Vale of Leithen6
Vale moved into the next round of the South Region Cup with a comprehensive victory over United at Victoria Park on Saturday.
The Tweedsiders had no answers to the power and precision game of their Lowland League opponents who were two in front at half time and further turned the screw after the break with four more goals.
A philosophical United manager Prof Blaikie commented: “It was always going to be an uphill struggle and our boys learned that you get punished if you make mistakes with a team of this quality.
“The goals in the second half were all scored on the counter attack when we were pushing forward.
“Although disappointed with the result, the team is not despondent and will hopefully bounce back next week.”
The home side showed their intent early and almost had the ball in the net after eight minutes when Scott Gormley crossed from the right to the back post, where striker Keith Lough out jumped the defence and the former United man was unlucky to see his header hit the inside of both posts before it was cleared.
Vale had only to wait another three minutes before they did open the scoring, when Eddie Mearns slipped a ball through for Charlie Brigain, and his fellow midfielder made no mistake with a shot from the right side of the box.
United produced a couple of attempts on goal on the half hour mark. A shot from Bruce Chisholm stung the hands of Vale keeper Bruce Callan, and the No 1 was called into action again saving a Grant Gass long-range drive.
Vale increased their lead in the 35th minute. A free kick was awarded midway in the United half, but the players were confused as to what team it was given to. In the chaos, Brigain took a quick free kick and sent Lough through before the visitors defence could react, and although Elliott Turnbull got a hand to the ball, the front man’s shot hit the net. Vale made it three in the 54th minute as United pressed forward the home side countered down the right wing where Danny Rennie found Lough at the edge of the box and he curled a right-foot shot into the top corner of the net. The home side went further ahead in the 66th minute, as a United attack broke down in the Vale half, and the ball was quickly moved to Vale winger Gormley who took off down the left and squared the ball to Scott McCulloch who side footed a shot which was deflected over the diving Turnbull.
Number five came with 15 minutes of the game remaining, as Vale’s star man Mearns won the ball in midfield and produced a great pass to Gormley, who had the simple task of knocking the ball into the net. Vale completed the scoring in the 84th minute when, again, the home side won the ball in midfield and after some good link play, the ball ended up at the edge of the United box where Mearns back flicked the ball to Brigain, who fired home.
In the dying embers of the game Kelso almost got a consolation when Jordan Lauder whipped in a cross from the left to Ben Herdman who unleashed a shot, which Callan did well to save.