Chekov plays role in Vale’s latest defeat

Vale of Leithen 2 Edinburgh University 3

EOS PREMIER DIVISION

Dave Ryce reports from Victoria Park

WHILE Vale may have their Robbo, Hilly and Wayno, you know you can only be playing against a university side when their right-back is nicknamed Chekhov by his team-mates.

As it happens, the Russian literary giant himself was quite the fan of grim tales of realism and contradiction and certainly would have found something of interest in this game.

With only one win in their last five league games, and a by no means easy run-in to their programme, Vale are fast running out of games in hand to gather the points necessary to pull them clear of the relegation zone.

Discipline was again their downfall, having to play an hour of the game against one of the league’s in-form teams with ten men, though the students’ failure to take advantage in front of goal saved Vale’s goal difference from taking a battering.

Vale started well, taking the lead in the 19th minute as Wayne Sproule glanced a Jamie Lauder corner into the net, but the visitors drew level eight minutes later as James Craigen curled a free kick round the wall and in.

On the half hour, Vale’s prospects were dealt a severe blow as scorer Sproule was shown a straight red card for comments directed towards the match official and the university side simply took control.

Tim Rawlinson, Callum Frain and Callum Murray were the main offenders as chance after chance went begging as the university bombarded the hosts’ goal, but they eventually put themselves ahead in the 70th minute when a Craigen shot rebounded kindly for Roy Chatterjee who swept home.

Six minutes later they grabbed a third as Frain atoned for some earlier misses by finding the net with a header.

But the game took an unexpected twist six minutes from time to leave the students clinging on.

A Steven Radzynski shot came back off the bar to Stephen Sproule who was impeded by Mark Gair and Vale were awarded a penalty, converted by Radzynski.

Vale could even have stolen a scarcely deserved point in injury time as Scott Moffat was denied by keeper Mark Tait and the rebound blocked on the line by defender Gair to loud appeals that he had used his hands, but the referee elected to award only a corner.

Vale of Leithen: C. Weir, J. Paterson (S. Sproule), R. McKenzie, S. Robertson, P. Lee, P. Greenhill, A. Martin, J. Hall (S. Radzynski), S. Moffat, W. Sproule, J. Lauder.