Civil Service Strollers 0
Vale of Leithen 2
EOS PREMIER DIVISION
DAVE RYCE reports from Telford College
This wasn’t the result that actually confirmed Vale’s place in the Premier Division for next season, but to all intents and purposes it was.
Although still not a mathematical impossibility relegation for the Innerleithen side would now require the sort of sequence of results they’d be talking about for years to come.
But what this match did do is to confirm that they are worthy of their place in the top division.Civil Service Strollers aren’t the sort of team you want to be up against if you are desperately needing a win – indeed, they went into this encounter with confidence high following a comprehensive demolition of Whitehill Welfare the previous week.
But Vale were always a team in command of their own destiny, although it took a while for them to properly get in gear.
The game got off to a lively start with Strollers’ keeper Stuart Burnside alert to a Scott Moffat snap shot before similarly dealing with a glancing header from Steve Radzynski.
At the other end, John Dunn sent a low drive wide of the upright for the home side, who came close to taking the lead as some defensive slackness allowed Danny Rennie clear on goal, but the timely intervention of Paul Lee with a fantastic saving tackle prevented what looked a certain goal.
Vale were forced into a change at the break with David Anderson entering the fray in place of the injured Aaron Killin.
The substitution immediately added a new dimension to Vale’s play, with Strollers struggling to cope with the pace of Anderson, and it was he who put Vale in front, racing on to a Moffat through ball and into the penalty area, before placing a fine shot into the top corner of the net.
Vale then lost captain Lee to injury, but with a more-than-able replacement in John Hall on the bench, it didn’t affect Vale’s second-half domination and they went further ahead in the 79th minute when Radzynski, with the Strollers defence in disarray, ran on to a long ball and slipped it past the exposed Burnside and into the net.
Vale of Leithen: D. Walker, C. Beaton, A. Killin (D. Anderson), R. Miller, P. Lee (J. Hall), K. Bracks, A. Martin, P. Greenhill, S. Radzynski, S. Moffat and J. Lauder.