Vale of Leithen 1
SCOTTISH CUP FIRST ROUND
DAVE RYCE reports from Victoria Park
UPON arriving in Innerleithen for their pre-match meal, Girvan had changed their mind about having chicken for lunch and expressed a desire for scrambled eggs – unfortunately for them though, the chicken had, in this case, come before the egg.
But the Ayrshire side committed much more of a faux pas come kick-off time, as they decided to tactically put the cart before the horse.
It was indeed admirable that Girvan had such a positive outlook on their chances of winning the tie that they decided that a three-man defence with the wide midfielders dropping back into the full-back positions when required would be the best way to contain their opponents.
Sadly for the visitors, when the wide midfielders were required to drop back, they often failed to do so, thus gifting Vale an outrageous amount of space down the flanks.
It was not an offer that speedy winger Andy Martin was going to refuse, as he was duly afforded acres of space to ply his trade largely untroubled.
Ten minutes into the game, Martin forged down the right side and sent a cross in for Steve Radzynski arriving in the middle, but the striker’s diving header flew inches wide.
Martin then replayed the scene, but this time Scott Moffat was in the middle and his header from point-blank range drew a stunning save from Girvan keeper Darren Johnson.
It felt like a goal was coming for Vale, though, and in the 25th minute it arrived – who else but Martin, whipping in a cross for Moffat to glance a header into the far corner of the net.
The second half saw the West Region Junior side having a bit more possession, but finding they were getting little change from Vale’s back four, who stood solid as a rock. Attempts at goal were generally restricted to speculative shots from distance that Vale keeper Mark Wilson was content to watch sail high or wide.
In fact, Vale looked the side most likely to score again, with a Scott Devlin free kick rebounding off the upright to Radzynski, but his first-time shot was cleared off the line by visiting defender Nicky Faulds.
A last-minute goalmouth scramble saw efforts by David Anderson, Radzynski and Devlin somehow kept out by a Girvan defence who, by this time, were well and truly scrambled.
Vale of Leithen: M. Wilson, C. Beaton, R. McKenzie, R. Miller, P. Lee, P. Greenhill, A. Martin (S. Sproule), S. Devlin (J. Paterson), S. Moffat, S. Radzynski, J. Hall (D. Anderson).