Vale of Leithen 0
EOS QUALIFYING LEAGUE SECTION C
DAVE RYCE reports from Ainslie Park
THERE have been times this season when Vale haven’t got the result they perhaps deserved – but on this occasion they did.
League leaders Spartans were clinical in front of goal, dazzled their visitors with an outstanding passing game and a higher margin of victory wouldn’t have flattered them.
Vale fell away after a decent start and failed to put any real pressure on a Spartans defence which enjoyed possibly their quietest afternoon for a while.
In the fifth minute, home keeper Ross Gilpin had to be alert to turn a Danny Noon shot round the post. A couple of long-range efforts by Kerr Dodds followed and Vale should have taken the lead when a Martin Cairney cut-back found Noon in front of goal, but Gilpin pulled off a magnificent stop.
Spartans took the lead five minutes before half-time, when Jack Beesley swung a corner across and Danny O’Donnell rose to power a header in high.
After the turnaround, the Edinburgh side took control and it was little surprise when they increased their advantage nine minutes into the second period. Again Beesley was the provider, putting a free kick into the box for McLeod to glance a header in.
Vale keeper Sinclair Inglis pulled off a good stop from Willie Bremner, before Chris Anderson and Beesley missed chances.
In a rare attack by the Innerleithen outfit, Noon forced another great stop from Gilpin after putting a Scott Devlin ball into the box, but the flag had already gone up for offside.
Spartans immediately went upfield and notched the killer goal in the 69th minute. They passed their way through the visiting defence with ease and McLeod played a ball in for Beesley to run on to. Inglis came out to meet the midfielder, but Beesley put a neat chip over him.
More trouble followed for Vale as Anderson was presented with another good chance, but seemed to want to walk the ball into the net and it was eventually cleared after two efforts had been blocked.
Vale of Leithen: S. Inglis, W. Sproule, J. Draper, C. Gordon, J. Blaikie, C. Inglis, M. Smith, K. Dodds (S. Devlin 63), D. Noon, K. Paterson (S. Moffat 63), M. Cairney (S. Sproule 70).