Leith Athletic defeated Gala Fairydean Rovers in a match that was ultimately won by set pieces.
The home side scored through a corner, a penalty and from two direct free kicks while the visitors scored a free kick of their own.
Goals from Jack Mackay, Blair Short and two from substitute Guy McGarry sealed the win for Leith who move up to 2nd in the table.
The match, which was Gala’s first for five weeks, started at a frantic pace with both teams exchanging numerous chances in the first 20 minutes.
Leith, spearheaded by the busy Tyler O’Neill, were always a threat on the break and it took some smart defending by Gala’s Thomas Porves to deny O’Neill when he was through on goal.
It was the home side’s keeper who was busiest early on however, with Steven Chambers being called into action to produce an excellent double save first from James Delaney and then Sam Kelly who followed in on the rebound.
Kelly then fired wide moments later after a cutback from flying winger Finnen Gordon-Wooley. He then created a chance for himself but this time had his low shot saved after initially doing well to create some space on the edge of the box.
Both teams then had their first scare form set pieces. First, a Leith corner was cleared but only to Aaron Simpson whose perfectly struck half volley whistled just past the post. Gala then should have taken the lead, a driven corner from the left fell to Jack Nobel, who had peeled to the back post, but his volleyed effort went over the bar.
It was Leith’s next corner, however, which opened the scoring. Just before half time in the 38th minute, Mackay took the corner from the left side and his in swinging ball fortuitously sailed over goalkeeper Joshua Bain’s head and went straight into the net.
Gala levelled the match 10 minutes after half time with a brilliant goal. The move started deep in Gala’s half and after exchanging passes with full back Sean Curran, Kelly beat his man and drove into the Leith half. He then played in Delaney on the wing with an inch perfect pass, the striker took his time before cutting the ball back to the edge of the box where Kelly was arriving and the midfielder struck a low, first time shot past Chalmers.
It was a wonderful move, started and finished by Kelly, and it was no more than Gala deserved after cruelly falling behind and the away team could have taken the lead soon after if Gordon-Wooley had hit the target after being played in by Kelly.
Leith had barely threatened after going in front but they took the lead again on 60 minutes. After winning a free kick 30 yards from goal, many would have expected centre back Short to cross the ball but instead he took aim at goal, unleashing a fierce strike which crashed against the bar and bounced down over the line.
Their lead only lasted a couple of minutes, however. This time it was Gala who won a free kick 30 yards from goal. Gordon-Wooley had a pop and, just like the effort two minutes earlier, the ball went in off the bar. It was eerily similar to Leith’s goal but Gala didn’t care, they were level.
With time running out the match was anyone’s to win, but with 15 minutes left in the 65th minute Leith were awarded a penalty. A ball in from the left side was missed by a Gala defender who could only watch as the ball bounced up onto his arm. Substitute McGarry stepped up and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.
Within two minutes McGarry had doubled his tally. The referee this time awarded a foul on the edge of the box and McGarry stepped up to beautifully curl the ball into the top left corner. It was his sides fourth set piece goal of the game but it ensured the three points and significantly means that Leith move up to 2nd in the league.
Original Report: http://www.youthfootballscotland.co.uk/south-east-region/item/18749-leith-up-to-2nd-thanks-to-set-piece-masterclass.html