Vale of Leithen 0
Whitehill Welfare 1
EoS PREMIER DIVISION
DAVE RYCE reports from Victoria Park
IT’S A cruel way to lose when a game is decided by an injury-time penalty; crueller still when it’s at the end of a game when the losing side has been the more deserving of victory.
Vale were desperately unlucky as they made the better chances while Whitehill were clearly having an off day and hardly ever looked like scoring.
But a combination of sloppy finishing and a goalkeeper at the top of his game conspired to see Whitehill perform a smash and grab right at the last.
The visitors’ best chance of scoring during open play occurred midway through the first half as John Hall lost possession to Ross Allum, who sped into the area and squared for Andrew Kidd, but Paul Greenhill got back to superbly clear off the line.
Vale could have found themselves in front when a huge clearance by Darren Walker was met by Radzynski, who slipped the ball into the path of Anderson. His shot was going straight for the top corner until Bejaoui leapt to tip it behind.
Early in the second half, Bejaoui again rescued his side as he blocked an Andy Martin shot with his legs, before producing his best save of the match on the hour mark as he dived full stretch to turn a Radzynski effort round the post.
Shortly afterwards Martin did manage to get the ball past Bejaoui after being put through by Dodds, but the shot drifted wide of the post.
There was further bad luck for Vale as keeper Walker had to leave the action after sustaining a hamstring injury.
And more followed. Three minutes into injury time Whitehill were awarded a penalty when Greenhill went in high for ball at the edge of the area and caught Danny Taylor. Scott Gormley made no mistake from the spot, sending substitute keeper Livie the wrong way with a cool finish.
There was further drama as Whitehill’s Jordan Hall was sent packing after a lunge on Vale’s Martin saw him pick up his second yellow.
Vale of Leithen: D. Walker (D. Livie 82); A. Milligan, J. Lauder, J. Hall, P. Lee, P. Greenhill, A. Martin, K. Dodds, S. Radzynski, D. Anderson and P. Doohan (S. Moffat 84).