Vale’s winning streak comes to an end at Ferguson Park

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Whitehill Welfare 4

Vale of Leithen 1

EoS PREMIER DIVISION

DAVE RYCE reports from Ferguson Park

OF all the East of Scotland fixtures that held a minute’s silence for the sadly departed Maurice Gordon on Saturday, perhaps the most poignant was at Rosewell.

With Peebles Rovers chairman Colin McDonald and manager Stuart Robertson in attendance, both sets of players gathered round the centre circle to pay their last respects.

Meanwhile, Whitehill’s ex-Peebles contingent of manager Rab Paget, goalkeeping coach David McGinley and players Darren Walker and Gareth Thom, were joined in a separate group by Vale players Paul Lee, Andy Martin, Paul Greenhill and Scott Devlin with their own memories of the larger-than-life character.

Down to the football, Vale saw their long-winning run which stretched back to early August, come to a shuddering halt, but over the piece – as Maurice might have said – a Whitehill win was a fair result.

Welfare went ahead in the 24th minute as Dayne Robertson fired a cross into the area and striker Wayne McIntosh bulleted a close-range header in.

Whitehill held the lead until half-time, but they were inexplicably denied a chance to increase it shortly before the break as Wayne Sproule was tripped in the area by goalkeeper Mark Wilson. It looked a stonewaller, but the referee merely showed a yellow card for diving to the bemused Sproule.

However, precisely 38 seconds into the second half, McIntosh got a second for Whitehill as the first attack of the half resulted in him knocking home a Sproule cross.

Five minutes later, Vale pulled one back as a rebound from a Jamie Paterson cross fell to Martin, who beat the keeper all ends up with a low drive.

The prospect of a Vale comeback was quashed a few minutes later when McIntosh was felled in the area by Vale’s Ricky Miller and McIntosh stepped up to send Wilson the wrong way from the spot to complete his hat-trick.

A defensive error gifted Welfare a fourth in the 67th minute, allowing substitute Andrew Sinclair to pick the ball up before firing home.

The misery continued for Vale as they were awarded a penalty after Steve Radzynski was fouled off the ball during an attack, but keeper Darren Walker dived to his right to push away Devlin’s spot kick.

With six minutes remaining, Vale were reduced to 10 men as Ryan McKenzie was shown a second yellow card when he went in late on Sinclair.

Vale of Leithen: M. Wilson, C. Beaton (S. Sproule 76), R. McKenzie, R. Miller, P. Lee, P. Greenhill (S. Devlin 63), A. Martin, J. Paterson, S. Moffat, S. Radzynski, J. Lauder (J. Ferguson 63).