East Kilbride 0
Vale of Leithen 1
A Scott McCulloch strike was enough to secure the Lowland League points for Vale, as they staged a smash and grab raid in South Lanarkshire, writes Dave Ryce.
It may have been a trip into the unknown for the Innerleithen side, but they knew that East Kilbride had won both their league fixtures at home against Selkirk and Whitehill Welfare, so things would be far from easy.
So it proved, as the home side came at them from the start and keeper Graham O’Brien produced a fine stop to deny Gary Graham, before Chris McDougall hit the bar.
A goal looked likely, but to the astonishment of the homesters, it came against the run of play as Vale midfielder McCulloch controlled a ball launched into the area and smashed home the opener with 35 minutes on the clock.
The second half saw Kilby continue to dominate, and both sides reduced to 10 men as home captain Marc Templeton and Vale’s Ryan McKenzie were red-carded.
East Kilbride substitute Johnny Diack had a couple of late chances to rescue something for his side as he firstly took the ball round O’Brien, but somehow shot wide, before another effort came back off the crossbar.
McCulloch’s goal was his second in two games and means Vale go clear at the top of the Lowland League, three points ahead of Spartans, who have a game in hand.
Vale of Leithen: G. O’Brien, D. Aird, D. McAleavy, J. Young, R. McKenzie, R. Aitchison (J. R. Kerr), C. Brigain, S. McCulloch, S. Moffat, J. Ferguson (D. Rennie), K. Lough (S. Gormley).