Vale of Leithen 4
Bonnyrigg Rose 1
DAVE RYCE reports from Victoria Park
MANAGERS will protest endlessly that it’s not results that matter in pre-season games, it’s the performance that counts.
But on the other hand, performances like the one Vale produced on Saturday against their East Region Junior opponents inevitably lead to results like this.
Quite simply, it was hard to find fault with any aspect of the Innerleithen side’s display. Even the goal they conceded 10 minutes from the end will hardly cause any sleepless nights, coming as it did as a result of a brilliantly-incisive move by the Midlothian side to get in behind the home defence before Sean Grady slammed the ball home from a cutback.
By then, though, Vale were three up, with Scott Moffat grabbing a well-taken first-half double, firstly executing a cute chip from an angle over the head of Bonnyrigg keeper Mark Weir in the 17th minute, which dropped into the far corner of the net.
Ten minutes later, Moffat saw his volley take a deflection off a defender to wrong-foot Weir and put Vale two in front.
In between the two strikes, Bonnyrigg had a chance to equalise, as they were awarded a penalty when Ricky Miller was adjudged to have handled a Callum Martin cross and James Morrice stepped forward to take the spot-kick.
The defender couldn’t have placed the ball any better, aiming straight for the bottom left-hand corner, but Vale keeper Mark Wilson got down superbly to turn the ball round the post.
Vale made a couple of changes at the interval, and within three minutes substitute Stuart Martin found himself on the scoresheet following a great move. Jamie Paterson and Jordan Hall combined in midfield to feed the ball out wide to Chris Beaton and his cross from the left was knocked down by Steve Radzynski at the back post for Martin, who shot home through a crowd of players.
Although Bonnyrigg reduced the three-goal deficit, Vale restored it in the final minute,
Stuart Martin grabbed his second as Radzynski planted a cross on his forehead and all Martin was required to do was direct his header on target.
Vale of Leithen: M. Wilson (C. Hill 46), S. Sproule, R. McKenzie (K. Robertson 68), R. Miller, P. Lee (S. O’Leary 60), J. Paterson, S. Radzynski, C. Beaton, S. Moffat, J. Hall, A. Martin (S. Martin 46).