TWO goals in the opening 10 minutes at Raydale Park on Wednesday evening put Gala Fairydean Rovers firmly on the path to their fifth win on the bounce.

Gretna - who had just announced Stephen Hatfield as their new manager - forced three corners in the opening stages as they aimed to make an instant impression for their new boss.

But Gala weathered the initial storm and with just four minutes on the clock Calum Hall cut in from the left and drilled a 22-yard pile-driver into the bottom corner of the net.

After that, the visitors totally dictated the play, pinning Gretna back deep into their own half with skipper Jack Beaumont spraying passes across the park as Gala probed and pressed for the breakthrough.

And it came on the ninth minute mark when Ciaren Chalmers burst through the home defence and his shot squeezed over the line.

The dominance continued and a third goal arrived in the 33rd minute when Zander Murray spectacularly diverted a Beaumont delivery into the roof of the net with a volley.

After the interval Gretna retreated into their own half to try and keep the score down and the plan worked.

Although Gala should have scored a fourth on the hour mark when they were awarded a penalty for handball.

Daryl Healy's spot kick lacked power and the Gretna keeper pulled off a fine save.

Gala continued to dominate but Gretna were dangerous on the break and almost pulled one back when a shot struck the inside of the post but bounced back along the line.

And Gala had keeper Dean Beveridge to thank for a brilliant slide tackle to foil a Gretna forward who had evaded the offside trap.

However, the visitors were coasting to victory with Gregor Jordan and Lewis Hall outstanding at the back with the game outcome out of sight.

Unfortunately, a stramash in the Gala goalmouth in injury time as a corner was about to be delivered ended the game on an ugly note.

The result was four yellow cards - two for each team - with one of them to Gala right back Sean Docherty, currently on loan from Hearts, but as he had been booked earlier he ultimately received a red card which was a disappointing end to the game.

With five wins in a row, Gala now have a huge Lowland League encounter against Civil Service Strollers at Netherdale on Saturday(kick off 3p,m.)

The Edinburgh side are the surprise packets of the Lowland League this season and are currently deservedly fourth in the table with another midweek win against Caledonian Braves. But with Gala hard on their heels, Saturday's game will be a huge test for both teams.