Vale of Leithen 3
EoS PREMIER DIVISION
DAVE RYCE reports from Fernieside
The previous week Vale had been casting envious eyes towards Tynecastle Stadium as their Scottish Cup victors Auchinleck Talbot took on Hearts.
On Saturday, their sights were firmly on Premier Division rivals Tynecastle, but the talk of the toon was not of the boys in maroon, but of Jamie Burrell, son of former Hearts favourite Sandy Burrell, taking charge of Vale for the first time following the departure of Robbie Horn to Berwick Rangers.
Vale went ahead in the 17th minute when a Jamie Lauder corner was flicked on by Scott Moffat and John Ferguson glanced his header home.
Tynecastle grabbed an equaliser in the 33rd minute against the run of play. Robbie Arthur hit a free kick low and hard across the goalmouth and an attempted clearance by Lauder diverted the ball into his own net to make the scores level at the break.
Seven minutes into the second half, Tynecastle’s Ewan MacIntosh received a straight red card following an off-the-ball incident with Moffat and seven minutes later Vale retook the lead when Vannet rose unchallenged to collect a Lauder corner and fumbled the ball, allowing Ferguson to nod home his second of the afternoon from close range.
But Tynecastle equalised just two minutes later when the Vale defence were slow to react to a break of the ball that allowed Arthur to take possession inside the box, the striker spinning to hit a superb shot into the far side of the net.
In the 70th minute, Tynecastle were reduced to nine when Eddie Mearns brought Ryan McKenzie down just outside the area to earn his second booking.
Vale were now obvious favourites, but Tynecastle upset the odds by putting themselves in front for the first time in the 78th minute. A Daniel MacAleavy cross from the right fell invitingly for Aird, but McKenzie clattered into the back of him and the result was a red card for the Vale defender and a penalty for the home side, which was converted by Arthur. Tynecastle’s only thought now was to protect their lead and a well-organised defence seemed to have done its job until the 93rd minute when Kevin Morrison sent Ferguson crashing to the deck in the penalty area.
Jordan Hall was entrusted with the spot kick and he sent it high into the net to bring the teams level for the third time and ensure a share of the points.
Vale of Leithen: C. Hill, C. Beaton, R. McKenzie, J. Paterson, P. Lee, P. Greenhill, A. Martin, J. Lauder (S. Devlin), S. Moffat (S. Radzynski), J. Ferguson, J. Hall.