Few positives for Vale at Muirhouse

Civil Service Strollers 2

Vale of Leithen 0

EOS PREMIER DIVISION

DAVE RYCE reports from Telford Sports Ground

IT WAS misery in Muirhouse for Vale on Saturday as a goal in each half from John Ross Kerr condemned them to defeat and saw them slip into the bottom two.

Searching for positives in this game was an almost fruitless task – the home side made their game plan clear from the start and Vale seemed to lack any ideas on how to combat it. But at least it may have marked the moment when Vale wake up to the fact that every league point from now on is a prisoner.

In an untidy game littered with stoppages and bookings, Civil flooded midfield in an effort to limit Vale’s creativity and despite the Innerleithen men having the majority of possession, few chances were created before home goalkeeper Bruce Callan had to tip a Danny Noon effort over the bar in the 27th minute.

Although neither side had looked like scoring, the capital side made a breakthrough in the 42nd minute as a Daniel McAleavy corner into a crowded penalty area fell invitingly for Ross Kerr, who slid in to steer the ball home.

Vale may have trooped back to the dressing room at the break wondering how they were behind, but during the opening stages of the second half they were almost in further arrears as Stewart O’Neill curled a free kick inches wide, before Ross Aitchison played O’Neill in, but Vale goalie James Hudson came out well to snuff out the danger.

Vale replied with a Kerr Dodds effort, which was beaten away by Callan, but Strollers notched their second goal at the midway point of the second half when O’Neill fired in a cross and Ross Kerr gave Hudson no chance with a powerful header from close range.

It was to be the last that Civil were seen as an attacking force in the game as Vale drove forward in an effort to get themselves back into the reckoning.

But efforts from Chris Gordon and Scott Moffat were off target, while a free kick from Jamie Paterson was punched clear by Callan. A Dodds cross unfortunately fell behind Moffat and although the substitute tried to adjust his position, the header flew well wide.

Proceedings ended on a further sour note for Vale as the already substituted Stephen Sproule picked up a second yellow card for comments to referee Mr Crosbie from the sidelines.

Vale of Leithen: J. Hudson, S. Sproule (S. Moffat), J. Blaikie, J. Paterson, R. McKenzie, C. Gordon, W. Sproule, K. Dodds, D. Noon, K. Paterson, C. Inglis (D. Thomson).