Ogilvie looks for full commitment in Vale ranks

Vale of Leithen v Edinburgh City.
Vale of Leithen v Edinburgh City.
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EOS PREMIER DIVISION

The situation at the bottom end of the Premier Division is ­ridiculously tight as we head into the final month of the season, writes Dave Ryce.

And Vale’s second defeat in a row on Saturday saw them dragged back into the relegation mire.

The points all but ensured Edinburgh City’s place in the top flight for next season, but any one of the five sides occupying the five places at the foot of the table still have it all to do to avoid the trapdoor.

There wasn’t much in the way of cheer for the Innerleithen side at the weekend, with only 10 fit players available and Berwick Rangers goalkeeper Youseff Bejaoui was drafted in. Co-manager Fraser Ogilvie was once again forced to play the entire 90 minutes and is hoping the situation does not go on much longer.

He told The Southern: “I have definitely got the bug back, but know myself I’m nowhere near fit enough.

“I would much rather have a fully-fit squad and we are working hard towards that. I will not compromise on the players we are bringing in, though, and want to make sure that those that do come are totally committed to Vale of Leithen.

“I have 100 per cent confidence in the players we do have at the moment and I am sure they can see to it that we are playing Premier Division football next season.

It was tough going as the capital side swarmed over Vale in the first half and after only seven minutes play, Paul Devlin knocked a Sam Torrance cross into the net.

Good saves from Bejaoui prevented Andy Howat and Torrance extending the lead, but midway through the first half, Dougie Gair headed home.

The Citizens made sure of the win in the second half as a ferocious strike from Ian McFarland bulged the net in the 65th minute.

Late chances fell to Scott Moffat and Steven Rixon, but there was to be no consolation goal for the home side.

Vale of Leithen: Y. Bejaoui, J. Young, J. Blaikie, R. McKenzie, C. McAleavy, S. Moffat, E. Mearns, F. Ogilvie, S. Rixon, C. Brigain, D. McAleavy.

z In their previous midweek game, Vale were eventually outwitted by Tynecastle’s young side in a game played in windy conditions at Fernieside.

Vale were awarded a penalty in the 10th minute and although Jack Blaikie’s attempt was saved, James Young netted the rebound. Tynecastle levelled, before two goals in the space of five minutes late on made sure of the points for the capital side.