Vale keep the head

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Craigroyston1

Vale of Leithen2

Despite having to play three quarters of the game with 10 men, Vale claimed a place in the second round of the South Region Challenge Cup, writes Dave Ryce.

They got off to a great start, taking the lead in the 10th minute when Craigroyston goalkeeper Paul Cadger could only help a Jason Stevens shot into the net.

But Vale were dealt a blow in the 23rd minute as they were reduced to 10 men. James Elliot collided with home striker Ross Nisbet, with the referee ruling that Elliot had gone in studs first.

Vale should have extended their lead midway through the second half, but Ewan Saunderson somehow managed to volley a Stevens’ cross into the arms of Cadger from only a couple of yards out.

But in the 71st minute they did grab a second when Jack Blaikie got his head to a Kenny O’Brien free kick and sent it into the net.

Six minutes later Craigie pulled a goal back as a low Greig Tulloch cross found Chris Inglis in the middle and he fired home.

But the final quarter of an hour saw Vale employsome streetwise tactics to run the clock down and protect their advantage to the final whistle.