box and strike past Mark Walters in the visitors’ goal.
Gala Fairydean: J. Dodds, G. Gass, S. Harkness, K. Collins, C. McBride, B. Miller, M. Berry, T. Hope, J. Gibson, D. McColm and C. Jardine. Subs: B. Noble, S. Noble, P. Hossack, L. Hardie and S. McKenzie.
Coldstream: Walters, Manson, J Ainslie, Baxendale, L Cannon, Chisholm, Hebdon, McCrudden, Wales, T Cannon, Crawford. Subs: Allan, S Simpson.