Vale of Leithen 5
KENNY PATERSON reports from Victoria Park
VALE of Leithen have a message for their next Scottish Cup opponents Cowdenbeath – prepare to be attacked.
The Innerleithen men were in confident mood following their 5-1 mauling of Selkirk, and will stick to their forward-thinking principles for next month’s third round tie in west Fife.
With wingers Wayne Sproule and Martin Cairney, and strikers Danny Noon and Scott Moffat, Vale look a threat to most teams, and were far too good for the badly-depleted Souters.
Noon will certainly need to be monitored by the Blue Brazil, who had under-19s coach Derek Nicholson watching Saturday’s game.
The ex-Spartans hitman missed last week’s 1-1 draw, which set up the replay, due to a golfing holiday in Spain.
But he returned to the starting line-up and headed in Vale’s second goal, his sixth in his last six games.
He told TheSouthern: “It is a great boost for the club and the town to get to the third round.
“I don’t see why we can’t win at Cowdenbeath. We are a good attacking side as we showed today.
“In the past we have been guilty of losing three or four goals which means we have to score five to win. But today we also played well defensively.”
Vale co-manager Fraser Ogilvie was in similar bullish mood ahead of his team’s match-up with the SFL First Division side.
He added: “We are a good attacking team and we won’t change for the Cowdenbeath match.
“If we get a tanking then so be it, but we will give it a go.”
The homesters completely deserved their place in round three, but they were helped by misfortune that hit Selkirk’s hopes.
Five key players – Euan Pritchard, Kenny Munro, Jamie Gibson, Jason Inglis and Lee Stephen – were unavailable due to a variety of reasons. Such was the visitors’ lack of numbers, manager Mike McKinnon might have been tempted to put the Naked Rambler – who was walking through Peeblesshire at the time – on the bench, if he have persuaded Stephen Gough to put on a Selkirk kit.
Selkirk’s defence was also left exposed at the start of the match and it was no surprise when Moffat outpaced the makeshift backline on 12 minutes, supplying Martin Cairney, who in turn slid the ball across to Wayne Sproule to score from 12 yards .
Jonny Watt’s looping header – landing just over the crossbar – and David Battle’s corner, which needed a last ditch save from Vale stopper James Hudson, were Selkirk’s best chances of the first half.
The tie was decided 11 minutes into the second period. First, Sproule’s cross was nodded in by Noon on 50 minutes and the ever-dangerous Cairney set up Moffat to make it 3- 0 in the 56th minute.
The game was now as good as over, but Vale co-boss Kerr Dodds put extra gloss on the polished Vale performance when he got the better of his namesake in the Selkirk goal nine minutes from time.
Two minutes later, Moffat strolled through Selkirk’s AWOL defence for the fifth, before Selkirk’s Watt scored the goal of the match with a brilliant curling 18yd effort on 84 minutes.
There was just enough time for referee Craig Napier to get involved again. Having controversially sent off Gibson last weekend, Napier gave marching orders to another Selkirk man, this time Jamie Aitken for a second yellow card for dissent.
Over the two Scottish Cup games between the teams, he made no less than 16 bookings, despite neither match being bad-tempered affairs.
However, Selkirk boss McKinnon’s fury was aimed at his own players.
He said: “You can’t put the result down to the players we had missing.
“I am disappointed with how we played. The first 20 minutes of the second half was just not good enough.
“We told them to come off the pitch with no regrets, I don’t think many of them can say that after the game.
“It is just so disappointing that today of all day’s they didn’t turn up.”
Vale of Leithen: J. Hudson, C. Gordon, C. Gray (D. Thomson 73), R. McKenzie, J. Blaikie, C. Inglis, W. Sproule (M. Smith 68), K. Dodds, S. Moffat , D. Noon (S. Devlin 60), M. Cairney.
Selkirk: J. Dodds, B. Tait, B. Milven, J. Higginbottom, L. Pyrkosz, J. Aitken, M. Holness, R. McManus (R. Pepper 73), J. Watt, A. Butters (J. Adamson 59), D. Battle.