Stirling University 1
Vale of Leithen 1
EoS PREMIER DIVISION
DAVE RYCE reports from Gannochy Sports Centre
IT MAY have been hidden under a raincoat because of the inclement weather, but manager Fraser Ogilvie’s lucky suit did its job again to preserve Vale’s unbeaten record on Saturday.
Not that the Innerleithen men didn’t deserve a point against the defending champions – a blistering start and solid defensive display could well have brought all three.
Vale pinned the students back during the opening stages before taking a deserved lead in the 17th minute.
Danny Noon wove his way into the penalty area before unleashing a shot that keeper Kevin Walker could only get a hand to and Kerr Dodds was following up to smash the ball home.
Chief dangerman Chris Geddes shot over from a great position as the home side worked their way back into contention. Half-time saw them introduce Robert Pearson and six minutes into the second period it was the substitute who swung a corner over for Paul Sludden to head the equaliser home.
Ogilvie’s suit was on the verge of being confined to the wardrobe as Stirling had the best chance they were going to get 10 minutes from time.
Craig Mason went down in the area under a challenge from Vale substitute Jamie Paterson and referee Paul Crosbie pointed to the spot. Vale protested the decision, with Paterson going a bit far and receiving a straight red card from the official, before Wayne Sproule was beckoned forward by the official to be shown a yellow for his comments.
Ex-Vale player Creag Robertson’s penalty kick was certainly struck accurately enough, aiming straight for the bottom left-hand corner, but Vale keeper James Hudson leapt across to produce a stunning stop and Liam Corr, on the follow-up, headed the rebound wide.
As if denying Robertson from the spot wasn’t enough, barely a minute later Hudson superbly blocked a rocket from Chris Geddes.
Ten-man Vale sensibly ran the clock down by keeping possession, realising that a point at a venue where many other teams will leave empty-handed this season represented a good afternoon’s work.
Vale of Leithen: J. Hudson, C. Gordon (S. Devlin 57), J. Draper, R. McKenzie, J. Blaikie, C. Inglis (J. Paterson 50), W. Sproule, K. Dodds, S. Moffat (K. Paterson 61), D. Noon, M. Cairney.