GALA Fairydean Rovers boss Martin Scott returned to action in style last night, celebrating his 36th birthday by providing an assist with his first touch of the ball after coming on as a late substitute at Netherdale.

And he had plenty to celebrate as his side produced a five-star performance to demolish runaway Lowland League leaders Bonnyrigg Rose to qualify for the last-eight of the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup.

Gala opened the scoring in the third minute when a corner from the left eventually found Gregor Jordan and his deft flick beat keeper Michael Andrews.

Ten minutes later Aaron Dardge was brought down inside the area by Lee Currie and Zander Murray dispatched the resultant spot-kick.

Bonnyrigg pulled one back after the Gala defenders were unable to clear a Currie corner from the right and the ball fell to Kerr Young, who nestled his shot into the far bottom left-hand corner.

Any hopes that the large travelling support had of a recovery were dashed moments later.

Murray then did well to set up Ryan Schiavone but his close-range effort was blocked by the keeper

Then from the resultant corner Jordan headed home his second and Gala’s third goal of the night.

Scott Cusick almost made it four but his header from Phil Addison’s free-kick flew over the bar.

The fourth did arrive in style when Addison’s through ball found Murray who drew the keeper before calmly returning the ball to Addison who had a tap in form close range.

Dean Brett was shown a straight red card for a bad challenge on Gareth Rodgers who required treatment but played on. And the Bonnyrigg player was lucky to escape further punishment when he demonstrated his frustration by booting a stray ball over the fence into the adjacent field.

Gala continued to dominate in the second-half and player manager Scott came on for his first appearance since taking over from Neil Hastings.

And with his first-touch the former Hibs’ player  set up Murray who scored with a superb low angled drive.

Scott then tried his luck with a long-range effort from the half-way line but the keeper got back to save his shot.

He then demonstrated his skills on the right wing before firing a low cross into the danger area but there were no takers.

With time running out Rose were awarded a penalty, but Kit McRitchie produced a fine diving save to deny Curie and Rovers held on for a well-deserved 5-1 victory.

Scott told us: “Before the game we told the players that we believe in them.

“And we set our stamp on the game early-doors with a goal in the sixth minute and another in the 12th minute. Normally we have been conceding at these times of late. But to get the first goal then go on to have a dominant performance for the 90-minutes was very pleasing.

“They had a 10-15 minute spell of pressure after the sending off but we got a foothold back in the game and it was comfortable in the end.

“It’s been a learning curve and myself and Stevie (Craig) are learning about the team and how they react in different situations and how we manage situations going forward.”

Craig praised the contribution of Scott and told us. ”He’s hardly trained in three months due to a thigh and a calf problem. I’ve been trying to encourage him and told him that he was capable of playing and managing at Lowland League level. He’s got too much to offer on the pitch just now. Even though Bonnyrigg were down to10-men they were dominating the ball but when he came on that settled us. The fifth goal was just a piece of brilliance really.”